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Your New BMW Might Not Have a Touchscreen

But the iDrive controller will still be there to help you navigate the menus

  • The chip shortage is affecting everyone, even BMW.
  • Your new BMW might come without a touchscreen.
  • Affected customers will receive a $500 credit on their cars.

If you haven’t heard by now, there’s a serious lack of semiconductor microchips in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly every industry, and part of the fallout is a supply chain that can no longer keep up with consumer demand. Automakers have been hit hard, and now BMW is feeling the pinch in a big way.

A recent post on BMW enthusiast forum Bimmerfest stated that, starting this week, some of BMW’s models will come without touchscreen functionality. The infotainment will still work, but customers with affected vehicles won’t be able to touch their screens to navigate iDrive. Instead they will have to rely entirely on the iDrive controller located on the center console to navigate the system.

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

It's almost hard to believe how central touchscreen tech has become to infotainment tech over the last decade, and touchscreens are now fundamental to the way we interact with our cars. Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but in 2021 nearly everything has a touchscreen, so it’s surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the feature from some of its cars. We reached out to BMW for comment and the automaker both confirmed the news and added, "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."

According to the post, the affected vehicles will go into production this week and are as follows:

  • The current 3 Series
  • The current 4 Series Coupe and Convertible
  • The new 4 Series Gran Coupe, but not the i4
  • The current Z4
  • All versions of the current X5, X6 and X7

BMW sells a lot of cars, and that means a lot of customers are going to be affected by the shortage. But used car prices are at record highs, and that makes turning to that market for a working touchscreen even more difficult. The post noted the affected customers will get a $500 credit toward their cars and cars that don’t have touchscreens will have the option code "6UY" noted on their Monroney (that’s the window sticker to you and me).

Edmunds says

Imagine a BMW X7 sitting pretty on the showroom floor and you come to realize this $100,000 behemoth doesn’t come with a touchscreen. Would a $500 credit be enough to convince you to go for it?