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Faulty Subaru Head Unit? (2016 Outback)

Spouse and I bought a pre-owned 2016 Outback over the summer (4 cylinder, AT, backup camera without Eyesight).

I would appreciate feedback on some glitches I am encountering with the factory head unit, with a secondary question about how to tell what firmware/software it might be running (any way to see if it has had any updates applied from home vs. taking it to the dealer).

Here are the two glitches:

When using turn-by-turn navigation over Bluetooth connection (iPhone) the navigation clips (audio cuts out when switching between HF and the source). When navigation hands off to the source, whatever source happens to be in use at the time (i.e. SiriusXm), will have an overlay on it stating “call ended”, with the last dialed number displayed on the screen.

If I am driving without the use of phone-based navigation — but have made any earlier use of the phone to place a call — I can’t hit the “Phone” button on the head unit without it functioning like a redial button. If no recent calls have been placed, it will behave normally (phone contacts and speed dial menus will appear). However, if I place a hands-free call while driving, it attempts to automatically redial after I hang up — if I touch the button labeled “Phone” on the head unit.

The battery has been disconnected and the phones paired, removed and re-paired with no improvement. Is this a known issue and if so does it sound like it is a glitch in the software/firmware — or might it be a hardware problem with the factory head unit?

Thank you for your replies — and Happy Holidays, Car Talk community!

Yeah it has a glitch. There is a software fix for it but unless you are still under warranty, the dealer will charge around $150 to put it in. Your warranty is 5 years, 60k miles, but that may be just for the powertrain. This might come under the bumper to bumper 36/36 warranty so you would not be covered.

If you have a few skills and a little patience, you can download the fix from, save it to a USB stick and then follow the directions to install it in the head unit. You plug the USB stick into the iPod port.

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It could easily be a problem with your phone, either hardware or software. Or a glitch caused by differing Bluetooth versions on the phone and the head unit. That’s not supposed to happen, but it does.

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