Is there anything quite so annoying as a computer screen that continuously displays the same inexplicable and apparently unfixable error message? Back in the 1990s, we were a generation of computer pirates whose PCs were “performing an illegal operation” and being shut down; and now in the age of the electric car, we have infotainment systems that say “unable to load connection status.” What does that even mean?
This apparently is an error message that drivers of the Volkswagen ID electric cars have been experiencing in recent months. As they start the car up and load the infotainment screen, they are first greeted with a screen saying “Loading connection status…” only then after some time of waiting to be greeted by the vague message of “Unable to load connection status” and a choice only to press an “OK” button acknowledging that:
Even with reboots, people are discovering the same error message, and it apparently goes on constantly for days and weeks every time they start up the vehicle. VW has not made any public statement or offered any official advice on the issue as of yet, but many VW ID car owners have chimed in with possible solutions, and in today’s blog we’ll be taking a closer look at some of those.
Why is This a Problem?
First and foremost, this is a problem because what is essentially happening is that your car is not working properly in its online mode. It cuts off many of the most useful features like remote start and others that depend on the online mode to work.
When you’ve spent a good chunk of change on a brand-new electric car, it’s not too much to expect that the car should work like it’s supposed to. The VW ID series are not the most expensive models on the market, but like any BEV they are much more expensive than buying a gasoline or hybrid car.
Second, this is a problem because it’s not an isolated incident, nor is it happening to just one type of VW ID model. Both the ID.3 and ID.4, the 2 production models available between Europe and North America, have been reported online with this issue occurring.
If your VW ID.3 or VW ID.4 doesn’t have access to the Internet and it’s not connecting to the system, then there a huge range of features that you cannot access, and while it doesn’t make the car entirely useless — it can still drive forward and reverse, after all — it’s hard to describe it as anything like as useful as it could be.
So what’s causing this problem? As we mentioned, VW is yet to comment on the issue, so we are mostly left with speculative causes from the VW ID owners. There are some quite reasonable theories, however, that tie in well and make sense when you consider the ways that people have managed to solve this problem (see below for more). Let’s look at the 3 most likely causes that people have been discussing:
Problem with the 4G Modem
The first is simply a problem with the 4G modem that is messing with the car’s ability to gain a stable online connection. This is the issue to which many have responded by dealing with fuse 19 in the passenger cabin fuse box (more below).
This one seems a logical issue since it doesn’t impact every single VW ID car, which means there could be an issue with production. The problem might be solvable with an over-the-air update, but we are yet to know if VW has even acknowledged any issues with their 4G hardware.
Internet Hotspot Trial Expired
Another theory some have posited is that people had a free trial of the Wi-Fi hotspot in the car for a month, which then expires and leaves them with connection problems. This one doesn’t seem to stand up, however, as almost no one reports the same correlation between this happening and their Wi-Fi services expiring, or them missing renewal dates, etc.
Server Problems at VW
Perhaps the most interesting theory — and even a possible explanation as to why VW hasn’t opened up about the issue as of yet — is that the VW is experiencing back-end problems that it intends to fix in the coming months with patches and software updates.
Back-end server problems are not unlikely, but it would be unusual for VW not to issue a statement where they explain how many of the systems are new, experiencing teething issues, etc., and that they’re working on it 24/7. It’s normal for tech companies to do that with anything relatively new.
If anything such a statement would work to pacify the frustrated car owners, and reassure them that within a certain time frame the problem will be fixed and their cars restored. They may have even offered something in compensation like a free month of Wi-Fi service or something.
Now, let’s turn to the meat of the issue, which is the several ways people have found to solve the problem. The good news is that it can be solved and you have some different options in how you’d like to approach the problem.
Solution 1: Long Restart
The first solution is one that most of us operating any technological device are familiar with — switch it off and switch it back on again. In the case of your VW ID infotainment system, you need to long press on the power button to push it into a restart.
There has been a mixed bag of success with this solution. Very few people have said that the connection comes back as a result of doing this, but some have. At any rate, it’s a reasonable, safe and simple solution that everyone may as well try. If it works, great! If not, then you can still just try one of the other solutions.
Solution 2: WeConnectID Customer Service Recommendation
One VW ID user connected with customer service via his WeConnectID app and was given a procedure to follow that would fix the problem. Of the 4 solutions we have here, this one appears to be both the safest and the most effective, and is therefore the best one to try if a simple restart doesn’t work as described above.
- Step 1: Sit In your car, turn the power on and then check that in your settings, “offline mode” is slide to the left.
- Step 2: Press the steering wheel “off” button. On the Goodbye screen, slide “online mode” to the right.
- Step 3: You will likely get a message “This function is currently unavailable. Try again later.” Press OK and move on.
- Step 4: Wait a full minute (maybe slightly longer) and you should then suddenly see the “online mode” slider move to the right and the 4G symbol will reappear.
- Step 5: Step out of the car and lock it, and then wait for about 10 minutes.
- Step 6: Get back in your car and it should go online instantly and connect with your WeConnectID again without any problems.
This one may feel like a bit of a rigmarole, but if it works, then it’s a good solution and you should try it. It’s less extreme than either of the remaining 2 solutions.
Solution 3: Pull and Replace Fuse 19
Another solution many have tried and reported to have great success with was going into the passenger cabin fuse box and pulling out fuse 19, waiting a few minutes and then replacing it:
This one worries some as they don’t want to start cracking open fuse boxes and pulling out components. We’ve collected a few tips from people who’ve done this and reported that this made the connection come back. Fuse 19 is the one that controls the 4G modem.
- Tip 1: First, go into the fuse box under the hood and get the fuse removal tool from there. You don’t want to break nails trying to get the fuse out of the interior fuse box, or cause a short circuit by trying to pry it out with a screwdriver.
- Tip 2: The fuse box in the passenger cabin under the driver’s side can be quite stiff and tough to open. Don’t worry, give it a firm and authoritative yank and it will open without anything breaking.
- Tip 3: Carefully remove fuse 19 with the tool and then wait up to 10 minutes before putting it back. Don’t forget to replace the tool back in the fuse box under the hood when you’re done.
Solution 4: Wait for It to Come Back
Finally, there are some out there who advocate simply waiting for the system to right itself, as it apparently can do:
This is the solution that ties in somewhat with there possibly being server issues at VW. For everyone reporting this problem, no one has said yet that the problem appears to be permanent. They say that it comes, lasts a few days or up to a week or more, but sooner or later will connect again. That’s indicative of a software problem that could be fixed over time.
Therefore, if you can bear it for the time being, you could simply wait for the problem to right itself. However, if it keeps dropping off, or the effect lasts for more than a week, then it’s a serious issue that you should try to solve, or at least report to the dealership. If enough people report the problem officially to VW, they may come to acknowledge it and give us more insight into what is really going on.
Conclusion: Wait to Hear More
Until we hear more official information from VW, we can’t know for certain what is going on with the ID.3 and ID.4 infotainment system. It’s a frustrating problem, for sure, but it has been shown that there are practical and workable solutions for those who can’t wait around for the system to right itself.
Hopefully VW will release more info and offer software improvements that make this kind of problem a thing of the past.