Google rolls out fix for Android Auto phone call bug, with mixed results

Four months after it was first reported, the issue has been resolved

Android Auto
(Image credit: Google)

Google has fixed an issue with Android Auto where the car infotainment system would fail to make phone calls when asked to.

The problem was first reported on Google’s Android Auto help forums back in June this year, with multiple users saying how it had become impossible to make phone calls by speaking to the Google Assistant.

Although the voice assistant recognised what was being asked of it, and even dug out the correct name and number from the user’s contacts book, the call wouldn’t connect. Over 250 Android users reported having a similar issue.

A Google community specialist posted on 7 October, saying: “We are happy to report that the Assistant team has applied a fix,” and asking users to update the Google app on their phone to version 13.36 or higher.

However, while some users responded to say the bug has been fixed, others haven’t been so fortunate. One said calls via Google Assistant now work again on their Samsung Galaxy S7, but another said the update hasn’t fixed the problem for them.

Another Android Auto user went on to explain how the update has introduced another problem, also preventing them from safely making calls in the car. They explained how, if they fail to get through to someone at first, but then get through at the second time of asking, the call audio reverts to their phone instead of the car. This, they said, is “making it extremely difficult to hold a conversation and very distracting to the driver.”

Another user said they now have the same new problem, adding: “Nothing has worked to fix my Android Auto. I can’t make necessary calls without having to look at my screen or phone.”

Given how many different models of smartphone are expected to work with just as many different vehicles, it perhaps isn’t too surprising to see Android Auto suffer from sporadic issues like that. That said, we hope Google can work on a fix for the latest bug soon.

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.