Garmin nuvi battery recall over potential fire risk

Aug 25, 2010
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Bad news for Garmin today, with the announcement that the PND company is recalling around 1.25m nuvi GPS systems over concerns that third-party batteries may overheat and, potentially, cause fires.  Owners of Garmin nuvi 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT (where xx is a two-digit number) PNDs should check out the company's special site, punch in the serial number and see if they're affected; if so, the unit will have to be sent back (at no cost, naturally) for battery replacement.

According to Garmin, there have been fewer than ten incidents of overheating nuvi units, resulting in no significant property damage and no injuries.  In fact, they're describing the recall as "an abundance of caution", probably to the chagrin of the third-party battery company who have agreed to help foot the bill.

Press Release:

Garmin® Announces Limited Recall of Certain nüvi® Personal Navigation Devices

Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today that it is voluntarily recalling approximately 1.25 million nüvi personal navigation devices (of which approximately 796,000 units were sold in the United States) that contain batteries manufactured by a third-party supplier within a defined date code range and that have a specific printed circuit board (PCB) design. Garmin has identified potential overheating issues when the third party supplier’s batteries manufactured within this limited date code range are used in certain Garmin devices with the PCB design. It appears that the interaction of these factors can, in rare circumstances, increase the possibility of overheating, which may lead to a fire hazard.

This issue has been identified in less than ten cases in total involving certain nüvi models. None of the reported incidents has caused significant property damage and no injuries have occurred. Nevertheless, given Garmin’s longstanding commitment to safety and customer satisfaction, Garmin is proactively recalling nüvi units with the specific PCB design and with batteries from the specific date code range out of an abundance of caution. Garmin strongly urges customers to go online to determine if their nüvi device is one of the few nüvi models affected by this recall and, if so, to participate in the program. Only the 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT (where xx is a two-digit number) model numbers may be affected. These units were sold worldwide.

To determine if a unit is affected, customers can visit www.garmin.com/nuvibatterypcbrecall. They will be asked to enter their nüvi’s serial number, and if their unit has the specific PCB design and contains a battery from the specific date range, they will be given instructions on how to return their nüvi at no charge. Garmin will replace the battery and insert a spacer on top of the battery next to the PCB before returning the nüvi to affected customers free of charge. If customers are unable to access the website, they may contact Garmin through one of the phone numbers below:

• In the United States and Canada, call (866) 957-1981
• In North America and South America outside the U.S. or Canada call +913 397-8200
• In Europe, Middle East, and Africa, call +44 870 850 1242
• In Asia, call 886/2.2642.9199
• In Australia, call 1800 113 738; and in New Zealand call 0800 427 652

Owners should not attempt to remove or service the battery on their own. To ensure that the unit's battery is replaced as part of this recall, please return any affected unit directly to a Garmin-authorized facility, using the procedure outlined above.

Garmin is making every effort to cooperate with customers, dealers, and regulatory agencies worldwide, and the company apologizes for the inconvenience that this issue may cause.

Garmin does not expect this recall to have a material adverse effect on its results of operations, financial position or cash flows. The battery supplier has agreed to share the cost of replacement battery packs and all other costs of the recall program.


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