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Australian Motorists Stranded After Using Apple Maps, Police Say

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Drivers in Australia were stranded in a national park in Victoria state for a day without food and water after being led astray by Apple Inc.’s iPhone mapping application, according to police.

Maps on iPhones with the iOS 6 operating system list the northwestern Victorian city of Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park about 70 kilometers (44 miles) away, state police said today in a statement. In some cases, motorists were stuck for as long as a day and walked long distances to get phone reception, police said.

“Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees (115 degrees Fahrenheit), making this a potentially life-threatening issue,” according to the statement.

E-mails seeking comment from Carolyn Wu and Fiona Martin, spokeswomen for Apple in Beijing and Sydney, respectively, were not immediately returned.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook apologized in September for the map software that has been criticized for flaws including misrouted directions and inaccurately located landmarks. Google Inc.’s maps were on previous iPhone models.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” Cook said in a letter to customers posted on the Cupertino, California-based company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net

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