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Toyota Avalon Navigation System



  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    This a repeat of my earlier message #214 for all the dissatisfied Avalon Owners with
    NAV system problems
    ...Go To It
    .....have a 2007 avalon with a GPS....I can not tell you how many times this thing has taken me astray...Ihave told the dealer to no avail. I have called the toyota home office and they say they have no complaints about the GPS system...

    Toyota America is lying to you. I finally got results after I called Toyota in Japan (Tokyo)and sent them documentation of my travails with the factory representative who saw my car malfunction and said that there was nothing wrong with the system. A certified letter to Toyota in California got me a phone call from a representative who said that the word of the Factory Representative was final and I could go to arbitration if I felt there was a basis for a complaint. They refused to put their response in writing. After the call to Japan (which must be made at night after 9PM EST), the lady I spoke to, who spoke perfect English, expressed the concern that the position being taken by Toyota America was not appropriate and that she would contact them. I received a call from a gentleman in the Executive Offices of Toyota America after about 5 days who advised me that they had heard about problems with the Navigation system. He said that they intend to make changes in future models. I asked what good that would do for me and he asked me what I would thought would be appropriate. I said I either wanted the system fixed or I wanted monetary compensation for the less-than-perfect system.
    He asked what I thought would be appropriate. I asked for $500 and he agreed. I got a check with a cover letter that made no mention of the problem, merely that the check was for "goodwill". Anybody with the problem should consider dealing with Toyota regarding this problem in the same way since they are taking the STONEWALL POSITION on the problems with this system. I got the number for Toyota by going on the Toyota website (Japan). Good Luck to All. Write back after you try this! It worked for me! By the way.... I used STARTEC phone service (see GOOGLE) The call to Japan for 20+ minutes cost about $1.00
    :mad: :mad: :D :D :lemon:
  • Thanks guys! I thought it was just me. The rocker switch defeats me routinely. Getting on the right route after inputting the correct info is challenging to say the least. all while sitting perfectly still. I can't drive anymore I so have lots of time to check alternative routes, with my $150 no-name gps mounted on the right front windshield. It's almost funny to hear the voice telling you to "make a legal U turn at the next exit", so it can take me 20 miles off route for no particular reason except an out of date database. If lose of face is an issue with toyota then there should be a lot of blood lost over this sucker.By way my experience with gps gooooes back to 1969 when it was first tested aboard a US Navy ship, through the 8# portables, garmins, explorist, and other Magellans. With the exception of that first gps, this nippon denso unit has the worst learning curve and is the least user friendly of all the models I have used. Somebody ought to be handed a long knife over this disaster.
  • rpfingstenrpfingsten Posts: 154
    Since my 07xls did not come with gps, my son bought me a fairly cheap portable gps system for christmas last year. It's the Mio 230 and I have to tell you how surprised I am.. this thing works great.. Voice program on the system is very easy to understand, and for being an inexpensive model, the directions are remarkably good... screen is colorful and easy to see in the daylight.. only complaint I would have about this unit is that because the screen is not huge, tapping the screen prompts for someone like me with big ol fat fingers can be a hassle, but other than that... well worth the money.

  • bobu1bobu1 Posts: 6
    I'm new to session so please pardon any duplicity I may cause. I bought a 2007 Avy LTD in July, 2007. Worst navagation system I have ever used! How does one find out what the latest software rev was at the time the car was purchased? Can we find out what the latest version is now without going to the dealer? I just want to insure I got what I was supposed to get when I bought the car and go from there. Leaving on a trip up and down the east coast tomorrow and we will be taking our Garmin NUVI 350 to make sure we're on track - GREAT unit.
  • caprobcaprob Posts: 3
    On your Navigation control panel, go to MENU and select. Then select DVD. Version 6.1 should be the version shown and was the one in use until this Winter when 7.1 came out. Don’t get 7.1, basically only adds Canada and Hawaii maps. You must have gotten one of the first ‘07’s made. I got mine in October and believe that Ver. 6.1 was in use for both of us.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    I agree with all of ya in one thing: The system is far from being "user-friendly".

    However, putting aside the voice recog., I find the system extremely accurate; I would say within, at most, 1 foot of deviation. I have used other GPSs, and when it comes to accuracy, the Denso unit in my '08 Limited is excellent.

