Garmin GPS units are hot items -- both figuratively and literally, it seems. Reviews bear that out, as the nuvi series of automotive GPS devices sweeps ConsumerSearch's Best Reviewed categories in our most recent full report. Unfortunately, Garmin has identified a potentially dangerous overheating problem when certain third-party batteries produced within a specific date range are used in conjunction with specific printed circuit boards (PCBs). The overheating risk could lead to increased risk of fire.
While The Wall Street Journal reports that there are fewer than 10 recorded instances of this problem, Garmin has taken the step of initiating an immediate voluntary recall of 1.3 million potentially affected GPS units. The models involved in the recall are (Note: "xx" represents a two-digit number):
This indicates that the Garmin nuvi 765T, a ConsumerSearch Best Reviewed model judged to be the top automotive GPS device overall, is included in this voluntary recall. Registered owners of devices that have been identified as being recall-eligible will receive a letter from Garmin with detailed instructions.
If you own a nuvi 765T (or any other affected model), you can visit Garmin's website and enter your serial number to verify whether it's part of the recall. If it is, Garmin says use should be discontinued immediately and that users should discharge the battery and bring the GPS to an authorized service center, where technicians will install a new battery and a spacer to minimize interference between it and the printed circuit board.
Full details are available in Garmin's letter to customers.