I was having the same problem. My iPhone 4S would no longer pair with my 2007 Mercedes S550 using the Bluetooth cradle (the puck) inside the center console. I was previously trying to pair the phone with the car using the COMAND controls, or the phone controles. BOTH are incorrect. The pairing should be initiated directly from the BT Cradle!!
On the cradle the bottom area with the bluetooth logo is actually a button. Press that button and hold it until the blue light blinks rapidly. Then on the iPhone in the General settings, turn on Bluetooth and wait for the phone to discover the bluetooth cradle. It should recognize it as "MB PhoneSystem" or similar.
On the phone, select MB PhoneSystem and, when promoted, use pairing code 62872. It should pair and connect without any further issues. My address book and call lists were transfered over without any issues as well.
I hope the problem is as easily solved for others as it was for me (after a LOT of trial and error). There is NO NEED to go into engineering mode or anything like that on your vehicle.
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately my vehicle does not have a bluetooth cradle. It is a 2012 CRV with Navigation and everything is done wirelessly. My car recognizes the phone and I can listen to my music from the car and make phone calls I just cant receive them. Some people are able to transfer back to the car but when I hit the transfer button on the phone it doesn't happen. I am just unable to receive calls at all.
This is very frustrating.
Njklutz, I called Apple and they don't seem to be aware there is even a problem. Their recommendation to me was to go to an Apple store and get a replacement. HandsFreeLink who manages the bluetooth system in my car is aware of the problem and doing some testing that will not be completed until mid November. If it's found to be incompatible then they can do nothing about it. So it's a waiting game to see if Apple even acknowlegdes there is a problem.
I received this email from HandsFreeLink (Honda vehicles) regarding the iPhone 5:
Date: October 25, 2012, 14:13:20 EDT
To: "Laura Jones"
Subject: RE: Honda North America HandsFreeLink Support
Thank you for contacting us in regards to your HandsFreeLink system.
At this time the iPhone 5 has not yet been tested. We cannot say whether or not the phone is compatible until it completes the testing process. When a new phone is released, it is up to the carrier to send the phone in to be tested with the HandsFreeLink system. Once a phone is recieved, it generally takes between three and six weeks to complete the testing process.
We have heard of the issue that you are describing and we have not been informed of a fix at this time. Any kind of change that would resolve this issue would need to be made to the phone and would come from Apple or your cellular provider. We apologize for any inconvenience.
If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at 888-528-7876. We are available Mon-Fri from 7:00am-8:00pm CT.
HandsFreeLink Customer Service
I have had discussions with Apple and tomtom about the Bluetooth issue. I also cannot accept an incoming call on my Go750 nav device even though my iPhone5 pairs ok and can call out ok. Results of my talks with both companies was fruitless, they both have used the incompatible excuse pointing the finger at each other. I don't understand why my iPhone 4 worked 100% and not my iPhone 5.
OK I contacted Infiniti and got this reponse. Sure sounds like an Apple problem to me!!!!
You may experience the following:
1) Answer incoming call. Call connects. Caller can hear me but you cannot hear the caller.
2) Answer incoming call. Call connects. You cannot hear the caller and the caller cannot hear you.
If you switch the call back to the handset and then back to Bluetooth Hands Free, the issue goes away.
However, please be advised that the i-Phone 5 is currently in testing. Full compatibility will not be known until testing is completed. Not all Bluetooth phones will pass Infiniti testing standards. Phones that pass our rigorous requirements will be added to the recommended list periodically.
If you are wondering why your phone is not compatible right now, existing Bluetooth phones that are not listed as compatible have not passed Infiniti testing. Major calling functions like making, accepting and ending phone calls did not function properly and/or the Bluetooth connection was not stable.
Also, a cell phone with a Bluetooth adapter will not work only cell phones with Bluetooth built in and listed as a Infiniti recommended phone will operate correctly.
You may visit http://www.infinitiusa.com/bluetooth.html periodically for updated compatibility listings.
