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JB
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2019 Highlander and was extremely disappointed after driving it for a couple days that I can not get messaging to work properly with my iPhone. After pairing my Bluetooth and going through all the settings per the manual, I got my iphone to connect and work well with entune for most features except for messaging. First, I don't see the iphones texts on the car display (I see no messages) and then if I get a text it pops up on the display and it gets read to me, but I can not do anything to respond. Also, when I try to use the voice activation to create a message, the system tells me that my phone does not support the feature. Checking with the dealership, they told me that the system is working properly, i.e. you can't see all text messages that you have on your phone, only the ones that you get while in the car and beyond listening to the message you can not do anything for safety reasons. I searched this online and found that entune provides a menu of options when you get a text, and when you get in the car you phone text message all appear in the car display. I went back to the dealership and they kept saying that what I got online was wrong, but I asked them to try an Android phone and after they reluctantly did, they found that the Android phone work flawlessly with all messaging features including options to respond via voice activation.

So, the conclusion was that there seems to be a problem with the Highlander iPhone setup that needed to be addressed by Toyota with a software upgrade. To my surprise, the dealership told me that I will have to call a national number for Toyota to let them know of this issue, instead of them taking ownership to resolve with the mother-ship. I got very disappointed and frustrated that a key feature, that is basic in all new cars and is advertised for the 2019 Highlander, is not working and I did not know until I was stuck with the vehicle! This is bad and misleading to the consumer and Toyota should fix this issue as soon as possible.

Has anybody else seen this issue?
 

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To my surprise, the dealership told me that I will have to call a national number for Toyota to let them know of this issue, instead of them taking ownership to resolve with the mother-ship.
Toyota dealers are independent businesses, not owned by Toyota Motor Company (at least in the USA). If a vehicle feature is operating as designed, there is nothing the dealer can do about it. If you have a problem with "how" it is designed, contacting Toyota Motor yourself is going to have more influence on them than what a dealer says to Toyota.

The same is true for anything else you don't like about your vehicle and would like changed in future models. You should contact Toyota Motor Company directly about it, and not the authorized retailer.
 

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More buyer's remorse......when all the guy has to do is go buy an aftermarket head unit and get any feature he wants, just short of a Robert Kraft.
 

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JB
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Discussion Starter #4
Mark, I would agree if the vehicle was advertised to have limited functionality with iPhone, but this is not the case. The messaging feature is not operating as designed or advertised with iPhone - it is working properly with Android phones which means that there is an interoperability issue with the iPhone, and I agree it is the responsibility of Toyota to fix. However, when the dealer sells the vehicle with features that end up not performing as advertised, they are responsible and should own addressing the issue with Toyota. If I knew that this limitation existed in this vehicle I would probably have bought something else.
 

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Mark, I would agree if the vehicle was advertised to have limited functionality with iPhone, but this is not the case. The messaging feature is not operating as designed or advertised with iPhone - it is working properly with Android phones which means that there is an interoperability issue with the iPhone, and I agree it is the responsibility of Toyota to fix. However, when the dealer sells the vehicle with features that end up not performing as advertised, they are responsible and should own addressing the issue with Toyota. If I knew that this limitation existed in this vehicle I would probably have bought something else.
I am not saying it is OK the way it is, but the only thing a dealer can do is replace the part(s) under warranty in an attempt to fix the problem. But apparently it works that way for iPhones on all 2019 HL vehicles, not just yours. So I am saying that the dealer's responsibility it perform warranty service, not to deal with design problems or software problems where there is nothing they can do about it.

That is why it is better to contact Toyota directly about this issue. Make sure you get a case number assigned and keep following up. Also make sure you mention that it works fine for Android and is advertised to work for iPhone.

It is possible that they come back and say it cannot be fixed, and was an advertising error. If that is the case, then you will need to consider your options with Toyota and your lawyer and see what happens. But even if they can fix the problem, it may take time to get the vendor (or Toyota if they wrote the software) to make the necessary changes to the software and distribute updates to dealers.
 

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Have you considered that this may be an iPhone problem and not the Highlander? There seems to have been some significant iPhone issues of late mentioned in the news. Could it be a setting in Carplay settings on the iPhone?