    Also, the system relies on two different tracking systems, and they continually check each other for correction. One system relies on satallite signals; the other system is the on-board gyroscope, meaning that if you loose the satellite signal then the gyro takes over for guidance. I have checked this when crossing the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel here in New York City.

    It is a pitty that the system plagged with other minuses but I have come to understanding them, and I could say that I feel happy with it (the system).

    Note: when I purchased the '08 Limited back in Sept. '07, the car came with software map version 6.1. I complained to Toyota. They suggested me to buy the latest version, 7.1, (which I paid $967). I submitted the invoice for full reimbursement. I've got the check in the mail. Happy story.

    '08 Limited
  • Is there third party help to make destinations in Avalon's, Navigation system?
    The manual sucks big time. There are NO examples, I mean precise examples taking me thru the task of setting up a destination?

    Japanse/English manual is NO HELP at all...

    Help please?
  • bobdp1bobdp1 Posts: 3
    Like coach57 I too was anxious to try out the voice activation on my new 2006 Avalon navigation. I gave up trying to make it work, it recognizes nothing! As far as taking you to your destination, I have had take me the 20 mile route instead of the 3 mile route, had it stop navigation 2 miles before desitination telling me it could not find an address for a 50 year old home, take me 100 yards past the entrance to a place then beep me, I could go on and on with how worthless this navigation system is. My first was a Magellan, it never failed me and the touch screen selection is the only way to work thru a nav system. Looking to buy a 2009 Avalon Limited, but with no nav system.
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    The 2008 Avalon navigation system is a total disaster. And, Toyota won't do a damned thing about it. We got stuck with the all time lemon of navigation systems. Shame on you Toyota.
  • tkaztkaz Posts: 69
    Hi Greg,
    Exactly where is the EJECT button? I slide the door open, but can't figure out where to eject the DVD. Thought maybe the switch was built into the sllide, but pushing that in did not do anything. Tried with the car running and with it off.
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    Can you install the DVD yourself or does the dealer do it as part of the $967 price?

    I just bought a 2008 Limited that had 5K miles...widow brought car back when husband died. It had the nav installed already. I didn't buy the car because it had nav...but it defintely influenced my decision. If I had read all of your notes, I would have bought a Limited without original intent...and used my Garmin Nuvi 350.

    I was flabbergasted when I tried to use the nav the first time. I just assumed Toyota would have the same quality in the nav that they have in everything else in the Limited. Not so! The experts at the dealer tried to demo the unit to me...and they could not get it to function right!

    I have used my Nuvi 350 for a year and love it. It works well even in rural areas on dirt roads. The Avalon nav can't find its way from my house to the next major road!
  • bobu1bobu1 Posts: 6
    Love my Nuvi 350 too! Agree Avalon nav system is very poor, voice recognition almost useless. Wife took her 2007 LTD in for service and complained about nav. Dealer changed a setting and "tweaked" something else in system and now nav works acceptably. I won't buy another Toyota nav system without a thorough test though.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55

    The DVD player for the Nav is in the trunk by the tail lights, driver's side. You need to set aside portion of the trim cover in order to access the unit. Nothing complex here. Once you see the unit (player), find the eject button. This is like inserting/removing CDs/DVDs in any CD/DVD player.

    However, while doing this, juice has to be flowing in your avy; therefore, has the IG switch in the "acc" position. Once the new DVD is inserted, the Nav system will update itself within a few seconds.

    I still consider the NAV in the avy more superior and accurate than many other stuff I had seen (I have owned two GPS, laptop based, which are far more powerful than any 4" LCD unit). The true is that the voice recog really SUCKS big time. So I rely on the manual approach for all my inputs.

    '08 Limited
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10

    My issue with the nav is the ability...or lack of navigate within secondary roads. Apparently, the 6.1 ver of software in my unit does not have enough data to provide navigation in non-metro areas. I live in a community that has been here 20 years, but the nav only has data for the main highways that come through town.

    Does the 7.1 ver improve the data for secondary roads in non-metro areas?

    If not, I will have to haul my Nuvi 350 when driving in out-of-the-way places.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Still I haven’t encountered the situation where my GPS has gone solo (no road data available). But what you just mentioned is a fact of life; It is impractical (for the financial cost of double-checking or finding every geographical spot on the US) and physically impossible to jam-pack every street, road, alley, etc. on any CD or DVD (only so much 0’s and 1’s can be stored in these media).

