Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer has admitted the new multimedia technology, both software and hardware, in current models needs replacing.
Speaking to Car Magazine at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mr Schafer said there had been some rushed mistakes in implementing new ideas for Volkswagen’s current multimedia system, called MIB3.
Major complaints, both from owners and media, has targeted slow and laggy software in Volkswagen’s system, making it hard to access functions within the touchscreen’s menu, as well as difficult to control functions like the sat-nav interface.
Additionally, physical elements like the touch-capacitive sliders underneath the screen which control media volume and climate have been called unintuitive and even, due to the lack of illumination, difficult to see.
“We know what we need to do,” Mr Schafer said in an interview with CAR.
“We’ve got feedback from customers, we’ve feedback from clinics and from journalists. They say, ‘You know this is not good. You’ve got to improve this’.”
The cars affected by the changes range from the Mk8 Golf currently available in Australia, to Volkswagen’s new I.D electric car range, which is yet to launch here.
“The new 3.0 software is coming now. It will not be the sliders and hardware, but the software will be a tremendous step up in the next few weeks. The hardware changes will come through from early 2024. [Revised] steering wheels are from next year, the new Tiguan will be the start,” he said.
Mr Schafer said he was aware of the specifics that need to be addressed, saying there are already plans in motion to fix the problems. He stipulated that it wouldn’t be an overnight turnaround with the hardware, given the scale of Volkswagen’s operations.
“One of the criticisms was the slider functions were not illuminated, so you didn’t know they were there at night time. That’s fixed now and it’s coming next year. They will be all illuminated,” he said.
“It’s not only the infotainment; you need know what’s content and what’s user experience. It’s how do you know the touch and feel and the sliders and stuff around it.
“With a company our size, to change all that into something completely different is a monumental task because you have to change 100 tools and so many suppliers globally to change it into something new.”
This commitment to update the company’s multimedia and controls comes shortly after Mr Schafer took to LinkedIn to announce that the company would bring back physical buttons on its steering wheels, after a backlash against the introduction of capacitive touch control introduced in more recent models.
Keyword: Volkswagen CEO admits current multimedia tech needs fixing, says updates on the way: Report