Don’t Touch Me: Some BMWs now built without touchscreens
Impacted models range from 3-Series to the mighty X7
If the world’s safety zealots are looking for a champion to help them rid cars of distracting touchscreens, they might be finding a friend in the global chip shortage. According to information dug up by enthusiast forum Bimmerfest , the crew at BMW have begun shipping certain vehicles without any touch functionality in its Central Information Display.
While the company says they’ve managed to maintain the majority of their production plans in spite of supply chain challenges, it seems things are tightening up heading into the fourth quarter of 2021. This has directly led to BMW removing the ability — in some cars — to jab one’s finger at the infotainment screen in search of features and functions. Specifically, the 3- and 4-Series models, the Z4 convertible, and the X5, X6, and X7 SUVs are affected.
These machines will have option code 6UY on their window sticker, along with a $500 credit. How generous. Customers buying one of the affected vehicles will also be asked to sign a document confirming acknowledgement of the change, presumably in a bid to ward of future service calls in which an irate owner is yelling about their car’s touchscreen not working.
To be clear, the screen itself remains, but functions will need to be accessed through the iDrive controller or voice commands. This will put a knee squarely in the groin of those who like using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, since those operating systems are designed for touch inputs. If you’re looking to understand how infuriating it is to use those interfaces with a dial, ask the folks who weathered such a storm trying to shoehorn smartphone integration into Mazda’s non-touch environment.
Also irritating — and surprising given the feature has a physical button on the console — is the revelation that “vehicles with Parking Assistant Package (5DN/ZPK) will lose Backup Assistant when coupled with 6UY”. In other words, anyone shopping for a BMW in the next few months should do their homework to make sure they’re getting all the features they are expecting.