You’ve probably read our story of a few weeks ago about the lack of map updates for Kia vehicles with satellite navigation.

After switching to an in-house system the owners of vehicles with the older system were left high and dry after Kia’s licensing agreement with its original supplier, Here Maps, expired at the beginning of last year.

All was not lost, however, because after months of negotiation, Kia finally revealed it had found a solution for the majority of owners – about 45,000 vehicles.

Those with older 2012 and 2013 models — another 20,000 or so customers — were plumb out of luck.

The technology did not exist anymore.

kia sorento sat navBuyers were initially promised two complimentary map updates over a three-year period, one at the 12-month anniversary of purchase, the second at 24 months – as part of what was called Mapcare.

Those who had already used their quota would be asked to pay around $250 for an update.

Fortunately, our 2015 Kia Sportage, which still has 2014 Australian and New Zealand maps, was one of the vehicles that qualified for an update and, even better — it wouldn’t cost us a brass razoo.

The latest map for our car, we were told, was Quarter 3, 2016 — still two years out of date but, hey, better than four?

Forewarned with this information, my wife booked the car in for its 30,000km service and asked if they could please update the maps.

“I don’t know whether there is an update available, but I’ll check,” she was told.

Just to make sure, I phoned the day before. It’s a good thing I did because there was no note on the booking about any map update.

I gave the girl the information and she said she’d pass it on.

Job done . . .  or so I thought.

When my wife picked up the car we were told the update had been carried out and later that evening I checked to make sure.

They’d done the update all right — for New Zealand — very handy if we happened to be shipping the car over there for a fly-drive holiday – but not much use otherwise.

How could something so easy be so hard.

And, if I was having trouble, how would the average customer get on?

I phoned the service manager and told him what had happened.

No, no, no. Even though it said the map for Australia was still Q3 2014 – he tried to tell me the map had in fact been updated.

Really? That would take a bit of convincing.

He requested a screenshot which I emailed to him.

Later I got a call to say they were waiting on Kia to get back to them.

That was Friday.

On Tuesday my wife — not me — got a call to say yes, the update hadn’t in fact worked and they’d need the car for about 30 minutes again.

I guess the manager hadn’t wanted to eat humble pie and call me – I mean what would I know?

But, because I’m a professional smart arse, I called him anyway and left a message.

Sorry. He’d lost my number.

I asked who was taking responsibility for the stuff up and why we had not received an apology.

To his credit he apologised but said it was unclear why the update had not worked – it had said installation successful.

My question to him and to Kia itself for that matter: how many other people are driving around thinking their satnav has been updated — when it hasn’t?

I’ll let you know how the second attempt goes.

To check what map you have:

  1. Enter the navigation software
  2. At the menu select “More…”
  3. Select the “Help” option, in the bottom right
  4. Select “About”
  5. Select “More”
  6. Select “Content”
  7. Select the down button to until you see “Maps” and select it
  8. The field with Australia will tell you the version of map data currently installed in the uni


CHECKOUT: Thousands miss out on map updates

CHECKOUTKia map updates: did you get yours?

CHECKOUT: Kia map updates: share your experiences

The map update that got lost


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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The Talent
The Talent
3 years ago

Any further update on this one, Riley? We just booked our Carnival in for the 30,000km/24 month service and when I asked about the map update they informed me that it would be <$200 to get done, and emphatically NOT a complimentary service.

3 years ago
Reply to  The Talent

If the car is within 24 months of its registration date it costs nothing. We just had our Sportage 30K service and it cost us nothing for the update, although you can see from reading it didn’t go smoothly. Knowing dealers, if they think they can put one over then he will probably have a go. If unsure check with Kia Australia. Have your vehicle rego and VIN number handy. And I quote from the original offer . . . “In an Australian first, Kia will also offer a free map update at the 12 and 24-month anniversary of purchase… Read more »

The Talent
The Talent
3 years ago
Reply to  cars4starters

Thanks so much, Riley. Do you have a document or link that I can show the dealership tomorrow? Our 2016 carnival is still running 2014 maps.