Major iPhone 14 bug sees Japan's emergency services inundated with false calls

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Emergency services in Japan have been inundated with false emergency calls triggered by Apple’s Crash Detection feature during casual trips to the country’s ski areas according to the latest reports. 

The Fire Department Kita-Alps in Nagano, one of Japan’s most popular ski areas, received 919 emergency calls between December 16 and January 23, 134 by accident mainly triggered by Apple’s Crash Detection feature on the newest iPhone 14 models, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra

The false Crash Detection epidemic has also affected the Gifu prefecture in the country where nearly 40% of emergency calls in 2023 so far were made by mistake. 

Crash Detection keeps faking it.

Apple’s Crash Detection is a major selling point for the best iPhones on the market but has seen major issues since its launch in September 2022. There have been multiple instances of false 911 calls on rollercoaster rides as well as skiing and snowboarding trips causing unintentional demand on emergency service responders since launch. 

The feature can be disabled, however, it’s probably best to send a false alarm rather than not have Crash Detection should you actually require it. A firefighter for the Nagano area, said, “It’s an effective function in the event of a really serious accident, so we can’t ask users to turn it off.”

When working properly, Crash Detection is a vital feature of the current Apple product lineup that can save lives when owners are in life-threatening conditions following a car crash for example. 

The company has made updates since its launch that have improved the detection feature's optimization. iOS 16.1.2 brought “Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.” Apple didn’t go into detail about how they’ve improved the feature but hopefully, this will limit false calls and make Crash Detection a must-have for iPhone users and those looking for the best Apple Watch

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.