This Mysterious Android Auto Phone Call Bug Has No Logical Explanation

The bug occurs only when voice commands are launched from the steering wheel 1 photo
Photo: autoevolution
Theoretically, Android Auto is supposed to make phone calls when driving a lot more convenient, simply because you can handle them without the need for any kind of physical input.
There are several ways to make a phone call on Android Auto, but the most recommended come down to voice commands, which can be launched either with the Google Assistant wake-up phrase “OK, Google” or by simply pressing the voice input button on the steering wheel.

Needless to say, no matter what method you use to make a call, the experience should obviously be the same when you’re talking to someone, and the sound should be routed to your car’s speakers.

But according to some Acura owners who turned to Google’s forums to report a weird Android Auto behavior during phone calls, that’s not necessarily the case for them. And it’s all because the volume of phone calls when the voice commands are launched from the steering wheel is super-low.

Everything else works just as expected, with the volume level configured properly, even when making phone calls using touch input on the head unit. In other words, the issue only occurs when the steering wheel buttons are used to enter the voice command mode.

The Bluetooth phone works perfectly well when using Acura's HandsFreelink. When using AA via the screen, making phone calls is perfect. But when I use voice commands from the steering wheel, AA makes the call but the volume is very faint, even when the volume is turned to maximum (but the person I am calling can hear me fine),” one Android Auto user explains on the Google forums.

Several others have already confirmed the same problem, but right now, this doesn’t seem to be very widespread.

As for what’s causing the bug, this is something pretty difficult to figure out, especially because it all comes down to the way the voice commands are launched. Some say it’s the cable, but I don’t think this is the case, and I rather suspect a problem with the Google app powering Google Assistant. This is just a guess right now though, so one thing I’d try is a downgrade to an older version of this app.

The whole thing seems to be happening in Acura cars only, and one user explains they have already reported the bug to the carmaker and an investigation is currently under way.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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