Sent from my Smartphone using Tapatalk
 

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Yes, I have a 2019 Highlander as well and what you have described is accurate. While the ability to respond to messages does not work as it should (doesn’t work at all!), the Mobile Assistant function that calls in Siri works well for responding to messages.
 

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Every car manufacturer's website and brochures contain the following language:

"Manufacturer reserves the right to make changes at any time, without notice or obligation, in colors, specifications, accessories, materials and models."

I agree with the others though. It's more likely an Apple problem than a Toyota problem.
 

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...The messaging feature is not operating as designed or advertised with iPhone...
There's no doubt that there must be some limitation about iPhone that makes it less cooperative with the way Entune is designed. However, this is exactly how Entune, iPhone, and text messaging have worked for years. So I'd say it's working as designed for iPhone, even if it's less-capable than it would be with an Android phone.

I'm afraid I don't see where it's advertised as working a certain way. The Toyota Web site and the brochure both don't even mention text messaging as a feature of the infotainment system, so they certainly don't get into any detail about whether or how you can readback or create messages. I'm sorry if you had some misunderstanding with the salesman or the dealership about how it works. To me, it's no surprise that something works one way with Apple and another way with Android, as that happens with a lot of things. Maybe the person you spoke to was familiar with Android, and unfortunately didn't know that the behavior was different with Apple. I'm an Apple person, so I have no idea how things are different on Android, so I don't expect the Android people to know how Apple works. In the Navigation Manual, in the section about Messaging, it says that "Depending on the phone, these functions may not be available." So while I understand the frustration, I don't see the case for blasting Toyota about any kind of deception or malfunction.

At this point, all you can do is get past it and enjoy other things about your new ride, replace the headunit with an aftermarket system that has CarPlay or other features you're looking for, or really trade in the Highlander for something else right now and take a huge financial hit. If the issue is really between you and the dealership, then maybe they'll work with you to soften the blow of such a quick trade-in.

Hindsight is 20/20 of course... if this feature was that important to you, you should have paired your phone and played with it on the test drive. Ever since Bluetooth calling came out on new cars, the salespeople have always wanted me to pair my phone during the test drive. I always thought that was a tactic to get me more attached to the car and make sure I'd buy it, but now that the phones have so much integration and do more than make phone calls, it's not a bad idea if that integration is one of the main reasons you're buying the car.
 

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Toyota dealers are independent businesses, not owned by Toyota Motor Company (at least in the USA). If a vehicle feature is operating as designed, there is nothing the dealer can do about it.

This is not exactly true. Car dealerships are franchises, which is far from being independent.
Corporate (in this case Toyota), controls most major aspects of the local dealership.

Dealers are essentially the conduit between the customer and the manufacturer, and should help with escalating issues, reporting unknown problems, etc...

The problem here is that dealerships can’t fix software issues, unless Toyota releases a software update, but that does not mean the dealership can’t report the issues to Toyota.

That said, I’m sure fixing a infotainment feature is not going to be of the highest priority for Toyota, as I’m sure they are dealing with reports of much more serious (safety related) issues regularly.

As a result the dealer didn’t want to take ownership of this problem, because then they’d be fielding weekly phone calls wanting updates, and they know, there won’t be any. So they’d rather let corporate (Toyota) deal with it.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Mark, I would agree if the vehicle was advertised to have limited functionality with iPhone, but this is not the case.
Toyota actually does "advertise" that the iPhone has limited compatibility with Entune when it comes to SMS messaging: https://www.toyota.com/connect/#!phone-compatibility/highlander/2019

Toyota has been publishing phone compatibility guides since the first "Toyota" (Lexus LS430) got a Bluetooth system for the 2004 model year when only one phone (Nokia 6310i) was certified to work with it. There have been numerous phones that have had limited or even no compatibility with Toyota/Lexus systems. Apple has been a frequent offender for not supporting all the necessary protocols or departing from industry standards in how protocols are implemented.

Frankly, this is the reason I don't buy iPhones or any Apple products. I've been fighting "the Bluetooth Wars" since 2003 and I have no patience with Apple's corporate "we know better" philosophy. My perception is that it has gotten a little better since the death of Steve Jobs but Apple still has a long way to go.

Unlike me, my wife is not a techie and prefers iPhones like many non-technical people do. I've told her to stop complaining and get an Android phone if she wants to reply to text messages through Entune.
 

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This is not exactly true. Car dealerships are franchises, which is far from being independent.
Corporate (in this case Toyota), controls most major aspects of the local dealership.
I don't think being a franchise it is far from being independent. There are only a limited number of things that Toyota has control over regarding their dealers when it comes to an individual transaction, and dealers are not responsible for poorly designed features so long as they are working as designed by Toyota.

Generally, it is not a good idea to complain to a dealer about poorly designed features of an automobile. I worked for an extremely large technology company as a field representative working directly with customers, and whenever I as an employee contacted our product development team about some feature a customer was complaining to me about, they totally ignored me.

But when a customer contacted the product development department directly, they took immediate interest in the problem and escalated it to their management. This is just the way corporations work.
 

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JB
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Discussion Starter #17
I don't disagree with any of you, I am just surprised and disappointed by Toyota for being behind on technology (versus most other brands that support Carplay and Google at a minimum) and by the dealership sales falsely claiming support for certain features. It was my problem that I did not check before buying the vehicle. We live and learn!
 

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I don't disagree with any of you, I am just surprised and disappointed by Toyota for being behind on technology (versus most other brands that support Carplay and Google at a minimum) and by the dealership sales falsely claiming support for certain features. It was my problem that I did not check before buying the vehicle. We live and learn!
1. It is hard for Toyota (or other auto manufacturers) to make changes to their infotainment systems in the middle of a model generation. When brand new generations comes out, they usually have completely updated and more modern infotainment systems. Toyota relies on vendors for much of that stuff and they typically sign long term contracts for a given model.

2. With regard to what a car salesperson says about the features of a car, I would not trust anything they say. Many of them were selling appliances or something else six months ago. The are not car experts, they are salespersons, and most of them are not that well-educated. They are rarely car-guys (or girls), they have that job because it makes them the most money, and as soon as they find something better they are gone. Besides, anything they say verbally is not enforceable, and must be in writing to have any legal consequences.
 

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I don't think being a franchise it is far from being independent. There are only a limited number of things that Toyota has control over regarding their dealers when it comes to an individual transaction, and dealers are not responsible for poorly designed features so long as they are working as designed by Toyota.

I still disagree; if they were truly independent you’d see new car dealers with Toyota’s, Honda’s and Nissan’s parked right next to each other on the same lot (under one roof). With a big sign overhead listing all the cars brands they sell. The same way BestBuy (an independent company) has Sony, Samsung, and Apple, under one roof.

Toyota tells dealers where they can be located, how their buildings must look, what rebate and incentives they MUST accept/offer etc, the minimum price they can advertise, what services they MUST offer; they even extend Toyota employee pricing to dealership employees.
And the list goes on.....

I totally agree that the dealer has nothing to do with “design features” and that the customers voice gets more attention, but the dealership only exists to be the liaison between the manufacturer and the customer. Otherwise they’d just do direct sales like Tesla, which may well being the future of the auto industry. Especially, as auto pricing continues to increase, and they look for new ways to keep prices affordable.


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I still disagree; if they were truly independent you’d see new car dealers with Toyota’s, Honda’s and Nissan’s parked right next to each other on the same lot (under one roof). With a big sign overhead listing all the cars brands they sell. The same way BestBuy (an independent company) has Sony, Samsung, and Apple, under one roof.

Toyota tells dealers where they can be located, how their buildings must look, what rebate and incentives they MUST accept/offer etc, the minimum price they can advertise, what services they MUST offer; they even extend Toyota employee pricing to dealership employees.
And the list goes on.....

I totally agree that the dealer has nothing to do with “design features” and that the customers voice gets more attention, but the dealership only exists to be the liaison between the manufacturer and the customer. Otherwise they’d just do direct sales like Tesla, which may well being the future of the auto industry. Especially, as auto pricing continues to increase, and they look for new ways to keep prices affordable.


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No, the dealer is not the liaison between the customer and manufacturer with regard to which features they like or how well they work.

Yes, there are certain things that dealers must agree to have a Toyota dealer franchise, but dealers are still independently owned. A manufacturer and dealer have a contractual relationship, not an owner relationship.

I have seen Toyota dealers who sell more than one brand (not Lexus or Scion) under the same roof. Obviously, this is in rural areas.
 
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