Tag Archives | Garmin

Garmin Users: Your GPS Might Be Recalled

Garmin has said that certain models of its nuvi line have been recalled due to a fire hazard with the non-removable battery within the device. Since the user can not easily change the battery on his/her own, the company is asking those affected to check to see if their device is affected and send to the company for repair.

Only 10 devices within these models have so far been confirmed to have the actual problem, however Garmin has decided to recall all possibly affected devices as a safety precaution. The exact cause of the overheating issue — which leads to the possibility of the device catching fire — is not known.

The issue affects the following models:

  • Garmin 200W
  • Garmin 250W and 260W
  • Garmin 7xxW series (the xx is a two digit number)

Garmin has set up a special website to see if your nuvi device is affected, and its estimated about 765,000 units were sold that potentially could be part of the recall.

Users who attempt the repair on their own would void their warranty. The battery, as well as a spacer to prevent any future overheating issues would be installed by Garmin for those devices returned through recall. It appears the original devices would be returned to their owners, and not replaced with brand new models.


Is TomTom Toast?

Tom Tom GPSAmong the bevy of interesting things about Verizon’s Droid smartphone is Android 2.0’s new version of Google Maps, which includes full-blown turn-by-turn GPS navigation with spoken instructions–for free. Judging from the couple of trips around San Francisco it’s guided me on so far, it would be pretty darn appealing even if it wasn’t a freebie–the directions worked, it speaks the names of streets in a crisper voice than AT&T Navigator sports on the iPhone, and I like the way it switches to a Street View photo once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Google says it’s working on bringing the new version of Maps to other devices. If it does, for-pay navigation applications will have to be radically better to compete, which is bad news indeed for all the companies charging for smartphone navigation apps–and probably even worse news for those who sell stand-alone handheld navigation devices. People are already spreading doom and gloom about the future of navigation stalwarts such as TomTom and Garmin.

There’s at least one form of dedicated navigation hardware that I hope doesn’t vanish: built-in car systems, which have nice big screens and, in some cases, user interfaces better designed for on-the-go use. And pilots, sailors, and other specialists will still want their customized GPS devices. But if we all get navigation that’s 90 percent as good as the best stuff out there for 0 percent of the price, it’s hard to see how many folks will justify paying for another gadget–especially one that may carry a monthly service charge.

Your take on the fate of GPS hardware, please: