Reprogramming File Availability to Improve Bluetooth Pairing – 2014-2015 Subaru Forester

NUMBER: 15-186-15R
DATE: 09/08/15
REVISED: 02/24/16

APPLICABILITY: 2014-15MY Forester Models with Clarion Audio
SUBJECT: Reprogramming File Availability to Improve Bluetooth Pairing



This bulletin announces reprogramming file availability and a corresponding installation procedure which will allow Bluetooth pairing to be completed successfully when using voice commands on the Clarion audio units listed below.  Pairing of phones using voice recognition is the preferred method on these Clarion audio units.  See bulletin 15-185-15 for additional details on using voice recognition to pair phones to Clarion audio units.  The procedure will involve downloading the applicable update file from Subarunet then loading it onto a flash drive for installation.



CF605UL, CF625UM, CF646UH, CF735CH and CF746CH

The audio unit model number is displayed on the lower right of the faceplate as shown below.

audio unit model number



There have been reports of the Bluetooth pairing procedure not starting after pressing the talk switch on the steering wheel.

talk switch


To confirm if this bulletin applies, press the “Talk” switch on the steering wheel and listen to the voice which will provide some basic information, instructions and a list of options to select from.

  • In some cases, a “SELECT LANGUAGE” screen may be displayed. Turn the Tune / Track knob to scroll through available choices then press the Tune / Track knob again to select.



  • After selecting the language, “Welcome!” is displayed. The unit should automatically display the Setup / Pair Phone screen next.



  • If the system automatically displays the Setup / Pair Phone screen, the procedure is complete and reprogramming is not necessary.
  • If the system does not automatically display the Setup / Pair Phone screen, the update files to reprogram the audio unit will likely need to be installed.


Software Version Check / Reprogramming Procedure:

  • Cycle the ignition off then back on.
  • Without turning on the audio unit (blank / black screen), press and HOLD the TEXT button while pressing the station preset buttons 5 & 6 simultaneously. The current software version will be displayed as shown below, right.

press and HOLD the TEXT button while pressing the station preset buttons 5 & 6 simultaneously


  • If the 4th, 5th and 6th digits of the version ID number displayed are 504 as shown in the photo above, the unit must be updated. If they are 505 or higher and the system does not automatically display the Setup / Pair Phone screen, the audio unit will need to be replaced with an exchange unit from Clarion.

VERY IMPORTANT:  If an exchange is determined to be necessary, a detailed description of the problem MUST be supplied in the space provided on the Exchange Form.



Materials Required:

1 empty, USB 2.0 storage device (flash drive) will be needed to perform the update procedure.  The device should be dedicated to storing and transferring these updating files only.  It should also be no more than 4GB in size and contain a FAT32 file format before downloading the update files onto it.

USB 2.0 storage device (flash drive)


All the Clarion update files are accessible for downloading from Subarunet under:

Service>>Forms / Downloads>>Downloads for Audio/Navi page then clicking on the following hyperlink:

Click Here to Access the Downloads for Audio/Navigation Information on Subarunet

Downloads for Audio/Navi


CF605UL 470347605v087_MainMicom-USA-ML.mot
CF646UH 470347505v087_MainMicom-USA-H.mot

The Subarunet page shown above will display and contain links to the Clarion update files.


Prepare the USB Memory (flash drive)

VERY IMPORTANT: Before attempting to download any data files, confirm the PC and flash drive you are using are not infected with any virus. The flash drive will need to be formatted for FAT32 following the steps below.

USB Flash Drive Formatting Procedure:

  • Install a flash drive into an available USB port on your PC.
  • Click Start (this is located in the lower left corner of the desktop screen) then, in the Search programs and files box, type “explorer”.



NOTE: On SDS Notebook you may also press the My Documents button on the GUI Home Screen.

  • As you type the word “explorer”, search results will start to appear. In the results, click on the “Windows Explorer” option under the Programs section.

Windows Explorer


  • In the next window, choose the Computer section on the left. Locate “Removable Disk

Removable Disk


NOTE: Always confirm the device you are formatting is the USB Flash Drive.  This drive may have various names assigned to it by the manufacturer of the device and may not reflect the drive name given in this example.

  • Right click the picture for “Removable Disk” then select “Format”.

