What to Do If Your Lexus Infotainment System Crashed

If you have a 2014-2016 Lexus, your car's infotainment system may have mysteriously crashed, as our test vehicles did. Turns out Lexus sent an over-the-air software update that was glitchy, and rendered many of its cars' stereo, navigation, and information systems useless.

Unfortunately, you can't fix it yourself. You have to take it to a Lexus dealership. The cars are safe to drive.

Here's what happened: Lexus said in an email that an “errant data broadcast by our traffic and weather data service provider was not handled as expected by the microcomputer in the vehicle navigation head unit (center display) of 2014-16 Model Year Lexus vehicles and 2016 Model Year Toyota Land Cruiser.

“In some situations, this issue can cause the head unit to restart repeatedly, affecting operation of the navigation system, audio and climate control features, and the hands-free mobile phone functions."

Lexus said the data suspected to be the source of the error was corrected, and that the fix requires a forced reset and clearing of the errant data from the system. The over-the-air update began Sunday, but the software was pushed out to different vehicles at different times.

Here's what to do: Owners of Lexus vehicles—and of the occasional Toyota Land Cruiser—who experience these issues should visit their dealer for a system reset. The company can't do this with an over-the-air update. Until you can make it to a dealership, you can't listen to the radio, make phone calls through Bluetooth, or use the navigation system.

The Pink Screen of Doom

Over-the-air software updates beamed right to your car can be a good thing. Just look at how efficiently Tesla updates its cars. But this one turned into an embarrassing social media moment for Lexus.

Here's what happened to our test cars, and likely to yours.

After we started the cars Wednesday and the infotainment systems booted up, an eerie-looking pink screen appeared, and then quickly went blank.

The infotainment system did not respond to inputs from pushing the myriad hard buttons that typically activate stereo or navigation functions. There was no sound or warning message.

When we put the cars into reverse—and we had previously set the screens to give a split view—the images from the rear-view cameras appeared, but the other sides of the split screen went pink, then blank (see display image).

So it seems that the newest version of Lexus’ infotainment system, which we first experienced troubles with in our NX crossover, might still have a few bugs to work out.

While Lexus cars and SUVs tend to ace Consumer Reports reliability surveys, sometimes new technology can cause even vehicles at the top of their game get hiccups.

Posted on June 2016,13  //  Author: Admin