— A Mazda Connect "live traffic" lawsuit alleges the automaker sold 2016 models with navigation software that was supposed to provide real-time traffic alerts to help drivers avoid traffic and take alternative routes.
However, the plaintiff says real-time traffic doesn't work and Mazda has no plans on making it work.
The proposed Mazda real-time traffic class-action lawsuit includes all consumers who purchased and/or leased a 2016 Mazda vehicle advertised to include factory-installed navigation software with real-time traffic alerts.
According to the lawsuit, the owner's manual says live traffic alerts are included in the system to help drivers avoid current traffic events like road closures or traffic jams caused by an accident.
Mazda says the system provides offline historical traffic information (historical speed information or traffic patterns) that can be taken into account in the route calculation of a trip based on the time of day and the day of week whenever suitable data exists.
Plaintiff Edward Lewand claims he purchased a 2016 Mazda with the Grand Touring Package that Mazda said included live traffic alerts as part of the navigation software system. The plaintiff says the real-time traffic feature was a big reason he paid $1,500 for the Grand Touring Package compared to a model without the Package.
According to the complaint, Mazda offered marketing brochures that specifically told consumers the software included “an available factory-integrated navigation system with cutting-edge features such as voice command, real-time traffic alerts and advanced lane guidance.”
Mr. Lewand says the live traffic alerts worked as intended for a few months but then stopped, showing a "greyed out" traffic button that was supposed to be used for real-time alerts.
When the live traffic feature worked, Lewand says he received alerts of upcoming heavy traffic on his route and the system offered him alternate routes. But then the system stopped working and each time he tried to activate the live traffic system, the touchscreen menu always showed the "traffic" button in a way that indicated it was no longer functional.
The missing real-time traffic alerts have upset many 2016 Mazda owners, including this CX-5 driver from California.
"When we found out the Navigation system comes standard in the Touring package, we said great. Then we found out why its free, because its does not integrate Live traffic. Basically the Nav feature is useless to use and we have to mount our phone so we can see Waze and reroute our route accordingly. Seriously, the Nav system is trash without live traffic. Spoke with Mazda, they are not going to add live traffic overlay to the Nav system. And there is no subscription option either." - 2016 Mazda CX-5 owner / Santa Cruz, California
Lewand says he brought his vehicle to the dealership numerous times for service and the dealer couldn't get the real-time traffic alert system to function. After multiple dealer visits, Mazda technicians finally told Mr. Lewand the real-time traffic feature was disabled by updates to the software.
Through its Mazda Connect update service, Mazda allegedly confirmed the live traffic feature had been disabled but admitted the software was originally designed into the current navigation system in the vehicles.
The plaintiff claims Mazda had a temporary agreement with a traffic service provider that enabled the automaker to provide the live traffic alerts, but the agreement has since expired. Mazda then allegedly started advertising the Grand Touring Package with portable Garmin navigation devices instead of the factory-installed real-time traffic software.
Based on the lawsuit and as of the beginning of 2016, drivers have been unable to access real-time traffic alerts and Mazda didn't bother to tell consumers the feature wouldn't work. This has caused consumers to allegedly own vehicles worth less than advertised.
The Mazda Connect live traffic lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Central District of California, Southern Division - Edward Lewand, et al, v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
The plaintiff is represented by Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC.