BMW removes touchscreen functionality from some new cars due to chip shortage

Customers will get a $500 credit for the inconvenience.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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2019 BMW 330i xDrive
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2019 BMW 330i xDrive

The BMW 3 Series is affected by this issue.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The global chip shortage will soon cause a number of new BMWs to lose their touchscreen functionality. According to a recent Bimmerfest forum post, in an effort to save silicon and have BMW maintain its current production levels, the following models will be delivered to customers without touchscreen capabilities:

"This measure is a result of the industry-wide supply chain issues which are affecting automotive manufacturing worldwide and causing limitations on the availability of some features or options," BMW told Edmunds on Thursday. BMW did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.

According to Bimmerfest, customers affected by this change will have option code 6UY on their vehicles' window stickers, listed as "deletion of touchscreen." This will result in a $500 credit on the car's MSRP.

Bimmerfest notes that, aside from the touchscreen, everything else in the iDrive infotainment system will work as usual, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Customers will have to operate iDrive through voice commands or via the control knob on the center console.

Additionally, Bimmerfest reports that vehicles equipped with the Parking Assistant Package will lose the functionality of BMW's Backup Assistant. This technology can remember the last several hundred feet of your journey -- say while pulling into a difficult driveway or garage -- and steer the car automatically to help you back out, while you work the throttle and brake.

It's unclear how long these BMW models will be affected by the chip shortage or if other cars will be added to the no-touchscreen list in the future.

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