Removable Disk


  • When the “Format” dialog box appears, make sure the option labeled “File System” is set to FAT32 and the Quick Format box is checked as well. Then, click the “Start” button.

Quick Format


  • Click “OK” when the following window appears.

Click “OK”


  • The drive will start formatting and display this window when it is finished. Click “OK” to comcomplete the process.

Click “OK”


File Download Procedure:

Now that the flash drive has been formatted, the update file must be downloaded.  Download the update file to your PC from the Subarunet links.  The screenshots below will take you through the steps required to get the selected update file onto your flash drive and ready to use.

File Download Procedure

File Download Procedure


Once the download is complete, you will need to locate the update file, unzip it then save the unzipped version to the USB flash driveNOTE: If you have not already done so, follow the procedure above for re-formatting (removing any existing files) your flash drive.

  • Plug the freshly formatted USB flash drive into your computer.
  • Go to your Windows Start screen, select “Computer” (or click on My Documents if you are using the SDS Toughbook) then click on “Downloads”.

SDS Toughbook screen shot


Once your list of downloaded files opens, locate and click on the downloaded update (in this example, “470347605v087_MainMicom-USA-H.mot”) you are looking for.  TIP: Click on Date Modified and you can sort the downloaded files by the date they were added which will bring the newest file to the top.

downloaded update


  • Double clicking the update file will bring up a dialogue box with a Security Warning. Click on “Run” to continue.
  • Click on “Browse”.

Click on “Browse”


  • As shown below, click on “Removable Disk” which is your USB flash drive where you want the unzipped update file(s) to be saved. Click “OK” then click on “Unzip”.

click on “Unzip”


  • The update file will unzip and be saved to your flash drive.
  • Confirm the update file (and flash drive) is ready to use by going back to Start > Computer (or My Documents on the SDS Toughbook) and double clicking on “Removable Disk” to display the drive’s contents as shown in the examples below. If OK, proceed with the software installation procedure below.


  • Do not change the update file names after downloading them.
  • Do not save any other version update files onto the same flash drive.

CAUTION:  Confirm one last time the file on the USB flash drive and the head unit it will be installed in match per the table below before installing it.

CF605UL 470347605v087_MainMicom-USA-ML.mot
CF646UH 470347505v087_MainMicom-USA-H.mot

NOTE: Because of the time it takes to perform these updates, SOA recommends connecting the Midtronics GR8 Diagnostic Battery Charger to the vehicle and utilizing the Power Supply Mode feature when performing these updates.  Once the GR8 is connected to the vehicle, as long as the battery is fully charged, it takes less than 3 minutes to boot-up the charger, select the Power Supply Mode, and have the vehicle’s battery voltage stabilized and ready for updating.  VERY

IMPORTANT:  This information is applicable to the Midtronics GR8 Diagnostic Battery Charger ONLY.  It does not apply to any other brand / type of “generic” battery charger whatsoever.  ONLY the GR8 and its Power Supply Mode feature has been tested and approved by Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA).  If the GR8 indicates the vehicle’s battery must be charged, charge the battery using the GR8 before proceeding to update the audio unit while using the Power Supply Mode.


Reprogramming Procedure:

NOTE:  If a GR8 is unavailable, this reprogramming procedure can also be done with the engine idling.

  • Turn (or push) the ignition switch to “ACC ON” with the Radio switched OFF.
  • Insert the USB drive into the USB port.

USB port


  • Without turning on the audio unit (black screen), press the TEXT along with station preset buttons 5 & 6 (press all 3 buttons) simultaneously. The current software version will be displayed as shown below, right.

press the TEXT along with station preset buttons 5 & 6 (press all 3 buttons) simultaneously


  • With the version ID displayed, press the CD/AUX button along with station preset buttons 5 & 6 (press all 3 buttons) simultaneously. The updating will start automatically.

press the CD/AUX button along with station preset buttons 5 & 6 (press all 3 buttons) simultaneously


  • IMPORTANT: Do not remove the USB or turn the ignition off while software is updating. The updating procedure will take approximately 8 minutes to complete.

updating procedure


  • When the update completes, the system will reboot automatically. The display will go to an Audio Off (black) screen.
  • Once the screen goes black, switch the ignition OFF and remove the USB drive.
  • Turn (or push) the ignition switch back to “ACC ON”.
  • Press and HOLD the TEXT button while pressing the station preset buttons 5 & 6 Confirm the software version is now M 347505V087.

