Motorola rolls out fix to Moto X and Nexus 6 emergency call bug

A few units of the Moto X, Moto X (2nd Gen), and the Google Nexus 6 are suffering from an emergency call bug. So what’s this glitch? It happens when someone starts to make an emergency call before the PIN is entered. The emergency call is made before the handsets get a chance to completely boot up. The result is a connected emergency call, but the dispatcher will be unable to hear the call. So bad news if ever you are in an emergency, and the dispatcher cannot do anything to help you.


Motorola announced:

Emergency Dialing Maintenance Release

Motorola recommends accepting and installing the software update as soon as it is offered on your device. This update corrects an issue that could in very rare and specific circumstances cause one-way audio following emergency dialling on the following devices:

  • Moto X (1st Gen.)
  • Moto X (2nd Gen.)
  • Nexus 6
  • Droid Turbo
  • Moto Maxx / Turbo
  • Droid Ultra
  • Moto X Pro

This situation happens only in the following, very rare situation:

  • The user has encrypted the phone with “PIN to start” enabled (note that this is the PIN entered on an encrypted phone when it is powered on and boots up, not the PIN or pattern often entered to bypass the screen lock on a phone that is already powered on).
  • The phone is fully powered off and then the user powers it on (not just wakes it) to place an emergency call.
  • Upon boot-up, the user selects the emergency dial shortcut option that is presented before the boot PIN is entered, rather than allowing the phone to boot completely before placing the emergency call.

In this situation, the call will be connected, but with audio only in one direction. The phone user will be able to hear the dispatcher, but the dispatcher will not be able to hear the phone user.

Users awaiting the update can take the following steps to ensure that the outgoing audio in an emergency call is not compromised:

  • Keep your phone powered on. Once the phone is fully powered on, this situation does not happen.
  • If you must power on your phone to place an emergency call and do have PIN-to-start enabled, enter the start PIN and allow the phone to boot completely before placing the call.

Consumers using the pre-PIN and pre-pattern emergency dial option on the screen lock (which is different from the encryption “PIN to start” option) are NOT affected. Most people do not power their phones off regularly, and only a small minority use encryption and PIN-to-start, so the chance of a user encountering this situation is remote. However, because it could in theory compromise audio during an emergency call, we felt it was important to address as soon as possible.

Is your Moto X or Google Nexus 6 affected by the emergency call bug? Has this updated fixed the problem? Let us know through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.

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