The new iPhone 5 and the Holden Commodore aren't speaking.
But Holden says it is working to fix a communication problem between its Commodore and the latest iPhone, one of the best-selling handsets in Australia.
Hyundai has also received complaints from customers about iPhone connectivity.
Melbourne resident Ashley Hall says he bought an iPhone 5 in November but the handset “failed every time” to connect in his Commodore.
“I am unable to receive calls, everything goes silent when I take a call,” Mr Hall said. “The best-selling phone and one of the best-selling cars in Australia ... [and the companies] are unable to sort this out.”
Mr Hall says his dealer told him it could be 12 months before a fix is found.
The glitch has created heated discussion in various forums online, with users raising the issue on Apple discussion boards as well as the Australian Whirlpool and Mactalk sites.
Owners with various makes of car say they are having problems connecting to the new phone.
Holden says car manufacturers and phone companies have to work together. “When new phones come on to the market they need validation to ensure compatibility with existing in car systems,” a Holden spokeswoman said.
“We now need to undertake that validation to see where the iPhone 5 and new operating system are not compatible with the HoldenIQ system.
“This is an area where car companies and phone companies need to work more closely together and something we are focused on.”
Holden engineers are examining why the handsets can't talk to its IQ touchscreen infotainment system, she said.
The company says next year's Barina Spark and VF Commodore will work with Siri, the voice-activated assistant in all new iPhones.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the problem, and would say only that “both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S support Bluetooth 4.0”.
Manufacturers looking to woo tech-savvy buyers are all too aware that they expect their phones to work flawlessly with in-car entertainment and communication systems.
In all Australian states, using hand-held mobile phones while driving is illegal – but using a hands-free mobile is allowed.
In NSW, loudspeaker features on phones cannot be used unless the phone is in a secure cradle.
Drive tested the hands-free and music functions of an iPhone 5 with the latest software updates this week and found it worked flawlessly with new cars made by Audi, Kia, Mazda, Peugeot and Toyota.
Ford says there have been no reported problems between its new electronic Sync system and the iPhone 5.
But a spokesman for Hyundai said that some customers had experienced smartphone connection problems.
Some contributors to online forums say they have solved hands-free problems with the iPhone 5 by upgrading to Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 6.01, but Ashley Hall tried this, with no success. “It definitely won't work," he said.
Apple sold more than 2 million iPhones worldwide each day in the third quarter of 2012. Samsung's Galaxy S III outsold Apple's iPhone 5 globally in the same period, but Apple is expected to retake first place in the sales race by the end of the year.
Analysts have predicted that the iPhone 5 will be the best-selling gadget in history.