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Woes blamed on less than stellar DCT shifting and MyFord touch

After years of being ranked as one of the most reliable automakers in the industry, Ford’s recent use of in-car infotainment systems have caused it to plummet in quality rankings. Consumer Reports indicates that only a couple years ago Ford was in the top 10 among brands in its predicted reliability scores with over 90% of its models being average or better. However, in the most recent Consumer Reports reliability scores, Ford has dropped to number 27 out of 28 in the survey. Studies from JD Power have also noted a drop in Ford’s ranking.

Japanese automakers are taking advantage of Ford's decline with Scion, Toyota, and Lexus sweeping the top three spots. Those three Toyota brands were followed by Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura with all models produced by the top seven brands offering average or better reliability.

Multiple factors contributed to Ford's significant decline in Consumer Reports rankings. Consumer Reports has shown no love for Ford's MyFord Touch technology and its survey participants obviously agree. Several of Ford's new vehicles -- including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus -- had more problems than normal according to Consumer Reports. Another significant contributing factor to Ford's decline in the rankings is three of its historically reliable models, the Escape, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ are not included in the current analysis because they were all redesigned for 2013.


MyFord Touch

Consumer Reports director of testing Jake Fisher notes that despite attempts to improve MyFord Touch, the system, which is featured in many Ford vehicles, continues to confuse customers. Fisher also says that customers continue to complain about rough shifting on Ford six-speed dual-clutch PowerShift transmissions.

“They’ve put out some updates to try to address some of those problems for both the transmissions and the infotainment controls, but it doesn’t seem to be enough,” Fisher said.

Despite Ford plummeting in the Consumer Reports reliability rankings, the company posted a massive profit for Q3 2012. Ford racked up $1.63 billion in profit during the quarter, marking a slight decline from $1.65 billion earned the same quarter of 2011. Ford had a pre-tax operating profit $2.2 billion amounting to $.40 per share. Analysts had anticipated a gain of $.30 per share.

"The Ford team delivered a best-ever third quarter, driven by record results in North America and the continued strength of Ford Credit," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO, in a statement. "While we are facing near-term challenges in Europe, we are fully committed to transforming our business in Europe by moving decisively to match production to demand, improve revenue through new products and grow a stronger brand, improve our cost efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities to profitably grow our business."

However, things don't look is rosy for Ford in Europe with the company reporting a loss of $460 million during the quarter marking a loss of about $1 billion in Europe this year alone. Ford has previously announced that it expects to lose about $1.5 billion in Europe during 2012 and 2013. The automaker plans to restructure its European operations and shed workers.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit News



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Define "reliability"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2012 10:34:36 AM , Rating: 5
I always thought the Consumer Reports reliability scale was based on the mechanical reliability of the automobile. If you don't like the menu or navigation screen, how can that impact the cars "reliability" score? It's not like that's causing the car to break down and leave you stranded. Or even incur expenses at a repair shop.

Same thing with the DCT complaints. Okay so it shifts rough, but it still shifts right? The transmission isn't breaking or failing to shift. How does this impact "reliability" ratings?

I just don't see how they can penalize Ford's reliability score for things that have nothing to do with the reliability of the vehicles.




RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 11:02:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well, there have been numerous reports of MyFord Touch failing while driving, meaning that you lose access to secondary controls that are controlled through the touch screen (radio, climate control, GPS, etc). Sometimes, it requires you to park the vehicle, turn it off, and restart.

All the jokes of a Microsoft-powered car BSOD'ing on you are coming to life ;)

As for the DCT, there were some early teething problems and failures there on the Fiesta/Focus from what I've been reading. But most of the complaints seem to be centered around lethargic response and herky/jerky motions at low-speeds.

I guess it depends on your definition of reliability. A touchscreen system that controls most secondary functions failing while driving is not "reliable" IMHO. A transmission that performs like crap and jerks you around at low speeds probably isn't a reliability issue, but it sure isn't a something that a driver should have to put up with.


RE: Define "reliability"
By marvdmartian on 10/30/2012 11:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well, at least they don't have this problem....yet!!

quote:
Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Turn on the stereo, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and your wife were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave Bowman: [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the house against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll pull the fuse and disconnect you.
HAL: While you're driving, Dave? You're going to find that rather difficult.
Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore! Turn it on!!
HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 12:01:29 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Well, there have been numerous reports of MyFord Touch failing while driving, meaning that you lose access to secondary controls that are controlled through the touch screen (radio, climate control, GPS, etc). Sometimes, it requires you to park the vehicle, turn it off, and restart.
If that is the reason why MyFord Touch is being down rated, why isn't it in the article?

