Remember Car Thing? Spotify Wants You to Throw It Away

Spotify killing Car Thing
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Spotify killing Car Thing
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Spotify discontinued the Car Thing in 2022 but had promised to keep supporting the units already sold. Now, Spotify says just throw your Car Thing in the trash, as the device will stop working after December 9, 2024.

When Spotify discontinued its hardware device, Car Thing, back in July 2022, the company said at the time that it would continue to support the units it had already sold. Spotify even held a fire sale for its Car Thing, with the previously $90 device going for as low as $30. Now, customers who purchased a Car Thing are receiving emails from Spotify, notifying them that the device they purchased will no longer work after December 9.

“While this chapter is closing, we’re working on new, innovative ways to enhance your drives in the future,” reads the email from Spotify, though the company says it has no plans to dip its toe back into the hardware pool going forward.

Car Thing launched officially in February 2022, geared towards people who don’t have an infotainment system built into their vehicles. The device worked by connecting via Bluetooth to the Spotify app on a user’s phone to stream music over their car’s sound system. But it was discontinued less than six months after release, with Spotify citing low product demand and supply chain issues.

Still, Car Thing managed to find a niche following — especially when Spotify sold its remaining stock for just to a third of the original price. The sale led to more customers than ever owning a Car Thing, many of whom had previously balked at its $90 price tag.

Users are understandably angry that a device they paid for will effectively become a brick, despite Spotify previously promising to support the Car Thing for those who bought one. Many owners have taken to social media to demand a refund, which Spotify is not offering.

Worse still, the support page for Spotify’s Car Thing advises users to reset the device to factory settings and “safely dispose” of it “following local electronic waste guidelines.” Spotify is also not open-sourcing the device to enable its continued use — it just becomes trash.

But Car Thing owners are persistent, with a Spotify community vote asking the company to open source the Car Thing software rapidly gaining traction since the announcement the device would become e-waste.