back to article iPhone crashes car stereos, Toyota warns

Motor maker Toyota has warned Australian car dealers that iOS 4.1 devices can crash certain vehicles' sound systems. Toyota made the claim in a "technical newsflash", local car site Drive reports. The warning covers eight types of Fujitsu Ten-made car stereo fitted to Yaris, Corolla, Kluger, Prado, LandCruiser, HiLux and Prius …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Daniel Snowden


    I guess it wouldn't be the first problem with crashing Toyota have had.

    I'll get my coat

  2. hitmouse
    Thumb Up

    No known problems

    Is that because most UK cars still seem to have cassette players?

  3. Tim #3

    So ...

    How long before a similar problem occurs that affects a more important system like stability control or abs?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't do the CAN-CAN

      Hopefully a car manufacturer will never feel the need to connect a car stereo to the CAN bus of a car..

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Radio linked to CAN bus

        Certainly VW group cars (VW, audi, skoda, seat, bentley, etc) have the radio connected to the CAN bus for both speed dependant volume adjust ('gala effect') and for radio coding - when you disconnect the battery etc the radio checks that it's in the same car and re-keys itself. If the ECU has changed, it asks for a code.

        Quite clever really. You just have to hope that it's a read-only implementation though :)

        1. Parax

          Radio On the Can Bus...

          It is on Merc too...

          @Lottie if your house was made by a car manufacturer you'd now be in the market for a new cat.

      2. The Unexpected Bill

        CAN bus and car radios

        Too late--they already do and have for a while. Still, I doubt the world will end if the radio locks up. I suspect the worst it could do would be to hold the bus.

        Most of the time, the communications that would be exchanged are minimal. However, in some later model GM vehicles, the radio is used to control various parameters and to play the door/headlight/seatbelt warning chimes.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        of course

        the stereo has a direct link to the ABS. How else would it be able to detect when you are listening to Kanye West and disable itself, for the greater good!

    2. Lottie

      I agree

      because y'know, the stereo is directly linked to the ABS computer... Oh wait, no, it isn't a car can still function perfectly (albeit without choonz) without a stereo fitted.

      Just the other day, my home PC crashed and because it was *in the same house*, it caused my central heating to roast the cat.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Matt Piechota


      "How long before a similar problem occurs that affects a more important system like stability control or abs?"

      Really? Somehow I don't think there's much of a link between the stereo and vehicle management systems.

  4. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    Kia 'hamster-mobile' Soul and its steering wheel controls

    A good friend updated his iPod's firmware and this resulted in his brand new Kia Soul becoming obsolete. The steering wheels iPod-compatible controls and integration with the on-board stereo system become non-functional. The end result of this unfortunate episode was that he quit his job, moved to another province and went back to school. Seriously. I'm not joking.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Thus proving that on rare occassions

      two wrongs can make a right.

  5. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

    My car crashes the 4.2.1 iphone

    My car has ipod/iphone integration although its not a Toyota... Since the last update, the phone crashes half way through any song you play and reboots.

    Its fine with ipods and usb sticks, so i can only deduce its iOS 4.2.1

  6. Adam Cooper

    Re: Don't do the CAN-CAN

    "Hopefully a car manufacturer will never feel the need to connect a car stereo to the CAN bus of a car.."

    I know the stock radio on my Fiat does, since thats how it gets the information it needs to dynamically raise and lower the volume dependant on speed.

  7. maxillius

    I would think...

    ...that driving a Kia Soul in itself would be a life-altering experience.

    The same way that taking female hormones is a life-altering experience.

    1. Windrose

      Life-altering? Oh. When?

      "The same way that taking female hormones is a life-altering experience."

      It IS? Oh, wow. When does this start to happen? Produced loads of the stuff for years now, but can't say I've noticed much life-altering.

      Looking forward to the life-altering bits. Better hurry up, tho. Suspect I'll start seeing a drop in the levels soon, and that'll certainly be a change ...

  8. Warren G

    There really is...

    an app for everything

  9. fireman sam

    CAN Bus

    As my car increases stereo volume proportionally with driving speed (really not a good idea which can lead to 'spirited' driving on empty motorways with good music), I'm guessing it has already been integrated into the CAN bus.

  10. Graham Bartlett

    @Tim 3

    "How long before a similar problem occurs that affects a more important system like stability control or abs?"

    And how long before people who've not worked on safety-related systems think this is an insightful comment?

    And how many times will it take till they learn that they don't know anything about it?

    The answer my friends is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind....

    (Yes, the one with the harmonica in the pocket, thanks.)

  11. Jean-Paul

    In the UK also

    I'm in a big dispute with Toyota UK and has been escalated to Toyota Tech EU as I have no end of problems with a number of iOS devices. I also get crashes with an iPod Nano 5G. And not just that the Fujitsu system has other problems as well in which part of the output of the 8 speaker system is hardcoded to be 10dB less than other speakers. And then there is the lack of firewire equipment in the dealer network to do the upgrades on the service ports. It is a mess that Fujitsu system.

  12. Aaron Fothergill

    Nice bit of blamecasting by Toyota

    So really it's Toyota in-car stereos have a fatal bug, that just happens to occur when iPhones are plugged in, rather than it being the iPhone's fault that it crashes.

    Millions of other iPhone accessories (including my 5 year old Mini) work perfectly fine with iOS 4.2.1, so it's just a case of Toyota coders making a mistake somewhere and needing to issue a patch.

    What they're scared to say is, if you're an iPhone user, don't buy a Toyota.

    1. Annihilator
      Thumb Up


      Yup, came on just to post the same. Even *if* the device in question (let's keep it away from ifanning/ihating etc!) was the biggest abomination ever to connect as a USB device, the host should never ever crash..

      Although, does anyone remember the Windows 98 / USB demonstration launch with Bill Gates? :-)

    2. Steve X

      Input screening

      No matter what crap an iPhone might send, if the Toyota stuff crashes, it's a bug in the Toyota stuff. They're clearly not doing proper input validation.

  13. Steve 72


    Oh wait, that's the outfit that should publish a "Recall of the Month" calendar.

  14. Timo
    Jobs Halo

    time to get a new car - <sarcasm warning>

    If the iphone crashes your car, you're driving the wrong one. And a Kia Soul isn't fancy (nor overpriced) enough to be worthy of transporting an iPhone.

    Go buy a new one that is more compatible. It isn't that big of a deal.

    sent from my iPhone.

  15. John Tserkezis

    I say through gritted teeth.

    This is what happens when dumbarse engineers don't code for "graceful failures".

    You read the documentation, or reverse engineer it, then code around that, accounting for returned data that is not what you expect. How you deal with it from here can vary, you might bring up a specific error alert, you might just show a generic failure lamp, or you might ignore it.

    Whichever way, it's more graceful than crashing.

    At least it's just that *little* bit more graceful than literally crashing the car into things...

    One thing you can't doubt about the engineers (or products) that Toyota uses, they know how to pick them.

  16. William Boyle

    It would have been better...

    Now, if the headline said "iPhone crashes car ... stereo. Toyota warns.", THAT would have grabbed my attention! :-)

  17. Alan Brown Silver badge

    CAN and In Car Entertainment.

    There isn't "A" CAN bus on most cars - there are usually several of them.

    Yes there is routing between them, but the safety critical systems are on a separate bus to engine controls and a separate bus again for user interfaces.

    They also run at different speeds, etc.

  18. Leeroy Bronze badge


    Toyota should take a leaf out of Apple's book here, in fact why not ask an Apple rep to demostrate the correct "plugging in procedure" for normal use ?

  19. Arctic fox

    Are you sure?

    Are you sure that it did not say:

    "The crash appears to be total: the unit displays nothing but "load.of s**te.." on the screen."

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    plug and play

    This is why I only use SD cards or USB flash drives with MP3's on them. If it doesn't play my stuff in the store, then I don't want to deal with it. This apple chip crap is getting irritating. We're re-doing our product line because of a new IC from apple. Means the old stuff isn't supporting the new stuff coming out.

    I love the IPod, but not the store replacable battery or the constant updates to garner more money. Even the mobile cords on the new IPhones are requiring chips in the cabling to work with it.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Three finger salute

    No reset button? No deadman switch that forces a reboot when a key press isn't handled within 30 seconds? My car stereo, TV, and even WiFi clock radio has that. Does the car's battery run dead because the stereo doesn't power off?

    Where's the deadman switch for automotive quality control?

  22. A. Lewis

    Still, that's better than last year's Toyota headlines.

    "Accelerator pedal crashes car, Toyota Warns"

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019