The disastrous new maps used on Apple devices could result in "life threatening" situations / Getty Images


Police in Australia have urged drivers not to use Apple's error-strewn mapping system after motorists were left in "life threatening" situations in the arid Outback.

Officers in Mildura, Victoria, have been called to rescue several people who got lost in the vast Murray Sunset National Park after relying on their iPhone for directions. The iOS 6 system's map erroneously located the city of Mildura in the park, when in fact it is 70km away.

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees," a 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."

Motorists are advised to "rely on other forms of mapping", though Mildura's location is now correct.

The beleaguered map app has suffered a barrage of criticism since its September launch. Some worldwide landmarks were missing, while Doncaster was renamed "Duncaster". Apple's decision to drop Google Maps in favour of its own creation was widely criticised.

The company's chief executive, Tim Cook, was forced to apologise, saying Apple had failed to "deliver the best experience possible to our customers".