I don't think very many of us (or maybe anyone) can say who is at "fault" here. The iPhone 5 works fine with many cars and the iPhone 4 works fine with the cars with which the iPhone 5 has problems. Maybe the iPhone 5 does not properly support the BT protocol; maybe the cars don't. Maybe they both do, but the protocol leaves too much room in specs that two devices might not communicate properly. I know I have no idea. All I know is that I've got a very expensive car and very expensive phone (relatively speaking) that don't work properly togehter.
I really don't think it helps for either vendor to merely state that "we haven't tested for compatilibity" and that if we do, and we verify what you are all saying, that we just won't list it as compatible, and screw you early adopters. The problem affects a wide enough range of cars and head units that if Apple fails to fix this, it's safe to say they will lose customers going forward. Similarly, the iPhone 5 is a hugely popular phone, and once this become widely know, whowould buy a car that was not compatible with it? Both sides are going to lose significant business if this situation is allowed to continue for very long.
In the end, though, I think it comes down to this. A car does many things. Communication with a phone is a small part of that, and is not within the expertise of the car companies. I would say that a very large percentage of car companies merely buy the BT as part of the audio head unit. They don't manufacter it. BT, however is a very large part of an iPhone. Apple has great expertise in creating software for their phone and other computers. While I'm sure the head unit manufacturers are looking into this (they do have the expertise, to roll out an update via the various car manufacturers that is compatible not only with each car, but with a method of installation specific to that car, is going to be difficult for all concerned, including us.
However, for Apple to roll out a fix, OTA, is a much simpler matter for everyone. Apple, however, has to insure compatibility with all of the head units with this problem and not break compatibility with other BT devices. Also, Apple is not likely to roll out an update for this single problem. I'm sure there are a host of problems they are dealing with, and that the first update will fix multiple issues (problems with battery life and with the phone preferring phone network over Wifi, and uploading tons of data are merely two well reported ones). With luck we'll see something soon. Hopefully this is not a hardware problem that cannot be fixed in software, since the one thing we do know is that that the BT chipset in the 5 comes from a different manufacturer than the chipset in earlier phones.
Everyone with the problem, however, needs to get on the phone to talk to an Appletech no matter how fruitless it may seem. Every call is logged, and hopefully every car type or headunit type will be logged too. The more calls, and the more incompatible devices, the more likely Apple will deal with in promptly.
Just got an iPhone 5 today. Same problem, out-going calls work fine, streaming music works fine, but cannot answer calls unless I answer with the handset then transfer to my car's BT system.
I have just upgraded to the iPhone 5 from the 4S which was running OS06 and worked perfectly in my car, as did the 4. The car is a 2012 GM Holden Comodore SV6 and has had a software upgrade around a month ago.
Two phone calls to Apple support line and all they could suggest is trying to re-pair the car and phone. They had not heard of the problem (the Internet is obviously a tool they are not familiar with, or maybe they prefer the head in the sand approach). After three goes at pairing the phone and car, no luck at all and the problem still exists. A couple of phone calls to my phone provider and the result is I've re-activated my micro sim and am back to using the 4S and the 5 is being returned.
Going by the variety of cars and in-car BT devices that are having the same problem, the phone or the BT version used in the 5 is the issue. While it's great to have the latest gear, I'd rather wait a little longer for it and have it work properly, or at least have Apple give the variety of manufacturers out there a chance to upgrade their firmware so everything is operating off the same page.
However, after the joke that is Apple Maps I'm not too surprised with what has happened today.
Hello All --
Was having the same problems with my Acora RL. Two trips to Apple store, they gave me a new phone to no avail. My wife's 4S wouldn't connect either but my old 3GS with iOS6 worked fine. Finally went to the manual that came with my car. Went through the set-up menu, for "Pairing a device" and Bingo working fine!! So maybe not iOS problem.
Good Luck all.
Hello Laura --
Was having the same problem with my Acura (hands free link). Got a new phone to no avail. So, got out the manual for my car and folloed the instructions for "pairing a device", clicked the main menu button for phone on steering wheeln said "set-up" then pressed the button again and said "pairing" and the hands free link showed up as discoverable on the phone! So not a Apple problem, your car salesman could probably help set it up. Or review instructions in your Car's manual.