Uconnect Freezes or Boots Into A Blank Screen That Doesn't Work


Uconnect infotainment systems will often boot into a blank screen, freeze while the vehicle is in REVERSE, become unresponsive to the touch, or reboot at random times. The system has grown over the years, both in size and features, but the same problems persist.

Ram console with uConnect loaded on the infotainment screen
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#interior #technology

Chrysler has been installing Uconnect systems in vehicles for over a decade. In that time the technology has broadened and the screens have grown, but one thing remains the same – the darn thing keeps freezing, become unresponsive to touch inputs, and randomly reboots.

And while not having access to radio stations or heated seats is an inconvenience, it's much more problematic when features like climate control are hidden behind the now unresponsive touch screen interface. Not to mention the backup camera, navigation, heated seats, and other features.

Top Complaints About UConnect

uConnect's long list of problems has a frustratingly short list of solutions, most of which require shutting down the car so the system can reboot. Basically it's the Comcast approach to solving problems ... unplug it and plug it back in.

The screen freezes up or goes blank

One of the main complaints about UConnect is how the system freezes up. With a black, unresponsive screen, owners are left without a way to control the radio, navigation, remote locking, climate control, and other important features.

Jumping between inputs

On its own, the system will switch between input sources. So from the radio, to XM, to the USB, and so on. There’s nothing quite like singing along to your favorite song only to have the song suddenly stop so everyone can hear your lovely(?) singing voice.

Other annoyances:

  • The radio reception is borderline useless. Yes, people still use the radio.
  • It suddenly won’t recognize USB media drives it previously recognized. That’s just cold.
  • Sometimes the controls work, but the audio is missing.

The Over-the-Air Update Fiasco

In February of 2018, FCA sent out an over-the-air software update that promptly caused thousands of units to endlessly reboot every 45 seconds or so.

That ... didn't go over well. Especially since some owners say there wasn't even an option to decline the update.

The endless reboots would continue even if the cars were off and the keys were nowhere nearby. That led to a lot of dead batteries and frustrated owners.

The uConnect team acknowledged the update problem on Febraury 13th and tied it to issues with the ever-so-useless SiriusXM Travel Link feature. They also said the problem was regional to the northeast US and Canada and was limited to vehicles with the uConnect 4C NAV and 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Uconnect Class-Action Lawsuits

Fed up owners have filed lawsuits against Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) for their ongoing Uconnect problems.

In 2017 a class-action lawsuit was filed after the plaintiffs said multiple replacements of the Uconnect system did nothing to address the underlying problems. The same goes for the 45 technical service bulletins that Chrysler had send to authorized technicans.

The Kansas-based lawsuit had plans of earning nationwide status. That was shot down when the judge ruled the plaintff's based their claims on state law which cannot govern out-of-state transactions.

In 2019, another class-action was filed against FCA for making misleading claims that Uconnect "is always evolving to help meet your safety, security, information and lifestyle needs" and that the system lets drivers "[k]eep in touch where ever you go."

The California-based suit said the reality is there's no such evolution. The system is constantly malfunctioning, createing dangerous distrations and diminishing the resale value of the vehicles.

A similar suit was filed in Michigan in 2020. The suit specifically mentions problems with the 8.4A and 8.4AN systems in the 2017-2019 Chrysler 300 and Pacifica.

Models With UConnect Frozen with Blank Screen Problems

Chrysler 300

12th out of 18

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA