Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

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Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby teacher » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:56 am

I like products from Honda and Apple very much, but I found out the hard way, they can be incompatible. I purchased a 2012 Honda CR-V in June and my iPhone G3 worked perfectly with the blue tooth connection. I replaced the G3 with the iPhone 5, and now I have no blue-tooth connection. Here's the runaround:

• The Honda dealer service manager referred me to Handsfreelink, which are responsible for the hands-free control module in the car. They claim they have advised Apple of the disconnect problem and they are waiting for a firmware fix from Apple. I waited too....about a month. I called Handsfreelink again yesterday, and was told their engineers are still waiting for Apple's firmware fix.
• I called Apple and was told they are not responsible for providing software for other's products. That made sense to me, so I called Handsfreelink again. In conversation, I was told the module is "not rewritable". I thought to myself, if it is not rewritable, why would they be waiting for Apple to adjust their firmware? Handsfreelink said other cell phone companies have changed their phone software to resolve incompatibility.
• So I called the Honda dealer service manager and told them I was unhappy because they installed a devise that is not rewritable, lending it to obsolescence as technology advances. I said I wanted a module installed that would work with current technology. I pointed out the Handsfreelink website indicates even the module in the 2013 Honda CR-V is not compatible with the iPhone 5. His response was that many people are unhappy with the iPhone 5 (I'm not) and that replacement of the blue-tooth module for one that is compatible can't be done, but he would check with someone in Honda about the matter.

My next step is to contact Honda complaint division, if there is one, to point out they are selling a feature on their 2012 and 2013 CR-Vs that is built for immediate obsolescence because phone technology changes so quickly. My guess is, I am not alone, because if the Handsfreelink website indicates all customers with iPhone 5s buying new Honda CR-V 2012 and 2013 have the same issue. I feel I paid for a feature which worked on the older iPhone, but became inoperable with the new iPhone due to lack of foresight on the part of Honda to install a "rewritable module". But I wonder if Apple is ignoring a situation they can resolve since Handsfreelink says other cell companies have created a patch to fix the problem.

My questions are, am I totally off-base as to who is culpable, and have I done all that can be done to get resolution? Any ideas out there is Boglehead Land?
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Ducks » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:02 pm

You might try the steps outlined here:
http://hints.binaryage.com/iphone-5-blu ... t-working/

However, it's ridiculous that they would design a closed system like that.
Last edited by Ducks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Random Poster » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:06 pm

teacher wrote:My next step is to contact Honda complaint division, if there is one, to point out they are selling a feature on their 2012 and 2013 CR-Vs that is built for immediate obsolescence . . .


Well, isn't that sorta the intention of all car manufacturers?

teacher wrote:I feel I paid for a feature which worked on the older iPhone, but became inoperable with the new iPhone due to lack of foresight on the part of Honda to install a "rewritable module".


So how much foresight do you expect Honda (or any other company) to have when it comes to compatability with another company's products, and for how long should this foresight extend?
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby rangersuck » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:11 pm

Save yourself the headache. Get rid of the Honda OEM radio and get a aftermarket one with Bluetooth. Your sound will improve even with the stock speakers and you will regain bluetooth compatibility. Aftermarket stereo manufactures seem to provide more usual firmware updates.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Leesbro63 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:19 pm

I honestly would file a Lemon Law complaint. I get it that this isn't a matter of the vehicle being disabled. But you could make the argument that it is about safety and that expecting the latest Honda to be compatible with the latest IPhone is just common sense. I agree with you; this is not a "shrug off" issue. Be aggressive.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby dpc » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:49 pm

I have a 2012 Honda Pilot - my 3G Iphone works just OK with it, but I have noted that when I have rented cheap compact Toyotas and Nissans in the past year when traveling on business, their Bluetooth worked much better than Honda's with the iPhone, especially when using to play music. Keep us posted if you get any satisfaction from Honda or anyone else on this. I guess I'll wait a little longer to get a new phone. Or maybe switch to an Android phone.

Honda seems to be lagging on the electronic/digital side of their vehicles. I thought this might be getting resolved for the 2013s, but doesn't sound like it.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Firam » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:05 pm

Technology changes, you can't plan for every contingency. While it probably isn’t good practice to install modules that can’t have their firmware updated, I don’t believe that it is their fault. It worked with the current generation of iPhone at the time, so unless they promised future compatibility/support, you don't have a solid reason to complain.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby bottlecap » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:47 pm

Go aftermarket. Problem solved.

