Lexus Seeks Fix for Software Glitch in Navigation System

  • Company says satellite communcations are being disrupted
  • Luxury-brand owners grumbling in Chicago, southern states

Toyota Motor Corp. is working to repair a software problem that can disable navigation systems in its Lexus vehicles and that may require a return trip to dealerships to complete repairs.

Moe Durand, a spokesman for the Lexus luxury division, said the problem may have been caused by a faulty application in the kind of software the automaker routinely ships to customers’ vehicles via satellite. Durand said the company hasn’t determined yet whether vehicles will have to return to dealerships to fix the app.

The automaker is getting calls asking, among other things, whether it’s been a victim of a cyberattack or had engaged in some kind of promotional stunt, he said. The issue can also affect radios, which are displayed on the same dashboard screen, Durand said.

‘Kind of Widespread’

Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman, said earlier that satellite communications to the navigation systems had been disrupted. Lexus’s Customer Experience Center has received complaints from the Chicago area and from southern U.S. states, she said. Customers in California have also complained via Twitter.

“It seems to be kind of widespread,” Knight said. “We have not found the root cause yet.”

A posting on YouTube shows a Lexus RX350 navigation system starting up, then going to a blank purple screen and starting over.

Lexus had the highest ranking of any brand in an annual vehicle dependability study released by J.D. Power & Associates in February. But problems with infotainment, navigation and in-vehicle communication systems were rising and accounted for 20 percent of all customer complaints, J.D. Power said.

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