Software in the radio hangs in the radio boot process upon encountered an errant image sent by KUOW-FM. Apparently the only fix is to replace a $1,500 component in each car.

The problem was a broadcast containing image files with no extensions.

Source: Radio station snafu in Seattle bricks some Mazda infotainment systems | Ars Technica

Initially, owners were told it would cost $1,500 to repair – but now Mazda plans to provide replacements at no cost. However, due to supply chain and semiconductor shortages, this may take quite some time.

There were two faults here:

  1. KUOW transmitted incorrect data
  2. The software in the Mazda radios did not validate the data input and instead, just crashed. One must never assume that input data is “correct”.
  3. Mazda radios had no method of doing a reset to default conditions to undo the bad file, after it was loaded into the system.

By EdwardM