Porsche caught in £500 sat nav 'upgrade' scandal

Porsche Boxster
Shiny new Boxster, surprisingly outdated tech

Disgruntled owners of Porsche's latest 911 and Boxster models are reporting that dealers are charging them £500 for a simple software update to support seven-digit postcodes in the UK.

The models in question are the new 991 iteration of the ever-green 911 sports car and the latest 981 variation on the Boxster roadster.

Early examples of both new models were delivered to UK customers with PCM (Porsche Communication Management) systems lacking full seven-digit postcode support. Instead, only the first four digits were supported.

£500 fleecing

Now owners of 991 and 981 models are reporting that official Porsche dealers in the UK are offering a full seven-digit software upgrade for the frankly preposterous fee of £500.

To put it in context, brand new models have starting prices ranging from a little under £40,000 up to nearly £90,000. Oh, and you'll already have paid an extra £2,000 or so to have the PCM system in the first place.

Boxster PCM

With all that in mind, you might think it's the sort of simple software upgrade Porsche would offer for free when cars are brought in for routine servicing. After all, full seven-digit postcode support can be had on the cheapest sub-£100 aftermarket navigation devices.

Common to most car makers

To be fair to Porsche, this sort of practice isn't unique to the German sports car maker. Several manufacturers have been surprisingly slow to provide full postcode support for factory-fit sat nav systems.

Likewise, it's not uncommon for official dealers to exploit the fact that only they can offer such software, at least in the short term, before third party services get up to speed with new models.

But if you've just paid the better part of £100,000, including several thousand for what amounts, at best, to a few hundred pounds' worth of in-car kit, that isn't much consolation.

TechRadar understands that new 991 and 981 models currently being delivered to customers now come with full postcode support. No word as yet from Porsche UK head office on the matter, but we've put the question to them.



Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.