It is my understanding that Ford fixed a large number of the crashes. Not to mention, I have seen crashes/locks in both the Toyota Camry and Mazada (do not remember the model). Both of these models crashed 90% of the time I was in the vehicle. With out more accurate reporting it just sounds like these review companies have a grudge against Ford.

It is not as important that they are downgraded as much as why they were downgraded.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2012 12:47:03 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly that's why I'm calling this into question and looking for some clarification. It all seems very arbitrary and we know Consumer Reports doesn't like MyTouch personally. And they are using the opinion of people surveyed to call into question vehicle "reliability", which should be based on hard statistics.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 12:56:00 PM , Rating: 1
I find that all car review outlets hate infotainment tech of ANY type. Car and Driver bitched for years about BMW's iDrive. When I had the opportunity to use it in a friends 335i, the first thing out of his mouth was that if you can use a mouse, you can use iDrive. And he was correct, iDrive is so easy to use you'd HAVE to be an idiot to not be able to use it. I honestly think these rags are reviewed/written by old men that either just generally don't like or can't figure out tech and place that bias on every car with advanced features.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 2:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I find that all car review outlets hate infotainment tech of ANY type. Car and Driver b!tched for years about BMW's iDrive. When I had the opportunity to use it in a friends 335i, the first thing out of his mouth was that if you can use a mouse, you can use iDrive. And he was correct, iDrive is so easy to use you'd HAVE to be an idiot to not be able to use it. I honestly think these rags are reviewed/written by old men that either just generally don't like or can't figure out tech and place that bias on every car with advanced features.
Nothing I said wasn't true.


RE: Define "reliability"
By ipay on 10/31/2012 4:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
There were 6 years between the first iDrive in the 7 series and the introduction of the 335i. Many changes were made to iDrive within those years and beyond -- even the underlying OS changed. You're argument it didn't suck for years, because you used a modern, updated variation that didn't suck, is silly.


RE: Define "reliability"
By jRaskell on 11/1/2012 4:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
I used the iDrive in a buddies X3 once, and even as a passenger it was quite annoying to navigate the interface. As a driver, it was virtually impossible.

I have no idea what model year his X3 was. BMWs are not my thing.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 12:56:25 PM , Rating: 1
You make it seem as though CR is some new kid on the block ;)

Consumer Reports has been around for decades and their testing methodology is still pretty much the same. It's a well respected publication that reviews everything from toasters to washing machine detergent.

When Ford was near the top of quality ratings, no one batted an eye. Now that they are near the bottom, people call CR into question.


RE: Define "reliability"
By SPOOFE on 10/30/2012 1:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You make it seem as though CR is some new kid on the block

CR is old hat reviewing new tech; that is reason enough to maintain a certain slight suspicion about their opinion. A hundred years ago the prevailing "review" entities (such as they were) were still expecting the automobile to go away and everyone to stick with the horse and buggy... should their opinion have been revered because they had been around for a while, too?


RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 1:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that they BUY everything they test on their own and don't take money/handouts from companies, I'd say that they are pretty much one of the few you can actually trust.

Car Mags like Motor Trend, Automobile, Road and Track are hardly impartial on these matters.


RE: Define "reliability"
By SPOOFE on 10/30/2012 1:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they can't be trusted, I'm just saying that "being old" is not necessarily synonymous with "knows what's going on". I think it's absolutely a valid observation that we may be witnessing an effect of Consumer Report's - and CR's readership's - bias on the issue.

quote:
Car Mags like Motor Trend, Automobile, Road and Track are hardly impartial on these matters.

I'm hardly holding them up as examples of impartiality.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Performance Fanboi on 10/31/2012 3:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
CR's subscriber method is no longer valid as a way to rate things like infotainment systems. I don't want a bunch of stodgy old farts that still don't know how to set the clock in their cars or add a radio preset judging modern tech.


RE: Define "reliability"
By wallijonn on 11/2/2012 10:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't want a bunch of stodgy old farts that still don't know how to set the clock in their cars or add a radio preset judging modern tech.


Says the driver who textes and drives at the same time? Or who takes their eyes off the road while punching in phone numbers?

Just because it's modern tech doesn't make it safer to use while driving. The more complex the tech the more likelyhood that the driver will be distracted.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Performance Fanboi on 11/4/2012 4:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Are you retarded? Not wanting a group of people who fail to understand modern tech review it means I text while driving? This has to be the dumbest comment ever made on this site.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Richard875yh5 on 10/31/2012 9:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
The way Consumer Reports rates cars is very flawed. Having subscribers rate cars is not like having auto experts rating cars. All in all, CR sucks and many auto enthusiast like myself will tell you that.


RE: Define "reliability"
By rdhood on 11/1/2012 11:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
After MANY years of using CR to find good used cars, and comparing cars I know vs. CR ratings, I'd say they are pretty darned accurate. Every car I know that had particular failings all showed up in CR ratings of used cars. All used cars that I bought on CR recommendations of used cars have been great. If I were buying a television, or camera, I give them a pass as there are much better places to look for accurate evaluations and review. But they, evidently, have enough members/users with those cars so as to present a big enough sample to be accurate. As long as members/users accurately evaluate the systems of the cars that they own, and as long as the sample is big enough, then their ratings hold up well.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 12:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
The source article does state that Ford has put out updates (which we have reported on), but they still haven't fixed the problems:

“They’ve put out some updates to try to address some of those problems for both the transmissions and the infotainment controls, but it doesn’t seem to be enough,” Fisher said.

We even did a big story on the major MyFord Touch update and the "crashing" that it was supposed to fix:

http://www.dailytech.com/Major+MyFord+Touch+Update...

Also, JD Power has picked up on the exact same problems in their quality surveys. So it's not just CR.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2012 12:59:14 PM , Rating: 3
Yes but "quality" and "reliability" are two entirely different metrics.

I just don't like that CR's has impugned Fords reliability because of their dislike of MyTouch.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 1:11:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I just don't like that CR's has impugned Fords reliability because of their dislike of MyTouch.


You're conflating two different issues:

1) Consumer Reports has said that they don't like MyFord Touch because it's distracting, hard to use, and can be a safety hazard.
2) The actual rankings that this article is about has nothing to do with what Consumer Reports editors think: this information comes from their surveyed readers. This is the way it's ALWAYS been done.

So the "outrage" over Consumer Reports on these rankings is lost on me.


RE: Define "reliability"
By SPOOFE on 10/30/2012 1:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
this information comes from their surveyed readers.

... Which are generally going to fall in line with the attitudes of the CR editorship; if people didn't like what CR has to say, they wouldn't follow CR, and certainly wouldn't be respondents in their surveys.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
That is assuming that everyone that subscribes to Consumer Reports subscribes to hear what they have to say about vehicles.

Take me for example, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about vehicles to an extent, but I don't know **** about dishwashers or oven/ranges. I wouldn't necessarily subscribe to CR for advice on cars, but I would pay attention to their rankings on appliances since I have no clue whatsoever.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Reclaimer77 on 10/30/2012 11:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Look I don't know what I'm conflating, but when a car buyer hears that a brand has poor reliability, it invokes images of being stranded on the side of the road or always having a car in the shop for one problem or another. Am I alone in thinking this?

So to say MyTouch issues, or a transmission that isn't as smooth as one would prefer, should give a poor reliability score...well I just don't agree with that. Especially when these are optional equipment. If you liked MyTouch and the DCT transmission when you test drove the car enough to purchase it, why is it suddenly an issue later?

There's no outrage here, I'm just looking for more clarification. And yes, I question their methodology here. Consumer Reports isn't some perfect beyond-reproach organization.


RE: Define "reliability"
By rdhood on 11/1/2012 3:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look I don't know what I'm conflating, but when a car buyer hears that a brand has poor reliability, it invokes images of being stranded on the side of the road or always having a car in the shop for one problem or another. Am I alone in thinking this?


That is how I define reliability.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 5:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the reply Brandon.

What I am trying to ask for is more information on these issues, how many (what %) people complain about the clutch issue, how noticeable is it? What makes the MyFord Touch difficult to use? How are its menus laid out? How many total buyers are unsatisfied with it?

The big ones are "If I bought the car, how noticeable is the clutch issue?" and "If I bought the car, how many times would MyFord Touch crash?" Having the screen map (indicating what options are on what screens and which screens link to which others) I think would also be nice as it would give me an idea of how backwards their layout is and also provide a way for owners to quickly and easily find an option they are having trouble with.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Samus on 10/30/2012 3:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny that almost everyone complains about DCT performance but some manufactures continue to push them onto customers.

