As originally revealed by Bimmerfest (and since confirmed by BMW USA to outlets including Autoblog) this is all thanks to the dreaded chip shortage which has blighted countless industries including automotive. To maintain production levels as they are now, touchscreen functionality is for the chop on these models:
A BMW USA spokesperson said:
“As you know, the global chip shortage is ongoing and impacting automakers worldwide. We are actively managing the situation and are in close contact with our suppliers. We do not have any further detail to share at this time.”
There are issues with certain features in UK-bound BMW products too. Although we haven’t been able to nail down which particular gadgets are being referred to nor the models affected, a BMW UK spokesperson told Car Throttle the following:
Industry-wide supply chain issues are affecting automotive manufacturing worldwide and in some cases causing temporary limitations on the availability of some features or options. BMW retailers in the UK are in direct communication with customers to discuss their options if this impacts any existing orders.
On the face of it, perhaps the touchscreen side of the issue isn’t such a big deal. They aren’t the easiest things to use on the move, and the iDrive system with its weirdly satisfying rotary controller is so good, we don’t tend to bother prodding the display with our greasy fingers when testing BMW models. Plus, according to Bimmerfest, customers will be offered $500 credit to make up for the missing feature.
Any US buyers happy to accept this can select the option code ‘6UY’. This also deletes the ‘Backup Assistant’ on cars with the ‘Parking Assistant Package’.