BMW pulls touchscreen features from some models amid chip shortage

For now, some cars are going back to iDrive controls for the infotainment system.

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A touchscreen display in a BMW vehicle.

The global chip shortage has affected all manner of industries over the last several months. Automakers are among those who've felt the impact, with many slowing down production. One such company is BMW, which is taking other measures to cut down on silicon use and maintain current production levels amid the crisis. It confirmed to Autoblog that it's temporarily removing touchscreen functions from several models.

For now, BMW 3 Series, X5, X6, X7 and Z4 models will ship without touchscreen controls. BMW 4 Series Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe (but not the i4 EV) will also lose touchscreen features for the time being.

Owners of those affected models will need to use the center console's iDrive controller to navigate the infotainment system. If you receive a model without touch control when it should have had it, you'll receive a $500 credit due to "Deletion of Touchscreen."

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Meanwhile, according to a post on the Bimmerfest forum, these models will not have the BMW Backup Assistant if owners opted for the Parking Assistant Package. That feature can automatically reverse the car along the path along which it drove into a spot. Engadget has contacted BMW for more details, including whether it will compensate drivers who would have been expecting to access that feature.

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