If you needed any further signs that the ongoing chip shortage was causing issues for just about everybody, BMW’s waving the neon display you need. The company has confirmed that it is temporarily removing touchscreen functionality from certain models, due to the shortage.
BMW joins the “party”
The news that BMW was yanking touchscreens from some of its vehicles first turned up on the Bimmerfest forum, before being confirmed by the company to Autoblog. The German automaker joins the likes of Nintendo, Intel, and others who have taken steps to mitigate the fallout of the current semiconductor shortage.
If you’re considering purchasing a new luxury vehicle, you should probably know which specific models are affected — the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series (the Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe models), X5, X6, X7, and Z4 are all set to have their touchscreen access revoked for a time.
Obviously, the company isn’t disabling touchscreens in models that already have them. But new models are set to be limited to just the iDrive controls located on the centre console. There will be no simple prodding the display, at least for a time.
A spokesperson said, “As you know, the global chip shortage is ongoing and impacting automakers worldwide. We are actively managing the situation and are in close contact with our suppliers. We do not have any further detail to share at this time.”
BMW models without touchscreens will start turning up in showrooms fairly soon. Overseas, the company is offering credits of $500 (about R7,500) to owners who pick up an affected vehicle, for “Deletion of Touchscreen.” When you consider just how much these cars cost, at least here in South Africa, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of compensation that many drivers already take for granted.