June 16, 2024

Spotify Refuses Refunds for ‘The Car Thing’ Even After It Bricks

Typically, when a product is purchased, consumers anticipate being able to continue using it even after the company ceases sales. Your vehicle doesn’t suddenly become unusable when production stops, for example. However, for individuals who invested in Spotify’s Car Thing, this is precisely what is occurring. The popular streaming service recently declared that post-December 2024, all Car Thing devices will be remotely rendered inoperable. If you possess one, you’ll be required to discard it.

If you’re unfamiliar with Car Thing, it’s a device crafted to address a specific issue. For $90 (or free for early Spotify Premium adopters during the invitation-only period), buyers received a compact screen that attached to a vent and connected to the car via Bluetooth or an auxiliary jack to play music from Spotify. While not groundbreaking, as alternatives like a phone mount and Bluetooth adapter exist, the concept had its appeal.

Less than six months following Spotify’s public release of Car Thing, the company discontinued the product. Citing “product demand and supply chain challenges,” Spotify halted production. Existing owners could continue usage, and unsold units were discounted to $50. However, no new units were manufactured. Now, the final decision has been made to deactivate Car Thing altogether.

In their statement, Spotify mentioned:

Car Thing is our inaugural hardware item enabling users to control Spotify through car speakers when linked to a phone using voice control and preset buttons.

We have opted to discontinue Car Thing. Consequently, Car Thing will cease functioning. This resolution was not made lightly, and we assure you of our commitment to providing an exceptional listening experience.

We recognize and greatly appreciate the backing and excitement demonstrated for Car Thing. It has been an amazing journey, and we are thankful for all the moments shared.

Furthermore, if you doubted the seriousness of discarding the device, Spotify advised, “We recommend resetting your Car Thing to factory settings and properly disposing of it following local e-waste guidelines. Consult your local waste management authority for proper disposal or recycling instructions in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.” While not meant for the regular trash, Spotify indeed instructs customers to dispose of the item. What an era we live in.


Q: Can I continue using my Car Thing after December 2024?

No, Spotify has announced that all Car Thing devices will be remotely deactivated and rendered inoperable after December 2024.

Q: What should I do with my Car Thing once it’s deactivated?

Spotify recommends resetting the device to factory settings and following local electronic waste disposal guidelines for safe and proper disposal.


In conclusion, the decision by Spotify to remotely deactivate all Car Thing devices post-2024 has left owners with no choice but to discard the product. While initially designed to enhance the music streaming experience in cars, the Car Thing’s short lifespan raises questions about product sustainability and consumer expectations in the digital age.

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