According to a report on Yahoo News, popular GPS maker Garmin is issuing a recall for Garmin Nuvi models 200W, 250W, 260W, and 7xx. The recall is being issued on a voluntary basis due to a faulty battery that can overheat, resulting in a fire hazard. However, the statement posted online from Garmin states these instances are extremely rare. Apparently, the battery overheating is only a problem when combined with a particular circuit board; still the recall affects over one million units. Consumers who are concerned about getting their battery fixed and the unit repaired free of charge can use the Garmin Recall Site to determine if the unit they own is affected.
Luckily for Garmin the recall comes before the hectic holiday shopping season, when deep discounts and great sales would have released even more units to the public. While over one million units is still a fairly serious recall, because the problems are so sporadic, the vaunted GPS maker is keeping the whole thing voluntary. While a problem like this will likely not amount to a serious problem for the company, the real threat to Garmin, and GPS units in general, is the growing popularity of smart phones and other devices that are multifunctional.
The fact that other pieces of technology can act as a direction giving never get lost tool, and still be used for other activities is really starting to heat up what was already a competitive marketplace. The biggest factor that likely keeps consumers grabbing a GPS unit is screen size, and as technology for smart phones and devices like the iPad keep developing, one has to wonder how much time is left in a one dimensional piece of technology. Of course, the unforeseen problem plaguing the directional devices is market saturation. More and more units are finding their way to users every year, and without bona fide or Earth shattering improvements over previous models, users have little need to upgrade the hardware.
All the problems with the GPS tech aside, they remain reliable devices. While the recall will likely not amount to much more than a blip on the radar, the last thing any company wants, especially a tech company, is to have their name attached to a tech problem so close to the holiday season. But give the folks at Garmin credit, they seem to be charging headstrong to get the issue corrected before it becomes a serious problem.