Spotify is offering refunds for Car Thing before it stops working

Turning the dial on Spotify Car Thing.
(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Customers can get refunds for their Car Thing purchases by contacting Spotify customer support with proof of purchase.
  • Spotify discontinued Car Thing five months after release, and devices will stop working on December 9.
  • Spotify aims to streamline products and focus on new features, likely due to cost-cutting after layoffs and a price hike.

If you bought Spotify's Car Thing and it’s about to become a paperweight, here's some good news: Spotify is now offering refunds for the $90 device.

Spotify told TechCrunch that they’ve started giving refunds to anyone who contacts customer support and shows proof of purchase, like an email receipt. Car Thing launched in early 2022 after quietly rolling out to some Spotify Premium subscribers for free in late 2021.

The device was designed as a fix for cars that didn’t have built-in displays with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It acted as an external remote with voice commands and preset buttons on a four-inch color touchscreen.

But Spotify pulled the plug on Car Thing just five months after its release. Last month, they told customers their devices would stop working on December 9.

Spotify said in a support page that this move is part of their efforts to streamline their products and focus on new features for a better user experience. It seems like a cost-cutting move after a tough year with layoffs and a price hike.

This decision has upset many users, leading to a class-action lawsuit filed on May 28 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit claims Spotify misled customers by selling a device that would soon be obsolete without offering refunds.

Initially, reports indicated that there would be no refunds, but Spotify's FAQ page now says that customers can contact support with proof of purchase to discuss refund options.

Interestingly, Spotify said they started processing refunds on May 24, a few days before the lawsuit was filed, suggesting they might have started this to dodge legal trouble.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.