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Australian police warn of Apple Maps' "life-threatening" flaws


Apple Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall demonstrates the new map application featured on iOS 6 during the keynote address during the 2012 Apple WWDC keynote address at the Moscone Center on June 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

By Cadie Thompson, CNBC

Police in Victoria, Australia are warning citizens to not use Apple maps for navigation after a number of motorists fell victim to flawed directions, leading to "life-threatening" situations.

According to a police statement, law enforcement has had to rescue several motorists after they were given bad directions from Apple Maps. Some ended up about 70 kilometers away from the city of Mildura and stranded in a national park.

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees [Celsius], making this a potentially life threatening issue," the police statement said. "Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception."

Police have reached out to Apple asking that they fix the navigation flaw, according to the statement. But the police warned citizens to use other forms of navigation until the maps issue is corrected.

Apple launched its proprietary locator application — which replaced Google maps on Apple digital devices — when it rolled out iOS6 in September. Within days, the tech giant took blistering criticism for the system's inaccuracies, which eventually led to the ouster of the manager in charge of the software.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook issued a rare public apology for the blunder, saying that the company was doing everything it could to improve the maps system.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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