The global semiconductor shortage has forced BMW to deliver some cars without their touchscreen functionality – forcing owners to stick with the iDrive rotary dial or voice control.

    BMW Group Australia today confirmed it has been forced to “temporarily revise the specification of certain models in light of the global semiconductor shortage and has adjusted pricing accordingly”.

    The main infotainment displays in approximately 200 cars across the 2 Series coupe, 3 Series, 4 Series, Z4, X5, X6, and X7 model lines won’t have touchscreen functionality. The price of affected cars has been cut by $800.

    BMW Australia has confirmed buyers waiting for their car to be delivered can accept a touchscreen deleted model at a discount, or wait until their configuration arrives with a touchscreen later on.

    Although they won’t have touch capability, owners will still be able to use all of iDrive’s functions with the buttons and rotary dial on the transmission tunnel, or using Hey BMW voice inputs.

    Affected cars will also miss out on Reversing Assistant function, which can automatically retrace your path for up to 50m in reverse to get out of tricky situations in tight parking garages or dead-end streets.

    You’ll be able to spot a car without touch capability and Reversing Assistant by looking for the 6UY option code on a BMW specification sheet… or by poking the screen and seeing if it responds.

    Although it was first reported by Bimmerfest as affecting cars built at the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, the touchscreen delete is also being applied to vehicles manufactured in Germany, Austria, and Mexico.

    This isn’t the first time BMW Australia has removed features from its cars due to the semiconductor crisis.

    In some models, buyers currently miss out on the full Driving Assistant Professional safety suite, which brings adaptive cruise, front cross-traffic assist, and active steering assist.

    In others, lumbar support adjustment has been removed from the passenger seat. Price adjustments have been applied to cars with a tweaked equipment list.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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