    No matter which software one uses, these software are prone to go solo due to lack of map data. Heck even the laptop-based Navigation I own, powered by the laptop’s Pentium 3.2 GHz processor and having the laptop hard drive as storage, does not include every geographical point in the US.

    It is just pure luck that the other Nav system you use, which is cheaper than the Avalon’s, does have all the routes you need for navigation. I’m lucky, too, that for my navigation needs my Avy’s GPS has everything (and I have been to many rural areas in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts).

    '08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    Dear Mr Amaury. You are missing the point all of these folks are making, namely that the Toyota Avalon navigation system is a rotten design, both in content and function. The number of GPS points is secondary to the miserable design of this navigation system ... compare to Honda, or one of the other brands that are a joy to use ... and that work properly. This one stinks.
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    I am not missing the point. I'm fully aware that the system (hardware and software) is far from being user-friendly. The fact is, I kinda twisted Toyota's arm regarding one issue I had with the GPS. But don't forget that this is a two-way communication between the hardware/software and the user, which is us.

    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    You are missing the point..Don't apologize for por design or coverage. This is a $2000 option, not a $200 discount store item. There is no excuse that anybody can offer that justifies the garbage system that has been marketed for years without major improvement or substitution.
    No reply is necessary, you just don't get it.
    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Toyota is to be blamed for not providing an in-depth, comprehensive manual on the capabilities of the navigation system.

    Case in point: One major complaint about the system is its “apparent” inability to calculate an efficient route. The fact is you don’t need to accept the route (or any of the other “3rd Route options) the system gives you. You can force the system to take the route that you want (the system has tool for this). You can even see the entire route, street by street turn, at your own pace before putting the car in motion. This gives you time to examine the route for consistency (efficiency). If you don’t like what you see, drop it; take another one.

    You can save multiple routes along with all your preferences well in advance of your trip(s). This way when the trip day comes, you just jump in the car; your route(s) will be there waiting for you. With this I’m also implying that the system has the capability of saving multiple destinations from one single location in one step. For example, if you want to go from point A to point B, then C followed by D and ending in E, you can put all those destinations (along with routes) while you’re at point A. And, of course, you can re-order the priorities of these destinations at will. You can insert any stop, overnight stay, etc. into your route without changing the original route. And in case you make an “unprogrammed” deviation from your route, the system will still get you to your destination using your remaining road preferences. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    But, of course, most of this stuff is not in the manual. I found this out by playing with the system and making my own notes. This is way I said this system is a two-way communication; the user’s reaction counts a lot here.

    I understand people fustration about this but that does not necessarily mean I need to be fustrated as well. My view is that, as is the GPS on the Avalon should not be intended for mass market because it seems to be experimental even though it is not.

    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    You obviously have a lot of patience with having been presented with an inaccurate, difficult to operate, undocumented and in some respects faulty system. To have paid the price of this system and be accepting of the incomplete product provided takes a lot more patience than I, and many others have.

    I have a tremendous level of patience if there is a reason to be so. However, if this GPS is experimental, I don't appreciate being used as a Guinea Pig.
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Another feature offered by this system is to find your way using the lat & long coordinates. With this info, even if there is no road data available the system will guide you to the road closet to your coordinate point (latitude and longitude). The system always provides you with the lat & long along any path you take on the map.

    When in route overview, the user have the option to either see the entire route by itself on the map, or a listing of the street turns involved, or both. This way the opportunity is given to explore your route before "lift-off".

    My findings are not a matter of patience. Being stuck with a $2K gadget that at first seemed to be a waste was not an option for me.

    '08 Limited
  • generosegenerose Posts: 35
    I disagree respectfully but Latitude and Longitude are not posted on roads, I have never seen this feature on my system on the 2007 Avalon Limited. If you are on remote, unfamiliar turf, the system does not always do its job and can, as I have experienced, take you astray or onto a route that adds many miles to your trip.
    In summary, the system is an inferior, difficult, overpriced, inconvenient and outrageous offering by Toyota.
    :lemon: :mad: :lemon: :mad:
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Every point on earth has a latitude and longitude “address”, including your own house. This is how vessels can find spots on the ocean and missiles can find their targets on earth (sort of).

    While your car is parked in your garage, activate your Nav system:
    Hit “Destination” button.
    Choose the “By Emergency” option.

    Bingo! The screen provided by this option (latter) includes the Latitude and longitude of your garage. Now, you can find that spot once again in your system either by the common method of street by name or by the not so common method (among us civilians) of Cartesian way of Lat and Long.

