Subaru SiriusXM Setting Retunes Radios From 'Adult Content' To Preview Channel, To One Customer's Chagrin
June 30, 2016 at 4:36 AM (PT)
A feature of SUBARU in-dash entertainment head units since the 2015 model year has drawn attention after a driver and SIRIUSXM subscriber took offense to it and trade site AUTOMOTIVE IT NEWS reported on his complaint: if a user is listening to "adult content," the radios automatically retune to a preview channel when turned off and turned back on.
VINCE PATTON, a longtime TV and radio news reporter/anchor formerly at OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTING, KGW-TV/PORTLAND, WFAA-TV/DALLAS, KAKE-TV/WICHITA, and KCNC-TV/DENVER, noticed that if he was listening to the uncensored comedy channels on satellite radio when he turned off his SUBARU OUTBACK, the radio would be on the preview channel when she turned the car back on. After he asked SUBARU why the radio does that, he was told that the setting, meant to protect against accidentally exposing children to adult content when the car is turned back on, cannot be changed,
PATTON told AUTOMOTIVE IT NEWS that the car maker "has no business monitoring what I listen to and resetting my radio every time I turn off the car, when, in SUBARU’s high and mighty opinion, I’m listening to something questionable."
Asked for comment, SUBARU spokesman MICHAEL MCHALE responded that while he can see PATTON's point that an override should be offered, "in the absence of that our default setting is the right choice" as a "family company."