Japan Imports

Navigation conversion for Japanese imports.
We have recently been made aware by our customers of a rising increase in issues and complications experienced with the Japanese to NZ navigation conversions, which they have had done elsewhere. Subsequently, this has compelled us to write an article to raise awareness towards some of the bad practices existing in the Navigation Conversion industry.

Here at NAV NZ, our research has shown that there are a couple of workshops around, who have started offering the Japan to NZ conversions. Although this may sound tempting, as it offers a cost effective immediate solution, but like many cheaper solutions out there, there are issues that you are not being told about. Despite what you may be told, navigation systems on Japanese imports cannot be simply converted to NZ by means of a firmware upgrade or even unit replacements for some. Japanese Navigation Units are designed as “country specific” for Japan and have completely different hardware. They are not compatible to work in any other region of the world. Furthermore, the DNA of these cars is coded to Japan, and the records on the manufacturer’s computer system would match that. Therefore changing the software of the car or even replacing the unit to New Zealand standard, would only cause a conflict during the next visit to your local dealer. Upon your next visit to the dealer for service or to amend a fault in the car, their computer system would recognize the foreign software or hardware, which has been installed on your Japanese car, and will proceed to reprogram your car back to Japanese standard, as part of the service.

The culprit workshops out there may very well market the conversion as “Japanese to NZ conversion”, however this type of conversion is not permanent and will be reset back to factory (Japan), as soon as you take your car to your local dealer. This also means that you will need to spend more money redoing the conversion again – repeating a temporary patch, rather than a permanent solution. Apart from being reset back to Japanese, such conversions on many systems have other issues as well. The auto scan for your radio will often stop working properly and will only pick up a couple of stations across all frequencies. The router, which in some vehicles is used to navigate through the entertainment and nav menu, will lose its rotating capabilities. You will no longer be able to scroll across or through letters and numbers to be able to put in an address on your GPS or dial a phone number. You will also not be able to zoom in or out of the map.
Listed below, we have noted the Japanese imports we have found to have been most commonly “Patched”, so be very wary of cheap conversions for the below:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Mercedes

Here at NAV NZ, we urge you to ensure that you know exactly what is being done with your car when you take it to have the navigation converted to NZ. We would strongly advise for you to do your research and find a trusted company, in order to be certain that your car is in the right hands for the job. A few key points to note are:
Always confirm the warranty you are being provided with, in case the NZ map gets wiped after a visit to the dealer, as most companies will only provide you with warranties for the unit itself, not the conversion.

  • Ensure that you always have that warranty in a written form.