Ford Promises CarPlay – Fails to Deliver

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When Ford announced CarPlay in the 2016 F-150 – it wasn’t quite ready for prime time, but they sure spent alot of time talking about it, and marketing the idea to get customers to purchase trucks from them.   For the record – I am one of those people, so this might come off a little ranty.

Demos hit YouTube as early as Jan of 2016 with a demo of how Sync 3 with Apple Car Play would work.

The statement from Ford was clear – announced on the show floor at CES 2016 in January 2016.   Ford even demonstreated Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

In Ford’s own marketing document they state “future, over-the-air updates via Wi-Fi will help ensure it keeps up with the latest technology”    – but to date there has only been a single update from 1.0 to 1.01 – and that required a dealer visit.   The 2.0 update which is purported to provide Apple Car Play and Android Auto support – will again require a dealer visit we are told.   More broken promises.

“In North America, Ford is making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available on all 2017  vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, starting with the all-new Ford Escape. Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3 will have an opportunity to upgrade later in the year”  – A statement that was actually revised.

Sales people – including the ones that sold me my Ford F-150 promised the upgrade by “end of summer”   Ford is now shipping 2016 F-150’s (same model year as mine) with Ford Sync 3 Version 2.0 – with Apple Car Play and Android Auto enabled.   So they seem to be more interested in delivering new cars to new customers – and forgetting about the promises they have already made to customers.   All of that text related to “end of summer” has now been changed to “end of year”

Sources also tell us that a hardware upgrade with a cost of $50-$300 (unsure of cost of the part, and labor) will also be required, it seems the USB Hub unit in the vehicle doesn’t work with Car Play and will require replacement (Android Auto users are fine) – a cost that sales people did not disclose to buyers.

Social media marketing teams from Ford operate accounts on various forums – including under the name “FordIVTeam” “Ford In Vehicle Technology Team” but have since clammed up on the issue, with many owners mad they were sold promises that Ford did not deliver.   That social media account continues to point people to a website that basically teases the consumer about all the features they are not getting – but paid for.

It would seem Ford used the flashy lasso of cool technology to rope in a lot of buyers – unfortunately the failure to deliver may result in unhappy consumers – but I guess they already got our money.



39 thoughts on “Ford Promises CarPlay – Fails to Deliver

  1. 2016 Expedition owner. Almost bought a 2015 a year earlier, but waited when I heard about Sync3 and carplay. Now… very frustrated. I should have waited another year.


  2. This is such a pooper! I am just like you – bought 2016 F150 and have been hearing “end of the year” on the update. Riiiiiight….


  3. Right there with ya, in my new F-150 Lariat – So frustrate! To make matters even worse my Sirius XM Traffic doesn’t work either….it’s a “known problem” that Ford is working (yea right) and hope to have resolved soon. Went to friends house today and hooked up his Samsung S6 to check out Android Auto……I’m now shopping for a new phone! The Android Auto with good maps was beautiful.

    My dealer, who has been great, promises to make it right…..we will see…as their hands are pretty much tied by Ford Engineering.

    This is my first Ford truck (long time GM guy) and one of the reasons I purchased this vehicle was for the technology. I’m learning however it’s was all smoke and mirrors.

    Thanks for the article.


  4. Well I bought a F150 in August wanting CarPlay and I was told that it would be available in a couple of weeks. R I G H T! What we need to do is get a class action suit against Ford for false advertising. My son is a lawyer and I am seriously thinking about filing a suit against them out of principle. I surely was not told that I had to have a hardware upgrade that is going to cost a couple of hundred dollars! I bet if the truth were to be known Apple is a big part of the problem. I will go to a Android phone in the future, as I have had it with Apple products. Heard today that the software was available to upgrade from V1.0 to 3.2 but I have not been able to locate it.


    • If you do let me know. I have spent hours on the phone, even had a regional CSM call me back and tell me they can do nothing for me. She did say I would have to pay for the upgrade, but they have no idea when it will be ready. I told her it sounded like a little bait and switch to me. You sold me a vehicle, had me upgrade the vehicle to get the ecoboost over the regular V-6 to get the Sync 3 and the apple carplay. The sales team knew we wanted something that would work with maps since this was for our 16 year old. 7 months later they refuse any type of help or customer service on this issue.


