iPhone 5 Won't Work In Your Car? We May Have the Solution


There I was last Friday, a happy new iPhone 5 owner about to drive home in a 2013 Chevy Spark with the latest multimedia system on the market.

I plug the new Lightning connector into the iPhone 5 and the USB into the car's port.

The Spark's 7-inch screen says "Loading" with a ring of circles spinning around and then ... nothing.

The smartphone reads, "This accessory not supported." The accessory is a $16,000 car.

I'm a bit devastated and drive home listening to talk radio.

Over the weekend, I tried out the iPhone 5 in my wife's car, a 2010 Subaru Outback and then my in-laws' 2012 Acura TSX, and it isn't working in either of them.

I may have discovered a huge flaw in the new iPhone's system, I think to myself. This story will break the blog's traffic records.


I get to the office on Monday morning after a weekend of testing the iPhone's maps, camera, applications — you name it — and shoot off a bunch of emails to automakers about their cars not working with the latest device now owned by 5 million potential car shoppers.

They scramble to find the cause of the problem.

GM is shocked since it's been working with an iPhone 5 beta for the new Spark, and Apple had the car at its Cupertino, Calif., campus for testing purposes, too.

When I heard that I thought maybe this is just my iPhone. I turn to Google.

Google doesn't find any issues like mine. Twitter, nope. Facebook, nada.

Soooo, it's just me.

I head out to shoot a video of said Spark with both my iPhone 5 and my iPhone 4, which I'll need as a prop to show off the multimedia system. Then I decide to turn the new phone off.

In my 72 hours of ownership, I hadn't actually done that. I'd been handed the iPhone with it already turned on and had just been charging it ever since.


I turn it back on and spend the next few hours shooting said video. At the end of the shoot, I decide to try out the iPhone 5 in a 2013 GMC Terrain. The iPhone 5 works perfectly and syncs in just seconds. I'd kind of forgotten the off-and-on trick and get back into the Spark. It's working there now, too!

And in our Outback and a Dodge or two I drove this morning.

So, my dreams of tech web domination are shot, but at least I now know how to answer anyone who's having trouble getting their new iPhone 5 to work in their car.

Just turn it off.

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By David Thomas | September 25, 2012 | Comments (46)


Doug V.

What I find most disconcerting, is you used an entire blog to tell folks to turn your device off and on. Wow, you really don't have much of a life, do you?

Ben P.

Yes, your iPhone 5 (and any smartphone) is basically a little computer. And what is the first thing tech support advises you to do with ANY issue? Restart.


Doug v = idiot.

Dave - Don't your in-laws have an RDX not a TSX?


Doug V. He has a job. I found this story entertaining. He wants to make people smile. Get the point and quit being a douchebag.


Dave. Nice story. Sometimes when a device (be it any computer) acts up we tend to think up all kinds of complicated solutions but often forget the most simple one of just turning off and on the device to reset it.


Best advice ever... just turn the darn thing off... then LEAVE IT OFF in the car. With some of these touchscreen 'infotainment' centers in the consoles, isn't that enough of a distraction?


The Iphone 4 works intermittently in my VW Jetta and I am on my 2nd Iphone, issues with both.

You have a great memory. Yes, my mother in law has a new RDX, my father in law a TSX.


Great advice my wife will be getting one of those new phones and this will save me alot of headaches.


Ken Lyns

Meh. The iPhone ceased to be important 2 generations ago.


Thank you. :) I was having this issue on my Equinox. Solved.


Hi, I'm a Aircraft Mechanic and sometimes it is the only solution to fix a "No-Go glitch" on the aircraft. (on the ground parked at the gate). I just had the same the problem with my phone.


Great article. I will have to give it a try. My 2010 Volvo XC60 has a USB port. I had plugged my phone into it previously and it worked well to charge. Today was the first day that I tried to play Spotify through my radio and it gave me the same quote "This accessory is not supported."


Having the same issues with my 2011 Sienna. Getting an "Error 5" code which happened occasionally with my 3GS, too. Here's hoping the OFF/ON trick is the fix!


You're an idiot! It is call rebooting after changes to any computer.

Thanks for the tip :)

I'm sorry you have such a bunch of rude people reading and commenting on your blog :(

Thanks for giving valuable information because i am thinking about buying iPhone 5 in my car. I think is only supporting in some particular cars.


Yeah this guy is a middle aged guy who is a douche who loves his little toys.


I think it did take you a litte bit of extra time to just say reboot. However wtf with all the haters pn a car blog!!!! People are you really that angry that this guy had the answer to what was wrong with your system. So you were to stupid to think of power cycling your phone first. So. What!!! Instead of spending the time biting the hand that is feeding you, how about just saying thank you.


I can see now why America starts so many wars, Americans 🍔....

The USA needs more good people like the few in this post and less aggressive ones like the others in this post..

