SiriusXM Issue in Subaru Vehicle

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#1
Starting in mid-August last year, the channel list feature stopped working (i.e. I could not view the entire list of channels by category on in general). I didn't give it too much thought initially figuring it was a temporary issue but after several refresh attempts over the next few weeks did nothing to fix the problem, I did some further digging and found this was a known issue with Subaru vehicles (a Google search for "subaru siriusxm channel list" or similar will return a number of hits with other Subaru owners reporting the same issue. My issue at this point is that I had to pay my local Subaru issue to fix it with a software update, which I had done today / appears to have resolved the issue -- at least initially. I tried reaching out to SiriusXM via social media with a polite message requesting a they consider providing a credit to my account for the amount I paid ($150) for the service. I honestly would have happy with any reasonable credit but was instead given a response essentially telling me I need to deal with Subaru on this. Subaru's response was that if your car was within the basic warranty that it would be covered there or for a reduced fee ($100) if you were outside the standard warranty but had an extended warranty. I did have an extended warranty for 100K miles but went over that towards the end of last year.

Not having the ability to pull up the channel listing is rather annoying / frustrating and having to manually turn change channels 1 by 1 to see them as suggested by SiriusXM and Subaru is really not a good alternative. As noted above, my issue is that I had to pay to fix a problem that I / other Subaru owners didn't cause and that based on timing appears to have started when SiriusXM added some new channels back in the August timeframe -- hence my initial reach out to them.

Before making any attempt to escalate my inquiry further with SiriusXM or circle back with Subaru at the corporate level, I wanted to first solicit some feedback here on potential next steps. Since I struck initially out with SiriusXM via social media, should I try a follow-up email to customer care there or at Subaru or reach out to the executive contacts listed instead? Assuming I'm not being too unreasonable here in at least making an attempt at politely requesting a credit of some sort or similar, would appreciate feedback on next steps.

Thanks!

Bill
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,177
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Maui Hawaii
#3
Starting in mid-August last year, the channel list feature stopped working (i.e. I could not view the entire list of channels by category on in general). I didn't give it too much thought initially figuring it was a temporary issue but after several refresh attempts over the next few weeks did nothing to fix the problem, I did some further digging and found this was a known issue with Subaru vehicles (a Google search for "subaru siriusxm channel list" or similar will return a number of hits with other Subaru owners reporting the same issue. My issue at this point is that I had to pay my local Subaru issue to fix it with a software update, which I had done today / appears to have resolved the issue -- at least initially. I tried reaching out to SiriusXM via social media with a polite message requesting a they consider providing a credit to my account for the amount I paid ($150) for the service. I honestly would have happy with any reasonable credit but was instead given a response essentially telling me I need to deal with Subaru on this. Subaru's response was that if your car was within the basic warranty that it would be covered there or for a reduced fee ($100) if you were outside the standard warranty but had an extended warranty. I did have an extended warranty for 100K miles but went over that towards the end of last year.
u
said your car hNot having the ability to pull up the channel listing is rather annoying / frustrating and having to manually turn change channels 1 by 1 to see them as suggested by SiriusXM and Subaru is really not a good alternative. As noted above, my issue is that I had to pay to fix a problem that I / other Subaru owners didn't cause and that based on timing appears to have started when SiriusXM added some new channels back in the August timeframe -- hence my initial reach out to them.

Before making any attempt to escalate my inquiry further with SiriusXM or circle back with Subaru at the corporate level, I wanted to first solicit some feedback here on potential next steps. Since I struck initially out with SiriusXM via social media, should I try a follow-up email to customer care there or at Subaru or reach out to the executive contacts listed instead? Assuming I'm not being too unreasonable here in at least making an attempt at politely requesting a credit of some sort or similar, would appreciate feedback on next steps.

Thanks!

Bill
Since you said your car has over 100k mi, it is presumably 6-10+ years old. It is quite possible that the hardware/firmware in your dash unit is not compatible with the latest software updates, just as older computers and smartphones cannot run the latest system updates. Often what happens when a new system update is installed on an older electronic device the device will no longer be able to do certain functions it previously handled, or the entire system might crash completely. That is why people tend to update their cell phones frequently and their computers every 3-6 years.

Ask Sirius if you can revert the system software to the one in use prior to the problem developing, and see if that solves the problem. That would not cost anything to fix if it solved the problem.

If not, you may have to decide if getting a new dash unit is worth it. You may find that if you do so you can then move that unit into your next car in a few years. Subaru might give you a price reduction on a new dash unit.
 
#4
@johnbaker - Based on the research I've done, the issue does appear to be limited to Subaru vehicles so I'll push the issue with them for now. I usually get a follow-up call or survey from the dealership shortly after the service appointment so I will try that path first and see if I make any headway there. I was only about 10K miles over my extended warranty so was further ticked by the fact they couldn't extend the slight discount despite that as a courtesy.

@weihlac - I realized I hadn't mentioned my model initially but it's a 2015 Legacy and coming up on 4 years old so not all that old (put a lot of miles on it driving to/from work among other things). That said, I don't think the age of the vehicle is really a factor as 2018 Subaru model owners are reporting the same issue. Since I had to have Subaru apply the new software update supporting my dash unit, not sure downgrading would be an option but even if it was, they would likely want to charge for that as well.

There appears to be a pretty direct correlation between the addition of SiriusXM channels last August and the issue surfacing on Subaru vehicles. As suggested by John, I'm going to try my luck with Subaru and hope for the best.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#5
@William Smith Jr I did some digging overnight ... Looks like Subaru is blaming XM for the issue even though their vehicles are the only ones effected and the fix, yes there's a fix that seems to work on the Outback at least, is to update the radio that Subaru designs. I couldn't find a way for you to perform the update yourself.

I'd call your dealer back and see if they used the latest TSB 15-205-16R fix when they reflashed your radio and if they used the correct file (it seems that Legacys have a different file than Outbacks)
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
1,036
1,287
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#7
It has to be a Subaru problem. My Hyundai is 10 years old and the original SiriusXM radio works perfectly fine.
 
#8
It definitely appears to be a Subaru only issue. I reached out to SiriusXM again trying to get some additional details behind the issue and received the following
"The radio's head unit required a software update. Please reach out to Subaru with any technical questions as we're one service on the head unit. These are the items Subaru fixed with their last update: •Incomplete SXM channel list displayed • Thumbnail images included with phone contacts are not displayed (iPhone only) • Quick Message is grayed out and cannot be selected for a reply message • Head Unit does not respond to touch panel (soft key) commands ". I can't speak to the other issues addressed but the channel list issue did get resolved

My head unit got flashed with the latest TSB 15-205-16R, which is the TSB # SiriusXM gave me to reference when I contacted Subaru. I'm going to continue to try and push this issue with Subaru.
 
Feb 10, 2019
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#9
It definitely appears to be a Subaru only issue. I reached out to SiriusXM again trying to get some additional details behind the issue and received the following
"The radio's head unit required a software update. Please reach out to Subaru with any technical questions as we're one service on the head unit. These are the items Subaru fixed with their last update: •Incomplete SXM channel list displayed • Thumbnail images included with phone contacts are not displayed (iPhone only) • Quick Message is grayed out and cannot be selected for a reply message • Head Unit does not respond to touch panel (soft key) commands ". I can't speak to the other issues addressed but the channel list issue did get resolved

My head unit got flashed with the latest TSB 15-205-16R, which is the TSB # SiriusXM gave me to reference when I contacted Subaru. I'm going to continue to try and push this issue with Subaru.
Hey Will,
I am on the exact same boat right now... My XM is no longer working after I shut off my car. I need to keep doing a signal refresh every time...

After you got the unit flashed did the radio worked as normal?? I am on the same boat and want to make sure the time I will spend dealing with service will actually solve my problem...
 
Feb 10, 2019
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#11
@Maximus1220 - So far so good since the update. Still not happy I had to put out the $$$ but the issue is gone now at least.
Oh. Which update was that?

After many hours of research on this I came across this TSB 15-205-16R apparently there are some dated Dec and a latest dated Jan 2019 -

I have a service appointment on Tue, am sure my dealer would want to charge me bc I am past my basic warranty, but I read to call SOA first and ask them for a service voucher... Any feedback?
 
#12
Oh. Which update was that?

After many hours of research on this I came across this TSB 15-205-16R apparently there are some dated Dec and a latest dated Jan 2019 -

I have a service appointment on Tue, am sure my dealer would want to charge me bc I am past my basic warranty, but I read to call SOA first and ask them for a service voucher... Any feedback?
I haven't heard of any service voucher option but it can't hurt to call and give it a try. The worst they can say is no...
 
Feb 26, 2019
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#13
I haven't heard of any service voucher option but it can't hurt to call and give it a try. The worst they can say is no...
very curious to know what happened. I spoke with Sirius last night and on the spot with out any issue they refunded 50% of my all access account AND sent me a coupon for a free Amazon Echo Dot, which I already sent in... They know its an issue. My dealership just told me that they do not have a fix and the lastest updates will not help, that I would be wasting my time and money... Please keep us up to date!!

Both companies can not continue to blame one another.
 
#14
@kallop - I'm only speaking for myself but since the software update on my '15 Legacy, I've had no issues. I approached SiriusXM initially requesting a credit / refund but was immediately rebuffed and referred to Subaru. Subaru is the only car manufacturer having this issue that I've seen so I think the issue is on their end whether they will admit as much as not. Please see my prior update, which includes the specific TSB you can reference. If your dealership still doesn't have a clue after that, may want to try another one