    • Hey, I’m with you we should get a class action law suit against these crooks. When I purchase my f150 the sales person pushed the apple car play feature big time. He told me in a couple of months that I would have the feature. 16 months later I am now able to get what I was promised from the get go and what I had paid for. But now they want me to pay for the NSB port and insulation. I can’t comprehend the BS. I was and paid for something I was already promised. Talk about robbery. This may be the last ford I ever purchase.


  5. Thanks for the article. Got my F150 Lariat in September. Only reason I got a Ford was because Android Auto was promised. First it was going to be available by the end of the summer and then by the end of the year. Well, it’s December 21 and I keep waiting… Customer service is no help. If you start a class action lawsuit, please let me know. I wish I could get my money back and get a different vehicle.


    • Looks like people on F-150 Forum are starting to discuss that, while the update is out in the wild for people who are willing to do it themselves the official update still is not out.


  6. Got an F-150 in July being told update is in the works and should be out very soon. Even called Ford Canada to varify and was told the same. Still looking through forms for info since Ford don’t have the balls to keep us update on their website..


      • May I offer my own analysis? Take this for what it’s worth. Large corporations enable the production of some pretty amazing products. Rarely perfect, though as they are always balancing their marketing efforts with profitability. As companies grow larger they develop a “combative and isolated” relationship with their customers. The latter part is due in no small part to the customers willingness to “pound” them in social media, and even the legal system.

        As one who is caught in the middle of this (2016 Expedition owner), I have also had the mis-fortune of having the entire Sync 3 system go down, and now it will need to be replaced. (Will they replace it with an updated system? I have no idea.) I have been plenty upset by all of this as well. Indeed, I have let it get me more upset than I should have.

        In case you haven’t noticed, the market place is “progressing” towards larger corporations, as the regulatory state becomes ever-more burdensome, resulting in fewer competitive startups. In some industries it is much more pronounced (telcom), as there are only 2 or 3 large “competitors”, and in some cases only one. I work for a large corporation, and I can report that every decision, both internal and external, are weighed down with a blanket of legal liability protection. The relationship between buyer and seller should open where both parties are pursuing their self-interest, but also interested in an ongoing relationship.

        This situation is largely not Ford’s issue. I say that wincingly as I think they could have made better decisions. This is an issue of (very) poor communication. Promises made by third parties (dealerships) who are interested in making a sale, even at the possible burning a customer. Ford should be more forthcoming to consumers about what it’s real intentions are, but they are forced into protective silence because local laws and ordinances force them to work through third party dealerships. Notice that large companies like Apple and Tesla who deal directly with their customers have vastly higher costumer satisfaction ratings.

        I think most of us would not be as upset if Ford came out and said:

        “We are sorry that our dealerships gave the impression that early model year cars and trucks equipped with Sync 3 would be updated with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. While we are working diligently to provide this update, we don’t have a date yet at which we know if will be available. If you are one of the affected customers, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer relations team.”

        So what can we do? I would suggest (and I am preaching to myself here) the following:

        1. Be respectful. Angry tones put folks on the defensive.
        2. Don’t threaten lawsuits. This also puts corps on the defensive, and in the end will make their products less innovative.
        3. Don’t vote for politicians that support ridiculous laws.


      • Correction, that was a $60k truck. Jim Clark – you are incorrect. I called the Ford consumer line BEFORE I purchased my truck in late January 2016 and Ford corporate confirmed what the dealer told me, which was update in the spring. In June I called Ford again and Ford corporate told me in the Fall. I called Ford corporate again in November only to be told “we have no date at this time” Total BS.


  7. Same with me, I just purchased the 2016 F150, 23 Jan 17, I was told I’d be able to use my iPhone 5S and connect via a USB to CarPlay. When I called in to report it wasn’t working, I was informed it wasn’t yet available for the 2016 but an upgrade was coming…. but they didn’t know when, nor if it was going to cost. The new sales person may not have known, but the dealership surely would have. I’m not impressed

    So cantechit, I’m encouraged by what you are saying if I understand you correctly. Thanks for the post. Can we order the part and install it ourselves? On a side matter, and maybe it’s not, but I find it quite difficult to connect my USB plugs into the F150 terminals. I have to fiddle quite a bit to get it to pop in.

