Helpdesk: October - Sat-nav leads to big bills

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Big bills to update sat-nav maps
Big bills to update sat-nav maps
Name Bernard McClure
Car Mazda CX-7
Problem Expensive sat-nav update

Bernard McClure was disappointed when the sat-nav in his 2010 Mazda CX-7 didn’t recognise a major motorway.

He was even more annoyed when he found out how much updated mapping would cost.

On a trip to Ireland, the Mazda’s navigation system didn’t show the main motorway from Dublin to Cork. Bernard checked the SD card that stored the maps and found it was labelled Europe ’08/’09.

In theory, one of the advantages of storing the maps on an SD card is the ease with which the system can be updated. However, when Bernard asked how much new mapping would cost he was quoted £222.

Unsurprisingly, Bernard thought this was a bit stiff when you can pick up aftermarket sat-nav systems for £100 or so.

We agreed, and wrote to Mazda querying the price. The company told us: ‘The mapping for the CX-7 is unique to this model. Even SD cards in other Mazdas with similar navigation systems are not compatible, therefore the cost for development is shared across a much lower volume than an aftermarket system.’

Bernard’s not impressed with this explanation and, frankly, neither are we.

Before this happens to you
1 Compare the price of factory-fit sat-nav with aftermarket systems, which can be moved from car to car.
2 Find out how maps get updated and what this costs.
3 If you travel outside of the UK, make sure the system has European mapping.

Helpdesk: October - Sold the wrong car


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