Many BMW owners have been unable to access CarPlay in their vehicle for the past several days, according to several reports on Reddit. This CarPlay downtime is seemingly related to BMW’s ConnectedDrive service suffering from outage – and further shows the risk associated with locking these features behind paid options and subscriptions.

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

What seems to be happening is that because of the ConnectedDrive outage, cars are unable to confirm that users have paid for the CarPlay option in their vehicle. Because the car can’t make that authentication, BMW owners have no access to CarPlay, nor the other ConnectedDrive features.

BMW has purportedly acknowledged the ConnectedDrive outage to customers, but has yet to comment publicly or offer any sort of timetable on when the issue might be resolved.

In the past, BMW has sold its ConnectedDrive package as a one-time option at the time of vehicle purchase. For newer model years, however, BMW has started offering ConnectedDrive as a subscription service instead – and locks CarPlay behind that subscription paywall.

This week’s outage of ConnectedDrive and CarPlay is affecting users who paid for the one-time option at purchase, as well as those who are on the newer subscription-based plans. The outage doesn’t seem to be affecting all BMW owners, but reports on Reddit and Twitter suggest that a fair number of owners are affected.

More than anything, this sort of outage further shows why locking CarPlay being subscription services and other options can be problematic. Cars that simply keep CarPlay completely local couldn’t suffer from this type of outage, which shows the benefits of those type of implementations.

BMW CarPlay and ConnectedDrive outage tweets:

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