Several modern GM vehicles are now equipped with over-the-air (OTA) software update capabilities, providing customers with essential vehicle software patches and other features completely wirelessly. Unfortunately, these OTA capabilities can potentially lead to problems, as GM Authority covered previously. Now, we’re taking a closer look at the methods by which GM dealers and technicians are instructed to handle potential OTA issues.
For those readers who may have missed it, some GM owners have reported issues wherein their vehicle battery is drained following a failed software update that leaves the infotainment system hanging. The issue has been reported affecting the 2023 Chevy Colorado and the 2023 GMC Canyon as well as the Cadillac Lyriq.
Now, in a new report, GM TechLink has outlined how technicians can diagnose OTA update concerns. The GM TechLink report indicates that when a 2021 through 2024 model-year Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, or GMC vehicle downloads a software update, the infotainment screen will display a message indicating as such, prompting the user to accept and install the update. The prompt will only appear if requirements for the battery State of Charge (SOC) and Outside Ambient Temperature (OAT) are met. Notifications are not provided when software is downloading. Downloads may occur incrementally between driving sessions.
Software installation does not require the customer to be present, but does prevent the vehicle from being driven. Installation times can vary.
Some of the concerns with GM OTA updates may include a no-crank condition due to a depleted battery. Additionally, the radio may remain on for up to 11 minutes after Retained Accessory Power (RAP) is cancelled, while an intermittent condition at start-up may present a message that reads “Important Update … Download Resuming” on the infotainment screen. Additionally, the Vehicle Update screen may show that the OTA Update has failed, or that the OTA Update will not complete.
These issues could result in the OTA update hanging in a pending or download state. GM technicians are advised to reset the OTA Update and clear the messages. This can be done by charging the vehicle battery (while testing that the battery is still good) and confirming that the vehicle will start and run. Next, the technical will go to the Vehicle Settings in the infotainment system and verify that an OTA system update is available under the Vehicle Updates section, recording the campaign number displayed.
The vehicle should then be moved to a location with good cellular service, the ignition should be turned off. The tech will exit the vehicle and lock the doors. The tech will then contact the GM Technical Assistance Center (TAC) and create a Dealer Case Management (DCM) ticket. TAC will send the VIN to Engineering for a reset. Once the confirmation is received from TAC, the vehicle will need to remain undisturbed for two hours, with the battery SOC remaining above 70 percent.
After two hours have passed, the vehicle will need to be started in order to verify that there are no longer any update messages shown, and that there are no excessive parasitic battery draws.