Welcome - You've come to LexusOverride.com. Our Mission is to inform customers of the surprising limitations of Toyota / Lexus Navigation systems, which are too frequently hidden by salespersons during test drives. In a nutshell:
1. While the car is moving, you cannot input destinations, dial phone numbers or find things like bathrooms or restaurants. If you want to access the Nav system while moving, buy a Garmin.
2. The passenger cannot access the system either.
3. Lexus denies this is a problem. Lexus denies there are customer complaints.
4. Lexus has refused to address the issue for years.
To date 2,000 Lexus owners (see their comments) have registered their dissatisfaction with us. These customers, who represent more than $70,000,000.00 worth of vehicles, are not satisfied. Many will not buy another Lexus and nearly all would not pay for such a poor Nav system. If you already own a Lexus, see how I got my rebate and encourage other owners to join us us as we work to get rebates for you too. We promise not to sell or rent your email, but we will tell you when news happens. If you are currently shopping for a new car, not even Consumer Reports will tell you the downside that so many owners discovered - too late! Please take a moment to view the comments and become informed if you are considering a Lexus.
If you've already bought a Lexus and are looking for the Override for your 2007 - 2010 Lexus car, or recently upgraded your nav DVD, I have bad news for you.
In a sure sign the Legal Department has taken control of the company, Lexus took the Override away but 'forgot' to tell you, the consumer. Lexus has ruined driving for thousands of car owners.
Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Jaguar, Mercedes, Dealers: Print the business cards to the left and help inform car buyers - send them to our COMMENTS page so they don't make a 'Lexus mistake'.
Jan, 2010 --It's a New Year and a time to begin again. How will Lexus respond? We'll let you know!
Mr. Templin did not write back. Instead, I received a letter from customer service. There are no plans to allow use of the Navigation system while the car is moving. So trade in your car, steer friends and family to other manufacturers and let Lexus control their ever-shrinking fleet of vehicles.
A recent NY Times article stated " For Car Buyers, the Brand Romance is Gone". I think the author is mistaken. Most car buyers want to identify with their cars and the company that makes them. However, some auto manufacturers like Lexus have alienated their customer base with their strongly defensive legal posture. I sure know that Lexus has made me madder than hell by the way they stonewalled every one of us who wanted a system that worked. Perhaps it's time to get out of that relationship.
2010 Lexus still has no Override. Voice Recognition not a reliable substitute.
The 2010 RX 350 is in showrooms and a short visit to the local dealership reveals Lexus Navigation is still something to avoid. I was not able to test the Nav while driving, but the salesman did tell me that you must rely on the Voice Recognition (VR) while driving. His demo of the VR was done with the car parked in the showroom, the engine off with a quiet interior. No road noise and the radio was off too. Here's how it went:
Me: "I've heard the voice recognition is not very good."
Salesman: " Oh no, the new version 6 is very good. Watch this! Say you are looking for a gas station."
Salesman: "gas station"
VEHICLE: "Destination. Speak your intended destination" <------------Strike 1, it thinks he said 'destination'.
Salesman: " Show chinese food."
VEHICLE: "Please try again." <-----------------------------------------------------Strike 2
Salesman: "That won't work, you have to try coffee house," Salesman then finds coffee houses using the new, comfortable but slow pointer interface that has replaced the touch screen. 10 coffee houses pop up. He starts clicking on these, one at a time, trying to find a Starbucks.
Me: "Can I select these to see which might be Starbucks while the car is moving?"
Salesman: "Um, I'm not sure." <-------------------Foul ball.
Me: "How about the phone? can I dial numbers while the car is moving?"
Salesman: "Yes, using the Voice Recognition." <----------------------------Strike 3.
2010 VERDICT: Save a bundle -Buy a Garmin.
Lexus Communications, continued:
First, our letter.
Mark Templin, CEO Lexus USA
19001 S. Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
April 14, 2009
Dear Mr. Templin;
I see that the 2010 Lexus vehicles have not solved the Navigation Controversy, so I thought it time to update you on the status of www.LexusOverride.com and see if there is some common ground on which we can build. The statistics below relate solely to Lexus website and exclude the companion www.ToyotaOverride.com site data.
We now have over 1,000 registered Lexus-owning visitors, more than 50% of whom say they would not have purchased a Lexus if they had been aware of the limitations of the Lexus Navigation system before they purchased their vehicles. These folks are your worst enemy- they steer friends and family to your competitors which is particularly damaging in this tough economic environment.
We have passed the 75,000 visitors mark simply from individual searches. I anticipate that one day we will achieve our 15 minutes of fame and our servers are ready. I cannot say if that will occur before our complaints are taken up by consumer organizations or class action attorneys.
To be fair, I mostly like the quality of my Lexus. However, the navigation and Bluetooth limitations are significant and at least as important is my perception that Lexus just doesn’t care about us and our complaints. The thought that every day new Lexus customers find out- too late- these limitations is what keeps www.LexusOverride.com going.
