Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Top Consumer Complaints

Remember when cars and trucks first started coming out with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability? It was game-changing to have connectivity options and phone pairing for hands-free driving. What began as a more luxury-based feature is now mainstream, with nearly all automakers harnessing the in-dash tech for new models. 

However, with great phone pairing power comes great responsibility. And consumers are complaining most about mishaps, glitches, and problems with their Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features. Here’s what J.D. Power had to say about 2021 vehicle ownership and quality results.

J.D. Power’s U.S. Initial Quality Study identifies key findings

Apple Carplay and Android Auto option displayed on a blue screen.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto option displayed | Getty Images

J.D. Power did the heavy lifting to compile data and produce its 2021 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS.) Some of the key findings are big news for a few automakers, including Nissan. The brand earned the highest-ranking entries in three segments, with the Nissan Maxima, Nissan Murano, and Nissan Altima. Stellantis acquires bragging rights, too, with the Jeep Gladiator and the Ram 2500 and 3500 topping their respective segments.

Other accolades for quality and dependability include Ram as the highest-ranking brand for its first time, in overall initial quality. Dodge comes in second overall, beating out Lexus. Hyundai had a good showing, with the Genesis G80, Hyundai Accent, and a family of Kia models topping their various classes.

Not all of the J.D. Power news is good news. Part of the IQS involves identifying essential areas for improvement. And consumer complaints regarding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the rise.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity issues

As Wards Auto explains, when J.D. Power takes to reporting, the team does more than scratch the surface with general ownership surveys or online email inquiries. These vehicle owners are verified and presented with more in-depth questions. The responses revealed suggest today’s vehicle owners are struggling with their infotainment systems and connectivity platforms.

More specifically, the biggest challenge for the industry is with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity platforms. Many consumers are reporting problems connecting their devices in the first place. Others cited issues with maintaining connectivity. In several cases, vehicle owners gave up on trying to use the technology at all.

Unfortunately, as technology improves, the instances of potential glitches and failures rise. Most defects can, of course, be addressed at the dealership. But some of the issues, like those with voice recognition technology or poorly designed layouts, can only be remedied with improved tech or complete redesigns. 

Why car-buying consumers should care about this study

J.D. Power is a longstanding, independent group that explores and reports on various products, including vehicles, to offer consumer-facing insights to help people make more informed decisions about what they buy. And the IQS is one of the more robust car evaluations out there.

Forbes points out that part of the IQS, for example, asks vehicle owners about the ease of use of certain features in the car. The consumers are asked for “dissatisfying” features, not necessarily just component failures. New car buyers can rely on these results to help guide their purchasing decisions. Stephanie Brinley, an auto analyst for HIS Markit, suggests that while these metrics and others like Consumer Reports can be beneficial, none should make your decision for you. And nothing replaces a good, old-fashioned test drive.

With more and more vehicle owner complaints coming to light regarding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms, it may be helpful to identify your support resources before committing to a purchase. If problems are expected, it’s best to be prepared for troubleshooting so you can find solutions quickly.

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