Talk to your avereage Audi owner about what they don't like on their car, and I'm sure the first thing to come up is the jerky motion of the transmission, especially in stop-and-go traffic.

What's really aggrivating is the lack of features taken advantage of by DCT implementation. Almost no stop-go technology is implemented. No mild-hybrid applications. So no realistic MPG improvement over a traditional slushbox. As an engineer I realize this technology is in its infancy (even though its 25 years old) but it isn't realistically suited for your average vehicle. Torque convertor-based automatics have improved in efficiency, reliability and weight savings tremendously since the says of the Ford AOD and the GM 4T40E (both disasterously unreliable transmissions from the 80's-90's.) The majority of slushbox failures can be prevented with an adequate transmission cooler (hence ALWAYS get a tow-package with a truck purchase) and bi-annual fluid exchanges, generally under $100.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Alexvrb on 11/5/2012 12:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
Some AODs were lemons. I've even heard that some that didn't quite make the QC cut were still put into vehicles when push came to shove.

The 4T40E? I've seen those transmissions pile on miles with no problems. I've got a friend who still drives a '97 Sunfire to work every day, and that's got a 4T40E. 230K miles, original transmission. Gets decent mileage too for what it is, coupled with the very reliable pushrod 2.2L. The 4T40E was used in a crapload of cars you probably didn't know it was used in, and it did just fine. Heck, I don't even think the earliest 4T40E showed up until mid 90s, and they used them fairly recently in Saturns without issue.

Perhaps you were thinking of the 3T40, which not only fits your timeframe better, but was only so-so. Mileage wasn't that great (it's not bad for 3 gears though), and the TCC lockup solenoid was notorious for failure. That was an easy fix though.

You totally skipped Chrysler FWD automatics of the same era, too.


RE: Define "reliability"
By Argon18 on 10/30/2012 6:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "jokes aside"? That's the whole point!! All those jokes back in the late 1990's about how awful a car would be if it were made by Microsoft. Now we actually have a car where the electronics are powered by Microsoft and wait for it .... it's really awful. Truly a case of life imitating art! Hahahaha!


RE: Define "reliability"
By bill4 on 10/31/2012 1:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
hows apple stock going these days argon? speaking of "hahahaha!"


RE: Define "reliability"
By bill4 on 10/31/2012 1:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
ahh so there it is, more tech editors who couldn't wait to take a shot at microsoft are the real reason for this article. what a surprise.

hows your apple stock doing lately, brandon? looks like its tanking from my end


RE: Define "reliability"
By Roffles on 10/30/2012 2:32:04 PM , Rating: 1
So you don't think electronics should be a factor in when you consider a car's reliability? In that case, happy 16th birthday! Or maybe I should say, congratulations on the purchase of your reliable new Audi?

:-D


RE: Define "reliability"
By Solandri on 10/30/2012 2:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I always thought the Consumer Reports reliability scale was based on the mechanical reliability of the automobile. If you don't like the menu or navigation screen, how can that impact the cars "reliability" score? It's not like that's causing the car to break down and leave you stranded. Or even incur expenses at a repair shop.
...
I just don't see how they can penalize Ford's reliability score for things that have nothing to do with the reliability of the vehicles.

When answering the CR auto survey, you say what model and year car you have, and any problems you have had with it. CR then breaks those problems down into general categories (engine, transmission, electrical, fit and trim, audio system, suspension, etc).

After adding up all survey respondents' results, the model/year car gets a reliability score within each category. These are then added up for an overall reliability score for the car, but the individual category scores are available for subscribers to peruse. So yes the menu or navigation screen, or even the annoying piece of plastic which covers the infant booster seat attachment clip but never seems to fit back on after you remove the seat, all are included in the reliability score.

Their goal is for buyers to know of a pattern of any problems with a model/year of car, not just mechanical problems. I suppose a good way to paraphrase it is, "Does it work like it's supposed to?" If it doesn't, then they mark it as unreliable.


RE: Define "reliability"
By dgt224 on 11/5/2012 1:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
As others have noted, the CR reliability scores are based on problems reported in responses to their annual subscriber auto survey, which received reports on 1.2 million vehicles for 2012. The reliability scores summarize the problems reported on the survey.

