NAVIGATION HARDWARE and software provider Tomtom has confessed to a problem with its systems and blamed them on a leap year bug.
The firm said that problems started on the last day of February, explaining that it found the "root cause" today.
"The issue is caused by a 'leap year' bug in the software of the GPS receiver. We are working hard on a permanent solution that we will make available on our website as a downloadable software fix," said the company in a notification.
"More information will follow later today. If you click Notify me at the bottom of this FAQ, you will automatically receive an update."
Tomtom said that a "limited number" of models are affected and that these are having an issue with getting a GPS signal. This, of course, will have a negative impact on driving and directions.
The firm said that turning the device off and on again should solve the problem, but added that this is a temporary fix until it can come up with a proper one.
If you are wondering whether you are affected there are some clues to look out for. These include failure to pick up a signal, a greyed-out driving view, and on-screen messages that say that the signal is weak, not working, or just out of reach. You could also be somewhere that you do not recognise, that is, lost.
The firm also posted its update to a user forum on its web site. There a discussion about no GPS signals has attracted a lot of posts. Tomtom asked posters to "please accept [its] sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused".
The problem is not limited to the UK and appears to have affected users across Europe.
Tomtom has issued a software update that should solve the problems and get people out of bad and confusing neighbourhoods.
"Some customers have been experiencing GPS positioning issues since 31st March. The issue is caused by a ‘leap year' bug in the software of the GPS receiver provided by a third party," it confirmed again, in a statement.
"A software update fixing the issue is now available via MyTomTom. The update is straightforward. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We are fully focused on getting the affected customers back on the road."