BMW latest automaker to strip features due to the chip shortage

This week BMW confirmed with Auto-blog that it’s shipping vehicles without touchscreen functionality in response to the semiconductor chip shortage.

The issue was initially raised on a Bimmerfest forum post stating that customers who receive a touchscreen free car receive a $500 credit.

The post says these cars will also lose the BMW Backup Assistant if they were marketed with the optional Parking Assistant Package. The Backup Assistant enables automatic reversing in narrow parking areas and those with poor visibility.

Buyers receive $500 compensation for the lowered functionalities… but is that enough compensation?

Reduced functionalities have been a trend this year

It’s not the first time cars will go to market with reduced functions in response to the chip shortage. In March, General Motors announced it was building 2021 Silverado and Sierra pickups without active fuel management modules.

In May, Tesla removed the passenger-side lumbar support for the Model Y, which Elon Musk attributed to materials shortages.

In June, General Motors announced that it would start building vehicles without the Automatic Stop/Start feature. This feature turns off the engine when a driver stops at an intersection and automatically restarts it when the driver steps on the throttle.

The automaker told Cars.com:

By taking this measure, it will enable us to continue production of our high-demand full-size SUV and pickups as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen. Most of the affected vehicles will experience a minor reduction in fuel economy, and customers will receive a $50 credit on the MSRP for affected vehicles.

The chip shortage has a flow-on effect

I wrote about the semiconductor chip shortage a couple of months back, interviewing a bunch of industry representatives and analysts.

The verdict for car buyers wasn’t great, with stories of cars sitting in factories ready for rollout… except for their computers and processors. The general consensus was to prepare to pay more and wait longer for the cars you want.

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