GPS satellite navigation manufacturer TomTom has apparently reneged on its “Life Time Map Updates” for nearly 66* of its devices relying on its interpretation of what the phrase means.

Its definition, in fine print on the announcement, is, “Lifetime means the useful life of the device, i.e. the period of time TomTom supports your device with updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more.”

To add insult to injury, it lists a web URL for more information that does not even exist. “You need a PC with an Internet Connection and a MyTomTom account to download new maps and updates. For more information, visit tomtom.com/lifetime.”

We found eventually found a relevant web page where it further limited the usefulness of the offer, “The map updates are the full updates for the map that is preinstalled on your device, or that is installed on your smartphone app. The geographical coverage and feature support in the map will continue to match the original version, as long as the original is commercially available.”

Apparently, you have to buy a model with ‘Lifetime World Maps’, but then it’s only for the life of your product, and that is at TomTom’s sole discretion.

* According to BBC News some of the models are still available at retailers.

GadgetGuy’s take

No matter how well built a TomTom navigation device may be its useless without recent maps.