    How can your find your spot in the middle of Interstate 95 or Route 66 or Coyote land? Not by street name my friend. Lat & Long is way more reliable.

    ’08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    Hi honey, I'll be right over ... what's your latitude and longitude!

    This junk sucks!
  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    My wife and I took the Limited to Tampa this weekend. During the trip, I had ample opportunity to test the GPS. I took my Garmin Nuvi 350 along as a backup and as a sanity check.

    Here are the results:
    Avalon contains navigation information for secondary roads/highways only in metropolitan areas. It worked fine in and around Tampa, but could not navigate anywhere near my house in central Florida. The system had most of the road locations and names just would not use the information for navigation. (Nuvi had no problems anywhere along the route.)

    Avalon contains limited data for points of interest. It could not find a well-known seafood restaurant (Landry's Seafood) within 2 miles of my hotel. It could not find movie theaters anywhere in Tampa. (Nuvi found both and navigated us to them nicely.)

    I compared all of this to Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 that I use at home. It could navigate all of the roads in the routes and found all points of interest. I dare say the version that was available eight years ago could do so.

    Avalon's navigation system is at least 10 year old technology.

    '08 Limited with difficient navigation
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    I am in the market for a portable GPS system and I have my eye on the brand new Garmin Nuvi 880. In addition to text-to-speech, it has voice recognition, traffic monitoring and blue tooth.

    Reviewers are saying this is the best portable GPS system on the market right now but it is pricey at $999 compared to the $349 Magellan Maestro 4250 that does essentially the same thing with AAA Tour book included.

    My wife has OnStar in her automobile and I just love the way everything is so integrated especially when the stereo is muted so you can hear the directions loud and clear on your car speakers rather than on the built-in speakers on the GPS units. Hands-free phone, XM radio, MP3 and OnStar turn-by-turn directions all work together so seamlessly.

    I know it is perhaps difficult to find a portable GPS that works with your stereo but I am not sure if the Garmin 880 or any other system can do that.

    So my question is: Are there any voice interface accessories, other than the FM transmitter, that can be used to integrate the sound system with the GPS?
  • amauhryamauhry Posts: 55
    Please do not misunderstand me. The Avalon’s GPS is not perfect, and the lack of proper documentation makes it even less perfect. If Toyota issues a good manual with everything there is to know about the GPS there will not be so much grievance about its performance.

    Any portable GPS like TomTom, Nuvi and the likes are not perfect either. If you want to see these devices fail miserably, try to find your way out of the Sumner Tunnel or Callahan Tunnel in Boston City, MA, (especially if you are heading to Logan International) assuming you don’t know your way around. All of these tiny devices go dead under the Lincoln and Holland tunnels in New York City as well; a weak point where the Avalon’s system excels. Again my point is, nothing is perfect. Many complaints about the Avalon’s GPS and I fully understand why. To me it is almost perfect because I understand it, and it has never failed me so far. Almost perfect because I did notice a glitch (no wonder Toyota honored my complaint to my full satisfaction).

    '08 Limited
  • fmflfmfl Posts: 16
    The more I read of these wonderful comments about the wonderful Toyota Avalon Navigation System the more The Emporer's Clothes come to mind.
  • pulonepulone Posts: 11
    I ought a TOMTOM because the better models have Europe in them. Mind has Bluetooth & an MP3 player, which was very useful in Italy.

  • jordanfljordanfl Posts: 10
    I complained to my dealer about the ver 6.1 nav software. They tell me they will sell me ver 7.1 for $ special deals just because I bought the car from them two weeks ago. Nice guys!

    The dealer says it has more secondary roads available for navigation...not just display. They cannot tell me specifics about the new roads added.

    I am tempted to upgrade...but I am wondering when the next version of the nav software/database will come out. It appears Toyota has released a new version almost every year. My ver 6.1 is dated 2006 and ver 7.1 was apparently released in Oct 2007.

    Will there be a Gen 3 ver 8.1 coming out in October of this year?

    Have any of you downloaded the Gen 2 & 3 ver 7.1 from the site, created a DVD and successfully used it in an Avalon Limited to replace Gen 3 ver 6.1? Several folks on that site have apparently done so...but they appear to be super techies...that know DVD software and hardware inside and out.

    Avalon Limited '08
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