I would like to talk to you about what can be done for the registrants at www.LexusOverride.com and Lexus owners in general to ameliorate this important issue. Like me, many of these owners would like to support Lexus- it is in part a validation that we made good economic decisions ourselves. Lexus could certainly use the additional sales associated with recouping the goodwill of thousands of owners who could again recommend Lexus and Toyota vehicles to new car buyers.
Please feel free to contact me or my attorney if you are interested in addressing the issues raised on our website.
Douglas Bates cc: Mr. John Xxxxx, Esq
Here is Mr. Templin's response:
That's right, no response. The Stonewalling Continues and the Message is Clear.
Lexus cares not about it's customers.
It's 2009 CONSUMER REPORTS ANNUAL SURVEY TIME! Be sure to mention your Navi disappointment.
Lexus Should be More Like Tropicana ( from the New York Times )
"The PepsiCo Americas Beverages division of PepsiCo is bowing to public demand and scrapping the changes made to a flagship product, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice. Redesigned packaging that was introduced in early January is being discontinued, executives plan to announce on Monday, and the previous version will be brought back in the next month.
Also returning will be the longtime Tropicana brand symbol, an orange from which a straw protrudes. The symbol, meant to evoke fresh taste, had been supplanted on the new packages by a glass of orange juice.
The about-face comes after consumers complained about the makeover in letters, e-mail messages and telephone calls and clamored for a return of the original look."
It was not the volume of the outcries that led to the corporate change of heart, Mr. Campbell said, because “it was a fraction of a percent of the people who buy the product.”
Rather, the criticism is being heeded because it came, Mr. Campbell said in a telephone interview on Friday, from some of “our most loyal consumers.”
“We underestimated the deep emotional bond” they had with the original packaging, he added. “Those consumers are very important to us, so we responded.”
Take a moment and read the TROPICANA approach again: "Those consumers were very important to us, so we responded." Can a Japanese Motor Company learn from a US Beverage Company? Let's hope they will.
An open letter to Akio Toyoda, Toyota's incoming President.
Dear Mr. Toyoda-
As you take the reins, I hope you have in mind a plan to return to the basics that once made Toyota a great company. Customer satisfaction has been taking it on the chin lately at Toyota, costing the Company sales and customer loyalty.
A case in point is the Toyota/Lexus Override controversy. Dissatisfied customer searches have generated over 100,000 visits at our 2 sites (with hundreds of new visitors every day) and we have registered over 1,600 Toyota and Lexus owners who are frustrated, incensed and even enraged over Toyota's handling of the Navigation Lockout Controversy. The lockout was born of litigous fear within the Legal department, instituted in stealth by Corporate and maintained with obfuscation and misdirection if not outright deceit on the part of salespeople at the dealer level. I urge you to take a few moments to review our comments page.
For new and long-standing Lexus customers, our angst comes from the dealer and the Corporate levels. Within Lexus/Toyota the loss of customer focus is widespread. Getting customers back may be possible, but certainly it will take more than just an apology for failed past performance. Many of the folks who register here feel betrayed every day that we drive our Lexus or Toyota. I urge you to find a meaningful way to demonstrate that Toyota is on a renewed path to Customer partnership. That would be a win-win for us all.
1/09/2009 Lexus doubles down on controlling your vehicle!
In a continuing demonstration that your Lexus is not 'your car', Lexus goes big time into taking over your vehicle. A new option called Lexus Insider will send annoying voice messages directly from Lexus ( on whatever it wants) to you while you are in the car.
Q: But, won't that be distracting to a driver? I thought driver safety was the excuse for eliminating the override in the first place.
A: You are easily misled. Allowing the passenger to use the touch screen is very distracting to a driver. However, listening to our targeted ads will be a delight. In fact, you will pay more for this feature.
Q: This sounds like a nightmare! Won't this drive Lexus sales even lower?
A: Stupid you. People like to be told what to do. We are only helping them.
Q: Lexus owners are not stupid. In fact, Lexus owners are fiercely independent- just read the Comments.
A: You misunderstand. I mean that 'future' Lexus owners want to be told what to do. We have changed our target demographic. Lexus has abandoned existing Lexus owners- that should be very clear to you by now based on Corporate responsiveness to the Override..
Q: Hello, Acura? I'm looking to make a trade in.....
12/13/08 ***** It's AUTO SHOW Time! Take our printable LexusOverride.com business cards to your local Auto Show this year!
This is your chance to help get the Override back. Print up some cards - then either pass them out or 'plant' them at the Auto show- at other booths, media covering the show- or just place some in a few cars . You will feel better and it will help us to get the attention that will make Lexus fix the Navigation system!
For ToyotaOverride.com business cards, click here.
12/07/08 The Second *REBATE* of the Navigation Cost ( number 2! ).
This time a neighbor to the north, Canada. Read how they did it here.
11/25/08 LexusOverride.com website is now getting referrals from Acura, BMW and Mercedes salespeople. New car shoppers, please read about the Lexus Navigation limitations before buying your new car.
What is the Lexus Override Controversy?
