New Fiat firmware is showing up

fiat abarth 2018 new firmware.jpg

I received an email from Greg B. today wondering why he is unable to install tweaks in his 2018 Fiat (Abarth model) 124 Spider built late in November 2017 for the U.S. market.  Although he was pleased to learn that the

  • Abarth name is now embroidered on the seats
  • the steering wheel proudly displays an Abarth logo, rather than Fiat’s
  • the radio’s animated Abarth boot sequence now matches the rest of the world

his photo (shown above) is disappointing evidence that the equivalent of Mazda firmware version 59.00.502 (and higher) is now getting installed, which among other changes like updated USB drivers, prevents tweaks from being installed via the USB ports.  Rather than 56.00.521 or 56.00.530 firmware, his system came with 59.00.524, which can only be tweaked by pulling the system out of the dash, soldering in a serial USB cable, and hacking into it using a laptop computer – something I would never wish to attempt.  Again, you can find your firmware version by starting at the main menu and selecting  Settings > System > About > Version Information.

I predicted the day was coming, but anyways, I will now have to add some explanation to my Tweaks article that lets my readers know that if they have 59.00.524 firmware, don’t bother seeking tweak software, as it will not do anything.  If you wish to know more about why, and the history behind this decision, see this article.

This could also be forewarning that Fiat dealers may start upgrading the firmware in our cars as we bring them in for service, in which case (if you appreciate the improvements enabled by installing tweaks), you may wish to install the ID7 autorun prior to that visit, as that will allow you to continue installing tweaks regardless.

The chart below lists all of the firmware versions that will not allow tweaks to be performed via the USB ports.

firmware versions contd4

This is a list of what is supposed to be improved (although there are reports that USB behavior is actually worse) since the initial firmware versions in the 124 Spiders:

TSB North America 59.00.502.pdf


The music database is still update-able by the user with the newer firmware though – see this article for the details.

8 thoughts on “New Fiat firmware is showing up

  1. Looking forward to the stability fixes.
    Have a song on my USB drive that repeatedly triggers a reboot loop within 5 seconds everytime it comes up.
    What’s interesting is that this only happens when you’re on the playback screen. If you switch to any other (i.e. Nav or Settings) it won’t trigger a reboot.
    Spider had its first service 2 weeks ago. Dealer said they didn’t have anything newer than the 56 version back then (EU).

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  2. Heya,

    I just asked 2 dealers today (FCA NA) if they have an update, and they just plugged in the OBD/VIN and played dumb. Mazda dealer is even offering to do the update for me, but I can’t find the Fiat v59 files online, and they only have access [to Mazda firmwares].

    Best,
    Stefan

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  3. The Mazda versions are made available (unofficially) by a few kind-hearted individuals working at Mazda dealerships, but I’m betting that Mopar hasn’t even sent an updated firmware installation package to Fiat dealers, as there really are no major issues needing to be resolved. Other than the possibility that the Speedometer app might work better (and perhaps the memory management glitches* have been fixed?), I don’t get why you are pursuing an upgrade. Are you an iPhone owner? What were listed as Bluetooth and USB improvements in Mazda firmware updates, have been reported by many as actually behaving worse than pre-upgrade, requiring another round of updates! I’m not sure as to which round of updates are reflected in 59.00.524 though.

    There are a few owners of recently built Abarth 124s that probably wish they had our older firmware versions, so they could do some tweaking. 😉

    * is that what they mean by “System stability and response of the CMU has been improved”?

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  4. I just asked my dealer service manager-not sure he actually knew what i was talking about, but said they have no updates at this time. I am hoping for a fix for my version 56 OS, which cannot handle bluetooth operations and has a lot of other annoying deficiencies. Any idea when or if there will be a fix? (2017 124 Abarth)

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    • If you are really determined to update Bluetooth and USB drivers, you are in luck, since you have version 56 firmware in your car, and you can download the Mazda 70.00.100 firmware (the official upgrade to versions 56 + 59) and upgrade the system yourself. Review my article (software portion only; you needn’t do the hardware portion, unless you want CarPlay/Android Auto), and determine whether you feel capable of taking the project on.

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  5. Hi Ameridan – Thanks so much for this website. I have literally spent hours on it getting smarter about our infotainment system and other details of my car. My other car is a Lexus and while every review of those cars complain about how “old” the infotainment system is, I have never had a lockup, system slowdown, bluetooth glitch, etc. My 2018 124 Spider with version 56 firmware has been a different story. It works, but wow, in comparison it is glitchy, quite slow, and just does not feel as polished.

    I am hesitant to go to version 70 firmware as I have no interest in CarPlay at this point, and I’m really scared of the bluetooth echo issue that people see – that will be a deal breaker for me. For that reason, I’m tempted to try version 59 for a while. I see that 59.00.524 has issues with USB and that you recommend against it. I can’t find much info about 59.00.562. Is there a page on your site that I have missed with info/release notes about that build? Is it better than 50.00.524 from what people see? I am mostly interested in memory management improvements, stability and speed fixes.

    I have ID7 installed and some of your tweaks currently on version 56. That is a slick tool you built!

    Is there a source for the Fiat builds of our firmware other than the dealer? Again I have looked but maybe I’m looking with my nose….

    Finally, if it’s easier to just install version 70.00.335, I can do that instead, but I can’t find that the tweaking and ID7 blocking has actually been reliably circumvented. Am I not up to date on that?. If there is a stable, tweakable way to get 70.00.335 on, and Fiatize it, then I will try that instead

    Sorry for all the questions. What do you advise?

    Thank you again so much for all your help! Your site is amazing.

    Ryan

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    • Thank you Ryan.

      Since I know of no source for Fiat firmware other than the dealer, I would work with the original 56 firmware. If you insist on upgrading, install id7 first! And stay away from 70.00.335 if you want to retain the ability to tweak, and instead consider the Mazda 70.00.100 firmware (the official upgrade to versions 56 + 59) and upgrade the system yourself. Review my article (software portion only; you needn’t do the hardware portion, unless you want CarPlay/Android Auto), and determine whether you feel capable of taking the project on.

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  6. Thanks for that quick reply. I am comfortable taking on the upgrade myself for sure. I am mostly scared of going to the version 70.00.100 firmware due to the apparent Bluetooth echo issue. I will have to do more research there.

    Let’s say I try version 70.00.100 and don’t like it, are downgrades possible? I want to know that – worst case scenario – I can go to the dealer and have them flash the current Fiat firmware on – which will certainly be a lower version than 70.00.100. Are you aware if there are any limitations to this backup plan?

    Thanks again for the help!

    Ryan

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