Android Auto plagued by random disconnect bug with no fix

Users have reported the issue for over two months without a fix

Android Auto
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Android Auto is suffering from a bug where smartphones randomly lose their connection to the car, causing the Google infotainment system to stop working.

Reported by numerous Android users in Google’s support forums, there currently is no fix. They report how their smartphones disconnect from the vehicle seemingly at random, while Android Auto is in use. Users say the problem is cropping up in various models of phone, and clearing cache or switching to a different USB cable doesn’t resolve the issue.

It has also been found that, while rebooting the phone generally causes the issue to go away for a few hours, random disconnects start again soon after. Over 100 users have signalled that they are suffering from the same issue, according to support forum data.

Google representatives have acknowledged the issue, which was first reported over two months ago, in early-September, but are yet to offer a solution. Instead, they ask Android Auto users who encounter the problem to send a bug report in a bid to diagnose the root cause.

One user posted on Twitter to say the issue has been ongoing for an entire year. Others say it’s a more recent bug, with some speculating that it was introduced on Samsung phones with a software update that arrived in June. Another said Sony handsets are affected too.

One posted this week, saying: “I have the same issue, randomly disconnects, then I get a number of messages about the USB device not being compatible…This has become a safety issue because Android Auto has failed while driving in unfamiliar cities. I can no longer predict if or when it will work.”

It has been speculated by Autoevolution that the bug, or at least the most recent iteration of it, arrived with version 8.5 of Android Auto, which landed at the start of November. Meanwhile, Android Auto users are still waiting for an all-new interface design, codenamed Coolwalk, which Google announced in May and said would arrive in the summer.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.