November 24, 2019 — A Volvo Android Auto lawsuit alleges XC90 owners and lessees cannot use the Sensus systems with Android Auto because the systems are incompatible.
According to the class action lawsuit, 2016-2017 Volvo XC90 SUVs were marketed and sold as offering in-vehicle technology called Sensus that worked with the popular Google Android Auto. This would enable the XC90 driver to integrate their phone with the Sensus system in the Volvo.
Android Auto is marketed as a smartphone application for Google Android cell phones, designed to work seamlessly with the display screen of the Google Android user’s vehicle. This allows users to control their smartphones through the car’s touchscreen displays, the steering wheel buttons and by voice commands.
The two plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit allege Volvo falsely represented the systems were compatible even though the automaker knew it wasn't possible.
The class action alleges XC90 owners were led to believe Android Auto was standard and included in all SUVs. But the plaintiffs claim Volvo should have warned XC90 customers that Android Auto would only become available years after selling the vehicles.
When customers complained, Volvo allegedly spent a few years saying Android Auto wasn't compatible with the Sensus systems even though advertising materials said otherwise.
However, Volvo was sued in 2017 and only then did the automaker make available something called a “USB Installation Kit” that could make the non-compatible Volvo XC90s compatible with Android Auto.
But Volvo allegedly never informed XC90 customers about the installation kits, and those customers who did learn about it were told they would need to pay out-of-pocket for parts and labor.
The USB installation kit is described by the automaker as something that “makes it possible to connect cellular phones that are capable of supporting Android Auto to the Sensus systems in XC90 vehicles.”
The plaintiffs say the XC90 installation kits require mechanics to perform the installations that contain 50 steps, then mechanics are told to “reinstall the removed parts in reverse order” once the 50th step is reached.
According to the lawsuit, the USB kit installation requires:
"[R]emoving panels from the car’s interior, removing the entire passenger side floor, rewiring various components of the vehicle’s electronics, and downloading software through a platform called 'VIDA,' which appears to be a paid subscription service offered by Volvo only for 'trained technicians' that enables them to perform repairs on Volvo vehicles."
The plaintiffs also claim an XC90 owner is stuck paying hundreds of dollars for the kit and more than $1,000 total in parts and labor for the installation.
The Volvo Android Auto lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Levine, et al., v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lowey Dannenberg, and Shapiro Haber & Urmy.