    My backlight on the USBs is white. Are you saying then that I should order the ‘white one’. Given that I have just purchased the truck, do you know if the software is installed and I just need the terminal (jack) you speak of?

    I’m a little lost here. If it’s that simple, why are the dealers not being instructed to do the install?

    I need some clarity please, much appreciated


    • Has anyone actually installed one of these themselves? The part is $63.43 from but it is hard to tell from the tiny diagram just want it is that you are getting and where it goes.


      • There are some clear videos on YouTube it is very simple a child could do it. flattop screwdriver and two connectors to unplug/plug in, don’t drop them…lol and ensure you have the new sync software update done first.


  8. 2016 Mustang with Sync 3 purchased in July. Salesman said update was coming out in a month. I have spoken four times with support and all they keep saying is, the update is coming. Just finished an online chat and the same result. Very frustrated with Ford right now. If they cant keep promises, I think ill take my business elsewhere for my next purchase.


  9. Ford scammed us AGAIN. There war no shame in what they did. Class Action suit please. Bait and Switch.
    I had a 2003 with their SYNC 2 which COULD not be updated?? It was a Ford MyTouch, Premium!
    However anyone else with the lesser SYNC without FMT was able to add Apps! WTF?
    So finally I get a 2016 and I am promised APPS and Apple Play. That was last January!!!! They fed us BS that it would come out Summer 2016 and then “later in the year” and no it’s a “bootleg” update that was clearly leaked out???
    Obvious they wanted everyone to buy a 2017 and NO loyalty to their customers. My last 5 trucks were Ford.
    I am disgusted. Ford has been completely UNAMERICAN!!!
    Please Class Action suit!!! Shame on you Ford. Shame on you!


  10. After Ford failed to deliver for a year now on the 2016 Ford Flex with Sync 3, our answer – when it was time to trade the other card in – was to buy a Mercedes Benz GLS 450 which has CarPlay built in.

    We learned out lesson with the Flex. Don’t trust Ford….we’ll keep waiting on the CarPlay upgrade from Ford, but the longer they go, the less likely we’ll trade the 2016 Flex (or MB for that matter) on another Ford.

    Ford is great at losing customers with BS like this.


  11. It’s now April 21, 2017 and Ford support still says they have no estimate for when the update will be released. Absolutely ridiculous. I seriously hope someone starts a class action lawsuit over this. We all bought these vehicles with the promise that this would be delivered in ‘Summer 2016’. The update is nearly a year overdue!!!


    • I now have carplay/aa in my 2016 Expedition. Version 2.0 of Sync 3 software. First, how I got it: My Sync 3 computer (APIM) completely failed. The unit was replaced under warranty, and it came installed with V2.0. It was an ordeal with getting this replaced. The first replacement took a week to get the part, but was relatively quick to install, and they called me same day. I picked up my truck and noticed it had version 2.0. Carplay didn’t work since I didn’t have the replacement USB hub. By the time I got home, I could see that many functions in the car didn’t work right. No steering wheel controls or rear seat climate system. After going through all the settings, I could see that my Sync 3 computer was configured for a Ford C-Max Hybrid! The dealer did not bother with checking if the unit was correct before giving me my truck back. I returned, with the vehicle and they re-ordered the part and I waited another week. When they installed the second one, they checked and it was the same problem. I picked up the truck, and then spent the next 3 weeks calling Ford Customer Relations and the Ford dealership regarding this issue. Eventually, they figured out that they (FMC) had been sending the incorrect programming codes to the dealership for my VIN #. After properly programming the APIM, it now works as it should. During this time, I ordered, received and installed the Carplay compatible USB hub. Carplay now works.

      Now, after all my bellyaching about not having Carplay in my Ford, I stopped using it. Before I tell you why, let me tell you what I liked about it. Simple, uses my 8″ touch screen, better integration with Phone, and text message system. Now, why I abandoned it, and returned to using my phone Bluetooth-linked to Sync 3:

      1. Once carplay is activated, whatever app is active on the car screen is active on the phone. You can activate another app which is not Carplay supported on the phone, but only the icons are then visible on the car screen. I have my phone mounted in the car next to the Sync 3 screen, and I went from having two functional screens (actually three, read on) to one. Nav on one, music on the other, or vice-versa. Carplay removes that.
      2. Ford’s own apps for navigation and phone are disabled with Carplay/AA.
      3. There is an increased delay in going from engine start to functional system with Carplay. If only using Sync 3, when I start my car, Sync is booted and operational within 20-30 seconds, and music will begin streaming from my phone. I can interact with my phone while this is happening. Plug the phone in, and now you will need to wait an additional 30-60 seconds after Sync 3 is up (and now blaring radio noise at you) for Carplay to startup and become functional.
      4. When the Carplay screen is up, you no longer have the display of the outside air temperature, or the climate settings. This means you cannot even see what the climate system is set at, even while changing it! You must return to the Sync 3 screen (two taps) to see that.
      5. The display on the right of the speedo which shows either “Entertainment”, “Navigation”, or “Phone” does not work right with Carplay enabled. In Entertainment mode it will intermittently show you the track info, but the time counter will always display “0:00”. In Navigation it works like it normally does if you are not using Ford Nav. The Phone mode doesn’t work at all. Meaning, you can’t use it to initiate a phone call, and during a phone call, it does nothing.
      6. I have a large music library that I manage with the star-rating system (*****) in iTunes, and on my phone. Apple initially took this away on IOS 10, but brought it back reluctantly (after consumer outrage), in a poorly conceived way, obviously as a concession to those who were upset about it. Carplay, of course has no integration with it, so if you want to rate a song in the car, you have to resort to you phone. Which you can still do, but isn’t the point of carplay to NOT interact with your phone?
      7. Carplay is a sad disappointment to me right now. In practice, it is a stripped down version of your phone. Why would I want that? I do want a way to interact with my phone in a simpler and safer way in the car, but Carplay’s current solution is to remove support for apps, and restrict the interaction, and displayed information with others. This has the result of the user interacting more with this system. This is more dangerous in my opinion.

      Any and all of these things can be corrected with updates to either Sync 3 or Carplay. Carplay will evolve faster than Sync 3 obviously. I will continue to check for both of those. While I am on that topic, let me recommend that you don’t wait for Ford’s “over the air” update, it appears folks are downloading the update and installing it via usb.

      In my opinion, the key to reducing distracted driving is not to remove the ability of users to interact with their phones, but rather to provide less distracting ways of doing what they already do. Drivers will still do what they need to do, the technology should serve the user and not attempt to restrict them. The result is the opposite of what you want. Voice interaction is ok, but very limited as anyone with a family in the car can attest. Designing a system that presents more information to the driver without their interaction is required. In a Ford, this is actually made worse while using Carplay/AA. Apple and car makers will need to collaborate more on this. What they have now is a start, but going in the wrong direction.

      Since this post has gone on much longer than I initially thought I will end it here.


  12. Cantechit – Any idea where to find the software update? I’ve been looking around through forums, but still can’t locate the update. I use android so from what I understand it should work without the hub – thank you!!


  13. The official v2.2 update just got posted to my page. FINALLY. Almost a year late. Hopefully the update works.

    Either way, Ford has already lost all of my future business because of this. Zero communication on this issue and a blatant bait and switch. I still hope they get hit with a class action lawsuit.


  14. My local dealer just installed the USB module and Car Play upgrade in my 2016 F150 on 5/9/2017. The support team (rip off artists?) weren’t aware the upgrade was available, but I asked them to check since the parts were available online. The install cost me $360 (in the Washington, DC area), including a completely unnecessary $40 recycling fee. It’s not worth half that money, folks! I use Waze instead of Apple Maps (because it had better traffic information) and that’s the only thing I want/need the screen to display. Bluetooth works just fine for everything else, maybe even better since the phone doesn’t have to be tethered to the dash.

    I wanted Apple CarPlay capabilities because I was told it would be available via upgrade. Like others, I spent too much to get an incomplete product. I also believed CarPlay would change the way I use mobile devices in my truck. Now that I have it, I’ll probably stick with Bluetooth until CarPlay matures.


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