Watchdog: Signal failure puts nav traffic alerts off course

Suzuki blames “low signal issues” near owner’s home for new Vitara’s traffic alert glitch

If your new car has a fault the dealer can’t fix, but is still fit for its main purpose, you may have to live with it; a minor problem is unlikely to be sufficient justification for a full blown vehicle rejection.

That’s the frustrating situation reader Heather Elkington found herself in. She discovered she couldn’t receive local traffic updates via the sat-nav on her 65-reg Suzuki Vitara, which she bought in September.

Heather, of Verwood, Dorset, told Auto Express there were a few faults with the system – the worst of which was that it frequently didn’t deliver any traffic updates.

“I’m supposed to get alerts to tell me when there are traffic jams or roadworks,” she said, “but I noticed when I was driving around Bournemouth, which is under a lot of construction, nothing was flagged up.

“This non-reception seems to spread out to Poole and Lymington, and as far north as Salisbury. But we know it’s not a problem for all cars, as traffic updates from the same provider, INRIX, are instantly available in our other car, a Lexus RX.”

She complained to dealer Balmer Lawn Suzuki in Milford on Sea, Hants, and, after five months of testing, Suzuki admitted there “appear to be low signal issues in the area”, but concluded there was no current fix. Instead, it offered to fit an alternative sat-nav, or issue her with an iPhone which she could link to the system she had.

Heather said: “I didn’t want them to dismantle the dash and fit non-standard equipment. I’d rather simply sell the car.” But in the meantime, she told us: “I want Suzuki to confirm that it’s either warning local buyers of the problem, or not selling the cars locally at all until it’s resolved.”

When Auto Express called Suzuki to ask about the fault, its spokesman said: “This is the first complaint Suzuki has received regarding the Traffic Information system, which we will of course be monitoring.”

When Auto Express asked if it was warning potential customers, it confirmed: “Suzuki will now tell its dealers in this area to advise existing and prospective Vitara customers that the Traffic Information updates are subject to the strength of the signal received.”

Recommended

Suzuki S-Cross SUV review
2021 Suzuki S-Cross driving
Suzuki S-Cross
25 Nov 2021

Suzuki S-Cross SUV review

New 2022 Suzuki S-Cross revealed
2022 Suzuki S-Cross SUV - front 3/4
Suzuki
25 Nov 2021

New 2022 Suzuki S-Cross revealed

Suzuki Vitara SUV review
Suzuki Vitara SUV
Suzuki Vitara
18 Aug 2021

Suzuki Vitara SUV review

Cheap fun cars: our picks from £1,000 to £10,000
Honda Civic Type R front
Toyota
12 Aug 2021

Cheap fun cars: our picks from £1,000 to £10,000

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022