Road Warrior

Travis Baker blogs about the problems and idiosyncrasies of Kitsap highways and byways.
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Road Warrior baffles his route guidance lady

January 28th, 2014 by travis baker

The in basket: Today I’m seeking reader’s advice about a peculiar problem I have with a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu I bought last summer.

It’s a great car, the first American-made car and first automatic transmission car I’ve bought in 30 or 40 years. Certainly it’s the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned

But its voice-activated GPS system, which is what I call the system that supposedly directs me to locations to which I want to go, is a puzzling failure. And neither the dealership nor, evidently, General Motors has been able to help with it.

I suspected a problem right away when I saw its on-screen map showing Mile Hill Drive, on which I live, as SR160. It used to be, 20 years ago, but Sedgwick Road was designated SR160 in 1992, and much of what had been Highway 160 became Highway 166 a year later. The rest of it became a county road, called Mile Hill Drive and Southworth Drive. Voice activation is unable to recognize either name.

Nor can it (she, actually, as it’s a female voice) recognize Pine Road in Bremerton, Mickelberry or Ridgetop in Silverdale, Madison or Sportsmen’s Club Road on Bainbridge Island or Front Street in Poulsbo, just to provide a sampling of its ignorance. She takes wild stabs at what I’m saying, streets I don’t even think exist here and don’t sound anything like what I said. Violet Court seems to be one of her favorite guesses.

Just for fun, I asked if for addresses on Tropicana and Sahara avenues in Las Vegas, two of the nation’s most famous streets. She couldn’t identify either. My wife’s voice has no better luck.

Voice activation works fine with the phone and sound systems. She recognizes cities in route guidance, but almost no streets.

Route guidance works when I manually punch in where I’m going. But, of course, you can’t enter things manually while in motion.

The dealership couldn’t correct it and referred it to General Motors, who told them they knew of the problem and were working on it. But months have gone by with no news.

The out basket: I’ll let you readers write the out basket portion of this one. Do any of you have a late model Malibu with this problem. A late model anything?

 

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2 Responses to “Road Warrior baffles his route guidance lady”

  1. Jack Sears Says:

    I don’t have a Chevy, but I wonder if you have thought about going to the dealer and telling them you want to try the GPS in another new car, to see if it has the same problem. If not, tell them you want a replacement. If it does, let other prospective buyers know. Good luck.

  2. Al Says:

    Best solution I found was to replace my factory GM navigation system with an aftermarket unit. That has resulted in over three years of trouble free operation.

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You can reach Travis Baker at tvisb@wavecable.com

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