An absurd situation happened in Seattle, USA. In some Mazda vehicles from 2014 to 2017 model years, regular media systems failed. The cause of the breakdowns was the broadcast of a local radio station.
The problem started on January 30th with vehicles that had their media systems tuned to ?KUOW 94.9. At some point during the day’s broadcast, a signal from KUOW caused Mazda’s infotainment systems to malfunction – the screens went black and the radios stuck at 94.9 FM, Arstechnica reported.
After a restart, affected media systems are in a reboot loop. When the affected owners took their vehicles to local Mazda dealers for inspection, they were told that the Connectivity Master Unit (CMU) was not working and needed to be replaced. Such devices cost about 1.5 thousand dollars and finding them on sale now is not just because of the shortage of semiconductors.
According to Mazda, the problem was that the radio station was sending out image files in its HD radio stream that had no extensions. Media systems could not recognize them, tried to decode them, stumbled upon a software error and “frozen”.
Xperi, the developer of HD radio technology, says it’s aware of the issue, but has yet to offer a solution. Mazda, in turn, sent instructions to dealers in case of such requests from customers. Affected media devices should be replaced under warranty.