Originally Posted by Yinzer
I know that you are probably much younger than me, and apparently work in the IT field (I'm a civil engineer) but I find that there is something absolutely utterly insane with the way we have allowed businesses to sell us mechanical devices whereby they can be rendered utterly inoperable due to a software error.
Yes, I understand the need for digital electronic IC engine controls so an engine can operate at the perfect state of tune (ignition timing, exact stoichiometric A/F ratio) in order to meet stringent emission requirements. but what kind or economic insanity has allowed to to accept manufacturers giving us cars where the mere act of unlocking a door or turning on a headlight is tied to a device that can render the car inoperable if it fails?
I mean, all they have to do is design the device well and properly train their techs on that device and there shouldn't be many nasty surprises like this.
MB/smart isn't the only one being ridiculous like this. My girlfriend's Honda Civic has a built-in navigation system. A sharp eye will take note that the system is literally just an Android tablet with a Honda skin on it. Well, while troubleshooting why Android Auto wasn't working by resetting the unit, it managed to freeze. Buttons weren't working, the screen was flickering. It was essentially bricked.
Honda suggests replacing the whole unit to the tune of $1+k.
Then I remembered that the thing is just an Android tablet, and it probably just needs to be restarted. Since the buttons don't work and there isn't a battery to run dead, I checked the fuses up front, pulled the one for the system, then put it back in. Headunit rebooted and had no further issues.
Our original problem turned out to be bad USB ports on our phones, but it could have gotten far more expensive if Honda got involved.