With the release of 2007 models and the 6.1 Navigation software package, Lexus removed the existing 'override' that had been present in their cars since at least 2000. On older Lexus cars a useful series of on screen inputs had allowed the use of the Navigation and Bluetooth Phone systems while the car is in motion. In 2007 - 2010 Lexus vehicles there is no override and the voice recognition is inadequate. You must stop on the side of the highway or take an exit and park the vehicle in order to input a new destination or to search for food, gas, or even a bathroom. In some cases, prospective buyers were misinformed that the override was still present. If you are not yet a Lexus owner, consider that 50% of the people who have signed up to this website would not have bought a Lexus if they had known this limitation was in effect. Lexus has been notified of fraudulent selling practices, customer dissatisfaction with the product and refuses to acknowledge a problem or offer a solution. I received a rebate on the Nav system after many months of hard work. I hope that showing you they paid me will allow others to get a rebate too. Given the new normal of fewer car sales, the goodwill of current owners is more important than ever. Lexus is wrong on this issue; it is hurting their sales and they owe us all an apology and more.
1. Inferior product. No Navigation screen input while the car is moving-even by passengers.
2. Poor Communication. Lexus removed the Override without telling customers.
3. Poor Customer service. Owner complaints have been stonewalled. Way to go, Legal!
*10/24/08: Does the new 8.1 Update 'Return the Override'? NO confirmation yet! Rumors are it appears to be some fake being sold as 8.1
**10/15/08: I want to report on recent hardware and software 'fixes' that are out there. First I purchased a hardware override that required installation (not too hard if you are handy) but that did not work on the ES350 - the kits are from Japan and there is no ES vehicle there. More recently, I can verify that the "Override DVD" that includes the new map data and the old 5.1 software DOES WORK using the old override sequence (here). It took all of 10 minutes (you have to disconnect the battery for 5 minutes before the install the new DVD). You can find it sometimes by searching eBay or doing a google search (Click Here for the search) . I will not give information on specific sellers- I don't want to get anyone in trouble. The new DVD appears to the be the 'best fix' - but better to tell your friends to buy an Acura or at least skip the $3500 Nav system if they get a Lexus.
09/10/08: We will be evaluating some reported override kits from China and Japan over the next month. Look for updates as we install and try out these units.
09/01/08: Lexus confirms 2009 vehicles lack the override. Possible upgrade for 2010.
11/7/07: Lexus calls to explain that removing the override was a 'liability decision' made by 'legal'. But wait! Good news!! There will be a new and improved voice recognition system in the
2009 2010 vehicles. If you own a 2007, or buy a 2008 or 2009 vehicle? Sorry sucker! It seems Lexus doesn't understand how much this is hurting them....
iswas hope! Toyota promotes Scion guru to head Lexus. Change in attitudes? Sadly it seems the answer is no. . . .
10/08/07: Update: Toyota user gets $95 ticket for stopping on I95 to use his Nav system.. See below.
10/08/07: Update: Lexus calls to say they are sorry I am unhappy, but they will not offer an override. Then they give me the number for the National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS). Humorously, I already went through NCDS back in January-April as instructed by Lexus, but then Lexus petitioned to have my case thrown out after three months of paperwork, etc. In the meantime, we continue to get traffic and sign-ups. Keep informing car buyers before they but a Lexus / Toyota until our cars are fixed and sign up to be informed of potential trade-in's or solutions to the Nav Overrride debacle!
If you want to help restore the Override,
here's what you can do:
1. Sign up to be counted in favor of restoring the override function:
2. Call Consumer Reports 1-914-378-2740 if you agree Consumers would benefit from an article of the Override Controversy by Consumer Reports. Please be nice, CU is our friend that needs to know you think future buyers deserve to be informed of the Override controversy. (So far, CU considers this of insufficient importance to inform car buyers. Call and tell them it is important!
3. Place a review at Autosite , Edmunds, or Consumer Reports .
4. Tell your friends and neighbors how Lexus has ruined the driving experience. They may prefer an Acura, Audi, BMW, Infiniti or Mercedes
We are currently pursuing the following:
Lexus rebate of Nav cost-
Lexus reinstating the Override
A "Mass trade-in" of Lexus vehicles for another manufacturer.
If you are a 2007 Toyota owner with the same complaint, please visit ToyotaOverride.com where you can be counted and also receive updates on your vehicle.
At this time we are *not* hiring an attorney. If you would like to leave your contact information (In the event that changes), contact us here.
Various Lexus user forums have discussed possible remedies:
- Returning the vehicle to Lexus.
- Receiving a rebate for the cost of the Nav system.
- Filing a Class action suit.
- A wire cutting hack that voids the warranty…
- Create a hybrid 5.1 / 6.1 DVD -requires buying 5.1 or it is illegal.
- Hiring a programmer to write new software.
- Sometimes it is more dangerous to pull over and stop to use the system.
- Lexus is treating operation of the car like software (even if you buy it, you don't actually own it, you only have a license to use it the way Lexus tells you to use it).
- Lexus made a material change in vehicle operation and potential owners were not notified of that change before buying their cars.
- To sum it up: Lexus is not my mother.
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