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Can't Navigate Out of a Paper Bag - Comments

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I don't know about Colorado but out here in California we have an agency known as Bureau of Automotive Repair and they have teeth to make this kind of thing right (Teeth, like license revocation and fines or both). I used to work for a Ford/Mercury dealership among others and when one of our customers didn't get satisfaction from their local service managers (Forget the sales personal they only make promises that other people are expected to fulfill even the impossible) we instructed them to ask for the regional service representative's contact information and keep going up the line until you are satisfied.

If nothing else I believe there is a federal "lemon law" http://www.carlemon.com/lemons.html that will require them to give you what they advertised or your money back once you meet the requirements as outlined. The lemon law is somewhat time sensitive so you need to follow up on the problem in a timely matter. This is another possible source of satisfaction: http://www.dmv.org/co-colorado/car-dealers.php

I had to smile because your experience with your salesman reminds me of EXACTLY the reason we have sworn a solemn vow to never buy ***ANY*** Ford product again. We had continuing problems with some of the bells and whistles installed on our Escort some ten or twelve years ago. We repeatedly and fruitlessly contacted the service department who referred us to the sales department who referred us to the company which referred us to the sales department who referred us to the service department -- and so forth, around and around.

What finally worked for us was filing a complaint with the Department of Motor Vehicles describing the sequence of events -- Ford's legal types in Michigan actually tried to contest the complaint, asking why we were "only just now, almost a year after the car's purchase" bringing it to their attention. We were able to document all of our efforts to get Ford and the local dealership to resolve the problems, so the DMV gave them two weeks to resolve all the issues to our satisfaction or else. The salesman called us, literally crying, and begged us to let them fix it. They also knocked $4,000 off the purchase price and gave us free service for two years and an extended warranty for an additional 100,000 miles. My husband was the one who agreed to the two years of service and repairs -- I wanted to hold out for lifetime, since I was the one who had made almost all the calls, visited the dealership over and over, and fought most of the battles. The service guys had been rude and condescending, the salesman had been rude and condescending, and the finance guy had been openly mocking, sarcastic, and extremely rude.

Nope, I'll never buy another Ford product. Since it sounds like they have already given you the runaround, and the sales jerk isn't returning your calls, I strongly suggest you go straight to Plan B and file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Motor Vehicles (or whatever it's called in Colorado), and maybe the Business Affairs section of the Secretary of State. Good luck with getting the nav system resolved!

Our family has come to the same conclusion that Portable GPS systems from Garmin and TomTom work as well or better than built in systems that cost much, much more.

We also like that we can easily use our portable GPS in rental cars. Current GPS portables, like the Garmin Nuvi and TomTom are small enough that you can easily use them on walking tours.

I had a similar problem with a Dodge dealer. When I went in to complain, I was threatened. I almost called the police. They were rude and bordering on violent. The finance guy told the salesman to call an ambulance because there would be a body to pick up.

I left, called the owner, who was on vacation, left a message, multiple times. Never received a response. Wrote a letter to him, nothing. Wrote to Chrysler, copying the dealer. Chrysler called me, wanted to verify the threat. They told me it would investigate, but because it was an internal matter, I might not hear anything about it.

I need to go to the dealer for a part a few months later, the guy's office was occupied by someone else. I hope he was terminated, but I won't ever know.

Even that was not enough to get the owner to respond to me. I won't be buying a new vehicle from that dealer ever again.

Reminder, the auto companies do not own those dealerships, and there are good and bad dealers. Those dealers are local businesses, in most cases, that help (!) your local economy.

Don't expect any better from Toyota - the navigation system in our new Highlander works the same as yours. Fortunately enough for us, we live in the suburbs and don't drive to emergency calls so we're not as dependent on ours.

GM has the same issues with their $2000 navigation system in Cadillacs. I ended up buying a Garmin Nuvi that tells the the exact turns to location and correct side of the street. The Caddy system leaves me "you are approaching your destination". Forget about telling me which residential streets to use! If it is not a major arterial, it has no clue. Now, if you want to pay an extra $300 a year, OnStar will give you "turn by turn" directions on their car telephone system. Thanks, but no thanks. Garmin works for me!

in the interests of full disclosure, the garmin units default to "safe mode", and won't let you enter data while moving - but have an option to turn safe mode off with a "you can't sue us if you crash while entering a destination" warning. Garmin has the same map/destination source as Google and i've never been unhappy with any of their products after owning several. Their bluetooth interoperability with several car radios i've tried beats the tar out of any GPS offering from a car maker.

On a recent trip to visit my nephew in Canberra, a place I lived and worked in for over a decade, he took me to a place across the other side of the city, a section he hadn't been to before. Luckily it was a place I knew well. he had a sat navigation system going and it was giving verbal instructions, no I didn't think to get its brand or model, and it turned me off these systems completely. I got so fed up I actual reached over and turned it off as I gave him the directions to get where we were going. Why you may ask, because the thing had us out of place by about 500 metres and if we followed the last set of directions we'd have driven off over a thirty metre drop into a river instead of crossing it on the bridge several streets away to our right.

I KNOW most sat GPS systems are accurate to a couple of metres or less (depends on which you buy) but 500 metres out, that's got to be a major stuff up in the flaming software. I've seen three of these in use now and the best had us within five metres of where we were. A good map is still better as I can see more than just a few streets if I want to.

I have realized that the least number of "built in" items you buy for anything is the best way to go. I would never buy an installed GPS. You can't pick and choose the best one to fit your needs, you can't use it in another car, and they are all overpriced.

I bought a Garmin Nuvi 370. It is small, I have a nice leather belt case for it, and it works beautifully. The same for DVD players. My sister has 2 kids, and she bought 2 portable units, they hang on the back of the front seats, and each child can watch their own DVD. If it were built in, she couldn't take them on a plane with her. If either the built in DVD or GPS need repair, you need to leave your vehicle. Not if you didn't get suckered into overpaying to be held prisoner to your dealer for those wonderful "built in" units. Unfortunately we fall prey too easily to marketing in this country, we each need to be able to think independently...remember..if it sounds too good to be true..it isn't.

I recently drove a Ford Escape Hybrid with the same navigation system as yours on a trip...we also had a Garmin Nuvi 750 on top of the dashboard. It was an interesting comparison - thought the basic routing wasn't all that different.

I also have used DeLorme's Earthmate and Street Atlas for years. All of these products have quirks and errors, for the most part their data all comes from the same source. There are address errors that are common to all three of the systems, causing them to all locate my office about a kilometer away from its real location, on a different street.

Regarding the POIs (Points Of Interest) they all have holes in that database, too - for instance: on the Nuvi, a local chain of restaurants has two of three locations listed - the other one doesn't seem to exist. I expect that's just slack programming.

As for the verification and the acceptance of terms, the Nuvi of course does that too, every time it's turned on - of course, I realize it doesn't get turned off at a gas station. But both of these are legal issues...(see True Stella for more). If it didn't remind you it wasn't perfect every time you powered it up, you would sue the manufacturer when you got lost. And if the roads were listed without verification, you would sue when you drove over the bridge that doesn't exist -- DeLorme sent me down a road where the bridge has been gone for 30 years - fortunately I don't trust it that much.

The best argument for the Nuvi or TomTom is that you can take it in any vehicle, or carry it in your pocket when you're out walking in an unfamiliar city.

Best of luck getting FoMoCo to assist you in solving your problem. Sell them the nav system back, or let them buy the whole vehicle.

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