A bloke that knows a lot about nothing that matters..

where can i buy a mileage correction tool i need to fix the miles on my car


haha thats awesome, sometimes the most minor things help out the most


Thanks for advice! Been fighting this battle since I bought my iPhone over a month ago. Worked the first time I tried it, then worked intermittently therefore. I didn't realize it was working the times AFTER I had rebooted for some other reason. Wow! I feel stupid, yet relieved. I was almost at my wit's end.


That isn't always the solution and people need to realize that what you have are stock OEM decks, not aftermarket. I have a Kenwood DDin DVD Deck with nav, bluetooth, ipod connect, etc.. and the deck itself does not support iphone 5. I can get the deck to read the phone, pandora, etc... and display the audio title, songs, etc.. but no audio. I then spoke with Crutchfield and they said that the ONLY aftermarket dvd stereo that supports iphone 5 is a Panasonic with a $160 adapter. I guess Apple forgot to pick up the phone and call these major manufacturers and say "Hey... so we're gonna update our phones, you should make them compatible" or stick with what worked in the past....


We each have the opportunity to take the most complicated approach when the most simple answer is available. David, thank you for sharing and for reminding us to keep it simple!! :-) for the cranky guy, you too might find yourself over complicating things one day!!! Get over it!


This was actually totally helpful - I was panicking about my comute being ruined by the loss of my podcasts after upgrading iPhones this weekend!!


i agree this was super helpful! people are so rude!I was just having this problem and so hopeful this fixes it


this could happy to anyone..even me .last bthing id think of is reboot..so shutty..you lil show offs


Well I have a 2011 Chevy Camaro and tried the on / off thing and I still can not get my IPhone 5s to pair with the vehicle. I had taken my phone and car to Verizon and they could not do it either. I can get the phone to pair with other accessories in seconds.

Hi David

The This accessory not supported error is far from uncommon occasionally I get it with an accessory that I know it should work with and it doesn’t so it’s not just you. To most of the other comments, come on guys like you have never jumped to a conclusion before.

Best wishes

hehehe its good., now it will helpful for us..

mileage correction tool...i herd this term for the first time...i like this post...


This was hysterical and quite frankly, I felt you were spying on me because I have been running around trying my new iPhone 5 on various vehicles also.... They the Google God's have once again come through and brought me to you! Thank you for writing this so that I can be reminded that I, as the human, can in fact shut down the machine. Something that way too many of us forget. Thanks for the giggle... L

Modern cars are highly equipped, but you need to connect latest devices with Honda Android, Honda Iphone, Honda Usb and Iphone Car Adapter.


Emma S.

Honestly, I want to thank you for writing this article because I had that very problem and you were the first to come up on my google search lol. Thanks for making my day and making me feel dumb, but at least I'm not the only one, ya know?.

Well I guess all your readers are way smarter than me. It's not that I didn't know to turn it off, I just neverr remember to. Thank you!


Actually, I searched for a blog like this bc I had the same problem with my iPhone 5.
The only problem is that I had already re-booted my iPhone5 and that did not fix the problem. I guess I'm motivated to try turning it completely off and re-booting for a second time with the hope that this time it will work.

Welcome to the online store supplying all the latest technology for integrating your Bmw Iphone, Bmw Usb, Dension and Grom Audio.


Thank you so very much! I have a family of galaxy users all their phones work with ease and no complications in my car, but I can't shake the iPhone since my first 4s purchase that worked wonderfully in my 2012 Kia Optima, and finally got me a 5s and bam never would my phone charge in my car again. I could connect to my Iheart radio, because it doesn't need plugged in for that anyhow, it's been months, I was heartbroken, and I finally got fed up and googled. I stumbled across this and ran straight out to my car in my pjs, rain, and all I didn't care lol. I am now as we speak in my car charging and jamming to my iheart radio I couldn't be happier!!!!!!! You have made this woman one happy lady, I can't thank you enough. As for your haters, well they aren't worth the energy to even type my thoughts, You have done something wonderful for those of us who don't live in our computers to know this stuff right off the bat, again thank you.


My comment is simple, thank you.


Jesus dude...who ties your shoelaces?


At about 63 years old I leaned to turnoff and back on and I'm computer literate. My wife bought a Bose Wave radio/cd/with changer.
After a few months maybe 6-8, she complained the bose didn't play CD anymore. I looked at it, said later, still a bit later she indicated she'd fixed it. "I turned if off and back on" she said. REBOOT? A radio. yep. Still later I "rebooted our microwave and still later our new oven. Reboot? you bet.


Is there anyone here who would like the 1980s back? Great music and no technology garbage in the cars. I would have said the '70s but the music sucked.

RW Harris

My iPhone 5 iOS 8 does not work AT ALL with my 2013 GMC Terrain. Rebooting does not work. Hard rebooting does not work. USB does not work AT ALL and Bluetooth works about 10% of the time. Any input?


RW Harris, my iPhone 5s has stopped working in my 2013 Terrain as well!! I've had my car since July 2013 and my phone since December 2013 with no issues and last week on the 21st it just completely stopped reading it in my usb connection but still charges. I have brought it into my local gmc dealer and they are stumped as well. But the iPhone 4 works completely fine. This is so irritating!



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