Don't file lemon law complaint over an accessory that works, but is simply incompatible. It might also be fatal that your car was designed and/or manufactured before the iPhone 5 was released :oops: .

This is modern annoyance, not the end of the world.

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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Mudpuppy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:29 pm

It's not that technology changes. It's that certain companies (aka Apple) don't follow the backwards compatibility methods outlined in the newer protocols. This issue is squarely on Apple's shoulders. They're the ones that decided to stop being backwards compatible with the well-established Bluetooth v2.1 protocol, which is only 5 years old. And there was absolutely no technical reason for this, since the Bluetooth v4 specification includes backwards compatibility with older protocols. Apple just decided to thumb their noses at that.

You ask me, it was a money grab by Apple to make people have to buy all new accessories (which is rather difficult when your "accessory" is a car), just like changing the connector on the iPhone 5 makes everyone at least have to buy adapters, if not all new accessories. Your complaint is with Apple, for not following the very WELL-ESTABLISHED practice of backwards compatibility.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Leesbro63 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:02 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:It's not that technology changes. It's that certain companies (aka Apple) don't follow the backwards compatibility methods outlined in the newer protocols. This issue is squarely on Apple's shoulders. They're the ones that decided to stop being backwards compatible with the well-established Bluetooth v2.1 protocol, which is only 5 years old. And there was absolutely no technical reason for this, since the Bluetooth v4 specification includes backwards compatibility with older protocols. Apple just decided to thumb their noses at that.

You ask me, it was a money grab by Apple to make people have to buy all new accessories (which is rather difficult when your "accessory" is a car), just like changing the connector on the iPhone 5 makes everyone at least have to buy adapters, if not all new accessories. Your complaint is with Apple, for not following the very WELL-ESTABLISHED practice of backwards compatibility.


I disagree. I don't hear about other car makers having this problem with iPhone5. If they don't but Honda does then Honda needs to come up with a fix. Expecting the latest Honda to work with the latest iPhone and vice versa, when other cars do, is not an unreasonable expectation.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Elemental » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:09 pm

After reading this thread, I checked on the 2012 Odyssey (purchased in Aug). Both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 work fine (though Honda's HandsFreeLink website still shows no support for the 4S or the 5 for either vehicle). I know that doesn't help you, but maybe there is just something wrong with the way the device is paired..?
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby ted123 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:It's not that technology changes. It's that certain companies (aka Apple) don't follow the backwards compatibility methods outlined in the newer protocols. This issue is squarely on Apple's shoulders. They're the ones that decided to stop being backwards compatible with the well-established Bluetooth v2.1 protocol, which is only 5 years old. And there was absolutely no technical reason for this, since the Bluetooth v4 specification includes backwards compatibility with older protocols. Apple just decided to thumb their noses at that.

You ask me, it was a money grab by Apple to make people have to buy all new accessories (which is rather difficult when your "accessory" is a car), just like changing the connector on the iPhone 5 makes everyone at least have to buy adapters, if not all new accessories. Your complaint is with Apple, for not following the very WELL-ESTABLISHED practice of backwards compatibility.


I disagree. I don't hear about other car makers having this problem with iPhone5. If they don't but Honda does then Honda needs to come up with a fix. Expecting the latest Honda to work with the latest iPhone and vice versa, when other cars do, is not an unreasonable expectation.


Based on a thread in the Apple support forums, it appears that people are having this problem with a wide variety of makes and models, not just Honda.

Edit: In case it's helpful, here's the link. Apparently there's a workaround buried somewhere in this thread that works for some people, but not others.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/43 ... 0&tstart=0
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby linuxuser » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:35 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:It's not that technology changes. It's that certain companies (aka Apple) don't follow the backwards compatibility methods outlined in the newer protocols. This issue is squarely on Apple's shoulders. They're the ones that decided to stop being backwards compatible with the well-established Bluetooth v2.1 protocol, which is only 5 years old. And there was absolutely no technical reason for this, since the Bluetooth v4 specification includes backwards compatibility with older protocols. Apple just decided to thumb their noses at that.

You ask me, it was a money grab by Apple to make people have to buy all new accessories (which is rather difficult when your "accessory" is a car), just like changing the connector on the iPhone 5 makes everyone at least have to buy adapters, if not all new accessories. Your complaint is with Apple, for not following the very WELL-ESTABLISHED practice of backwards compatibility.


I disagree. I don't hear about other car makers having this problem with iPhone5. If they don't but Honda does then Honda needs to come up with a fix. Expecting the latest Honda to work with the latest iPhone and vice versa, when other cars do, is not an unreasonable expectation.


That does not make any sense.
When the car was manufactured back in June 2012 and most likely designed in 2011, the iPhone 5 wasn't even out yet.
How do you design compatibility with something that does not exist????
You must have it out for Honda or something.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Leesbro63 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:39 pm

I love Hondas. Bot my daughter one. Just sayin' that if this is a problem unique to Honda, it's not unreasonable for a customer to demand a fix.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Elemental » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:50 pm

It is reasonable to expect both Apple and Honda to implement the bluetooth spec correctly. Since bluetooth 4.0 is backward compatible with earlier versions, it seems like it should just work. However, I'm not equipped to determine which manufacturer apparently failed.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby linuxuser » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:59 pm

axtec wrote:It is reasonable to expect both Apple and Honda to implement the bluetooth spec correctly. Since bluetooth 4.0 is backward compatible with earlier versions, it seems like it should just work. However, I'm not equipped to determine which manufacturer apparently failed.


Honda implemented it correctly because it works with the OP's iPhone 3G.

This isn't the first time that something new wasn't as completely backwards compatible as it should be.
The onus is on the new product the iPhone 5 to be backwards compatible.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Mudpuppy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:21 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:It's not that technology changes. It's that certain companies (aka Apple) don't follow the backwards compatibility methods outlined in the newer protocols. This issue is squarely on Apple's shoulders. They're the ones that decided to stop being backwards compatible with the well-established Bluetooth v2.1 protocol, which is only 5 years old. And there was absolutely no technical reason for this, since the Bluetooth v4 specification includes backwards compatibility with older protocols. Apple just decided to thumb their noses at that.

You ask me, it was a money grab by Apple to make people have to buy all new accessories (which is rather difficult when your "accessory" is a car), just like changing the connector on the iPhone 5 makes everyone at least have to buy adapters, if not all new accessories. Your complaint is with Apple, for not following the very WELL-ESTABLISHED practice of backwards compatibility.


I disagree. I don't hear about other car makers having this problem with iPhone5. If they don't but Honda does then Honda needs to come up with a fix. Expecting the latest Honda to work with the latest iPhone and vice versa, when other cars do, is not an unreasonable expectation.

Then you aren't looking closely enough. There are numerous reports of the iPhone 5 Bluetooth stack being unable to connect to a variety of Bluetooth 2.1 devices ranging from a myriad of cars to very popular models of Bluetooth headsets. It is a problem with the iPhone 5... LMGTFY: http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+5 ... ot+connect
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby JamesSFO » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:45 pm

FWIW, we have the Honda CR-V 2012 and iPhones 4, 4S, and 5 paired to it without problems. My old 4 was sometimes dropping out and reconnecting, but overall worked, ironically the 4 seemed to work BETTER when I used bluetooth audio to it non-stop in between phone calls.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby teacher » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:27 am

Ducks wrote:
You might try the steps outlined here:
http://hints.binaryage.com/iphone-5-blu ... t-working/

Your link says a new receiver may be the ticket. A last resort, but at least an option. But how would I know which receiver would work with the iPhone 5? I wouldn't know where to start selecting a new receiver.

Random Poster wrote:
So how much foresight do you expect Honda (or any other company) to have when it comes to compatability with another company's products, and for how long should this foresight extend?


My thought was since the problem is with the 2013 CR-V as well as the 2012 model, Apple is not interested in fixing a connection problem for cars designed in future any more than those designed just before the iPhone 5 came on the market. It’s not a matter of Apple’s lack of foresight.

I wonder if Honda is forthright with potential customers regarding this issue. I would not be happy buying a car with the standard Bluetooth feature knowing that it does not connect with my phone.

dpc wrote:
Keep us posted if you get any satisfaction from Honda or anyone else on this.


I will let you know if anything transpires. I called Handsfreelink again this afternoon and talked to another person who was surprised Apple would say they are not working on a fix. He said Apple addressed a problem with the iPhone G4, so he believed Apple would address the iPhone 5 problem. But the G4 problem had to do with contacts, not connection. Contacts is a definitive phone issue, so it is certain Apple would need to address that problem. At least this time, the rep at Handsfreelink stated he would be in touch regarding any updates via email or phone. I will pass along any info I get.

Ted123 wrote:
In case it's helpful, here's the link. Apparently there's a workaround buried somewhere in this thread that works for some people, but not others.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/43 ... 0&tstart=0


I will definitely check this out. But both Apple and Handsfreelink admit there is a problem with connection. They just can’t agree who should fix it.

Mudpuppy wrote:
There are numerous reports of the iPhone 5 Bluetooth stack being unable to connect to a variety of Bluetooth 2.1 devices ranging from a myriad of cars to very popular models of Bluetooth headsets. It is a problem with the iPhone 5... LMGTFY: http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+5 ... ot+connect


You are correct. This is why I think I’m at a dead end.

Thanks for everyone’s response.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby tfb » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:15 am

I agree Apple should take the blame here. They decided to break backward compatibility.
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby Ducks » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:17 am

teacher wrote:Ducks wrote:
You might try the steps outlined here:
http://hints.binaryage.com/iphone-5-blu ... t-working/

Your link says a new receiver may be the ticket. A last resort, but at least an option. But how would I know which receiver would work with the iPhone 5? I wouldn't know where to start selecting a new receiver.

Well, I would start by looking up "Car Audio" in your local yellow pages and meet with a couple of those guys and see what they can do for you.

You'll get this thing fixed, but it might cost you a few hundred dollars.

The only reason I know anything about this is because I'm looking to add bluetooth to my 2006 Subaru Outback. :)
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby teacher » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:10 pm

I thought some may be interested that my son found a solution to the Bluetooth issue, at least temporarily. It is simple. He deleted the old phone profile and reconnected the iPhone 5. It works beautifully. I contacted Handsfreelink, and they said it is a temporary fix and will go back to disconnect after a few calls. I'm still connected after about 5 calls, so I thought it would be worth sharing. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be a permanent fix. :|
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Re: Am I at a dead end? Honda/Apple Conundrum

Postby btenny » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:55 pm

All kinds of things don't work right or break in strange ways when the car companies introduce the latest "nanny" version of cars with tons of electronic gagets. Your problem is just one of many found in all kinds of new cars..... Just wait for these kinds of issues to get worse as we add more and more "software driven electronics" to cars. WAIT until the self driving cars don't find your house or you have to reboot the processor on the freeway when you speed or your car turns left instead of right at some funny named road.......

I hate most of the new car steering wheels. Most car companies got rid of the nice easily adjustable tilt steering wheels back in 2004ish to make sure the air bag could not be pointed up at the head of drivers. This killed the nice easily adjustable tilt steering wheel.

Same thing has happened to fog lights. It seems that the "safety people" decreed day time running lights thus making it a requirement to keep head lights on at all times. So now new cars with fog lights turn on the head lights when the fog lights are turned on. Thus defeating the purpose of fog lights. This is a real BIG issue if you live where they have fog a lot. Dealers have no idea how to rewire cars and not break the warranty.

Or how about the non-adjustable GPS mapping and destination software in the cars. Everyone hates that they cannot change the destination of the GPS while the car is moving even if there is a passenger. Why not? Some safety nanny said so.

Or how about car door interlocks. Most current cars cannot be unlocked from the back seat in various modes and not just in "child mode". My 2006 Lincoln back doors cannot be opened in any way without me double clicking and unlocking the doors specially from the drivers seat... Is that safe?

Or how about not being able to turn off brakes ABS when in bad snow or ice conditions. There are several studies that show brake distance goes very bad in snow and ice with ABS on but most modern sedans do not have a way to turn off the ABS....

Or how about ESC shutting down the car wheel spin when the car encounters ice and this causes the car to be disabled so it cannnot be moved? My lady friend was very mad when she had to call a tow truck to move her Lexus sport car out of her drive way because the ESC shut down the wheel drive because of ice.......

Then we are adding tons of weight to modern cars in the name of safety and killing gas mileage and spending a fortune and creating all kinds of social issues due to this "nanny idea". Most current small car sedans weigh 3500 pounds or more all due to extra steel and air bags and tons of safety stuff. We were making cars that weighed 2000 pounds back in 1970 that were jsut as luxurious and got better mpg than these modern tanks... OH and it still costs $4k to fix a car that is in 5 MPH crash.....

Bah Humbug. We call it a drivers LISCENSE for a reason. People must learn how to drive and be safe before being allowed to drive rather than making everyone drive overpriced "safe cars".........

GRRRRRR....Bill
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