Fact checking is so hard
It’s a wonder that there is any good information available to be had in this world at all sometimes.
Edmunds.com INSIDE LINE currently has a LEAF for a long-term road test. They got the car back in March as a six month loan from Nissan. They just wrote a brief post about the CARWINGS startup screen. Apparently the author was bothered by the fact that CARWINGS sends information to Nissan. Apparently the author does not understand the point of telematics systems. The reason for existence of telematics systems is the exchange of information between the manufacturer and the vehicle. CARWINGS type systems are not unique to Nissan. In fact, Nissan is somewhat late to the game in the United States. CARWINGS has been available in Japan since at least 2002. Also, apparently the author has no idea that he would not be seeing this screen if CARWINGS had not been activated on his car. CARWINGS is an opt in system, meaning you have to opt in or it is not available to you. Or perhaps he just doesn’t care. I don’t know which is worse.
The point of his article, titled “Does this bother you?” was that CARWINGS can send data to the manufacturer. He asks the question at the end of the article – “do you care that your car is sending information about you wirelessly to the manufacturer?” He did not tell his readers that the system was optional, nor that activating the system requires the vehicle owners authorization. He did not tell his readers that he (or they) could opt out of the system at any time after the system was activated.
Worse still, in response to a comment to his post he states that “If you decline, you don’t get to use any of the features of the nav which include radio tuning (though you can still use the wheel-mounted knobs), EV monitoring, NAV, etc.” This is blatantly false. How do I know? After I read it, I got into my car and tried it. Something that, apparently, the author did not do. I started my car, hit the “Decline” button, programmed a destination into my navigation system, used various functions of the touchscreen, and controlled the audio system. Two commenters after this mis-information was posted made reference to the fact that it did not seem right that other functions would be limited by choosing to decline CARWINGS data transfer. I wonder how many others read it, believed it, and did not comment.
I used to recommend Edmunds.com to friends that were seeking third-party reference information when purchasing a car. With writing like this, I find myself rethinking this position.