I heard about this, my 952 was one of the affected units, sent it in to Northstar and got it back 3 weeks later. Software patch was $65, the replaced a battery that powered the waypoint memory (huh? Thought they were stored on the flash card), total cost was a little over $100.
Unit works great - my only question was why was their software affected, but other gps units not. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Still happy as a clam with my "old" 952.
Waypoints, tracks, etc., as well as boot up info and routines are all stored in the internal memory of any unit. There is a small battery that keeps this memory 'alive", as well as running the internal clock while the unit is off, or even stored over the winter. They all need to be replaced at some time. Even the ones in your home PC or laptop.
As far as the the upgrade... it was necessary for all GPS units to function.
The Northstar units mentioned in this thread were out of production and needed to have the upgrade done separately. Some companies were well aware of the changes that were going to be made with the commissioning/decommissioning of the satellites. Some built in "patches" to software updates, some did not.
The $$ charges associated with upgrading an out of production unit are left to the individual manuafacturer to determine. Some do, some don't . Others will provide additional services while the unit is at the factory as a "freebie" or a discounted cost.
What should NOT
be tolerated is a manufacturer that charges to upgrade a unit still in production and under warranty, for programming changes that are required as a result of their own neglect, or error of omission. That is what RAYMARINE did to thousands of owners of the A-60 and A-65 units to correct this satellite swap. They were forced to buy new antennas!