Garmin recalls GPS units over battery fire fears

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Garmin is recalling more than a million Nuvi navigation devices over fears that they could overheat and cause a fire.

While the company says it's only aware of ten cases so far, it believes that around 1.25 million devices could have the same problem, with 796,000 of these having been sold in the US.

The affected devices contain batteries manufactured during a specific period by an unnamed third-party supplier, and which have a specific printed circuit board (PCB) design. The recall concerns devices with model numbers 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT (where xx is a two-digit number). These units were sold worldwide.

The company has written to those purchasers it's aware of, urging them to return their device.

But, it warns in the letter, "We also take this opportunity to re-emphasize that Garmin’s existing product literature for Nuvi devices instructs and warns customers not to expose the products to extremely high temperatures by leaving nüvi units in the windshield while unattended because of the extremely high temperatures that can be reached on a car dashboard on a hot, sunny day.

"These high temperatures can cause the battery to swell, which could contribute to overheating risks."

Garmin urges customers to visit www.garmin.com/nuvibatterypcbrecall to see if their unit may be affected. If it is, they can return it for repair. 

Garmin will replace the battery and insert a spacer on top of the battery next to the PCB, before returning the Nuvi to affected customers free of charge.  Owners shouldn't try to do this on their own. 

It says the battery supplier has agreed to share the cost of replacement battery packs and all other costs of the recall program.