Press and HOLD the TEXT button while pressing the station preset buttons 5 & 6 simultaneously


  • If YES:  the procedure is complete.
  • If NO:  perform the software Reprogramming Procedure again.



For vehicles within the Basic New Car Limited Warranty period or covered by an active Subaru Added Security Gold plan, this repair may be submitted using the following claim information:


REMINDER:  SOA strongly discourages the printing and/or local storage of service information as previously released information and electronic publications may be updated at any time.

Always refer to STIS for the latest service information before performing any repairs.


30 thoughts on “Reprogramming File Availability to Improve Bluetooth Pairing – 2014-2015 Subaru Forester

  1. I have a Subaru Impreza 2011 with the CZ424L1 head unit with software version «M 272608V071»
    Would this firmware update work for me? Or do i need something else?

      1. I have looked everywhere i can. But i cant seem to find an update for my HU. But i have the exact same bluetooth issue.

  2. Hi

    I have a 2011 Forester. HU number is CP 225K1, for which I find no info whatsoever. My BT connection keeps on dropping for no reason.

    My firmware version is M 272608V071. The closest thing I could find is the 470-2725-11-V074_MainMicom-USA.mot, but it seems that version is a little different (M 272511V074).

    Is it advisable to use this update? I scared I turn the thing into a brick.

    1. So I did the update.

      The good news is the BT issues seem to be sorted.

      The bad news is, seeing that the firmware is for left-hand drive USA models, my right hand drive unit’s controls are now the other way round… Tuner is now On/Off, volume is tuner… >_<

  3. What would far more useful if Subaru puts out a firmware upgrade to support .OGG/Vorbis and .FLAC and WMA lossless that is found on Tesla, Honda, all Boeing passenger aircraft and Nissan, Opal and Mercedes. So do most of the Chinese car manufacturers. So does Apple and Android.

    What is infuriating is that Clarion (who is Subaru’s OEM ) offers this out of the gate with the NX706. It as if Subaru deliberately crippled the entertainment system playing from USB. Even the manual refers to WMA, but skips over which of the three variants of WMA work.

    Disfigures an otherwise excellent car and makes it third rate rather than a simple, royalty free couple of CODECS being added in (that Clarion already has in its libraries).

  4. Why isn’t there a recall on this bluetooth pairing problem for 2014-2015 Subaru Foresters? It seems that it is a common problem for lots of peoplel.

    1. I have a 2015 Subaru Forester, I purchased new. I have a CF605UL and I checked it to see what the software version was. It came back as 604. This means it needs an exchange unit from Clarion according to what I have read. I have taken car to Subaru dealer and they want 1500.00 to replace head unit. The blue tooth has not worked correctly since I bought vehicle, but I didn’t realize it at the time. Now, I am 3 months past my warranty so no one will make good on this. How do I rectify this situation? It seems like a similar problem with many 2015 Foresters.

  5. I’m hoping someone can help here. I also have the CF225KM Forester 2014 radio with software version M347704V081, and I have the exact same issue with the display showing BT-A PLEASE WAIT. Bluetooth on this thing just won’t work. I’ve tried disconnecting my car battery to reset it (for up to an hour) but this doesn’t fix. Does anyone have a firmware update for this head unit that I could try to install? I’ve taken my car to two Subaru dealerships and they’ve been unable to assist. Could we get in touch via email, oemdtc? ?

  6. I have bluetooth connection issue with my 2014 forester, it has a CF446LH base head unit. I could not find any info about this code. Can you find a software for it?
    Thanks in advance.

  7. Hello, trying to locate firmware update for CF625UM, the link in this article is no longer valid. Thank you in advance.

  8. Thank you. Was hoping not to go that route as I am sure there will be a significant charge for a unit that doesn’t work. The updated software won’t work? Again… Thank you.

  9. I have a Subaru Forester 2014 with a CF255KM head unit. Would the firmware work for me? if not, does anyone have access to the firmware that would?
    Thanks, Shannon

  10. The site to download the file is no longer working. Is there a different way to get the 470347505v087_MainMicom-USA-H.mot file?


      1. My Subaru dealer just tried installing this version today, but instead of “505” it came back “605” My Clarion unit is CF646UH in a 2015 Forester.

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