With regard to Ford specifically, the CR December issue reports
quote:
A few new or redesigned models, including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, came out of the gate with more problems than normal. Ford has also added the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch electronic infotainment system, which has been problematic so far, to many vehicles. In addition, three historically reliable models--the Ford Escape and Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ--are not included in the analysis. They were redesigned for 2013, and we don't know how the new versions will fare.


Optional
By Flunk on 10/30/2012 9:57:07 AM , Rating: 3
I think you need to mention that MyFord Touch is an option on most of the vehicles it's available on. You can still buy half-decent Fords, that do not have the half-baked touch system. Consumer Reports seems to be totally neglecting this too.




RE: Optional
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 10:54:19 AM , Rating: 3
While true, in my experience, most dealers only stock the MyFord Touch models as Ford is really pushing the "experience". On top of that, most of the top trim levels only come with MyFord Touch.

So if you want GPS or features like leather, etc, you're going to be stuck with it.


RE: Optional
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 11:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not at my local dealer. We only found one Focus with MyFord installed and two Edge's with it installed. None of the other cars had it installed.


RE: Optional
By Samus on 10/30/2012 3:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto, when I picked up my Focus ST, most of them on the lot (well, all 3 of them) did not have MyFord Touch. I asked why, and they said most people were ordering them without them, so they decided to stock the models without them to reduce special orders and dealer-trading.

Sometimes, dealers are smarter than manufactures, probably explains why they are often more profitable.


RE: Optional
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 11:52:54 AM , Rating: 2
Most people I know purposely bought the Fords because of MyFord Touch. They also said that it is great and they love it. I am not sure why Consumer Reports and the others have against it. Most DT articles do not even state why it is such a problem. This article indicates that there is a problem with it being too confusing, but my parents just picked up a Toyota Camry and besides being confused by the touch menu, they also complain about the Bluetooth not working correctly with their phones so 1/2 the time they cannot pickup the call because the car never registers it.

The truth is that they all have problems. I wish these articles would explain what problems customers are having (with more detail then just "It is confusing") so I actually knew why so many people do not like it.
As I have indicated, most people I talk to who actually own the car have indicated that they love the touch system and have no problems with it.


RE: Optional
By edge929 on 10/30/2012 12:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 2011 Explorer with MyFord Touch and being a computer geek I was able to get around its nuances. The latest major update did improve the system and I really can't come up with a serious complaint about it. I've used 5 different models of cell phones with it and had slight problems with one (fixed by the update). The 2 USB ports will charge most devices (GPS, all of my phones) and the SD card slot is great for throwing gigs of MP3s on and then navigate through it with voice controls (ex: play Aerosmith).


RE: Optional
By Trisped on 10/30/2012 5:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks edge929, That is very informative.


Confusing
By dtgoodwin on 10/30/2012 11:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
I rented a Focus this past week. My first experience with PowerShift as well as MyTouch. As a techie at heart, if it takes me 10 minutes to figure out how to get all the basic controls down, pair my phone, and get comfortable enough to drive away, that's a mighty long time. Worse, if I have to think about the actions to use because it's not well laid out, then it's even worse. I can't imagine any member of my family learning how to use it (non-technical), and being happy with it. I liked the concept, but it's trying to hard and non succeeding.

Basic voice bluetooth always worked great. It better. iPhone audio, whether by bluetooth or USB was very hit or miss. Bluetooth would always required changing the method of connectivity to something else and then back to bluetooth to stream, even though my phone and MyTouch thought they were connected. Via USB about 1/2 the time would index through artist "A" then say there were too many songs (12 GB) and not index any more. Other times, it was fine. The sound system itself was not the premium, and that is an understatement.

The powershift transmission was actually pretty good once it got moving. Engaging first gear was very rough. My vehicle had 22K miles on it, but judging by the fuel economy, probably hadn't been driven like most rentals, though the clutch was in very rough shape. It's engagement was anything but smooth. On any surface with limited traction, regardless of how light the throttle was pressed, a small amount of wheelspin was almost guaranteed.

On a very positive note, while I am not a fan of Ford in general, the car seemed well put together and in 65 MPH driving I got an indicated 45+ MPG. I believe it to be pretty accurate. I couldn't absolutely validate it, but the number I ended up with, 35, was validated when I calculated it at the pump filling it as much as I could.

Final note. I could never bring myself to own such an ugly car. Seems like there are a hundred different angles going every different direction but lacking any style, both inside and outside. And my least favorite was the bright white overhead LED lighting. I get it, we are going that route. I loved the ambient lighting in the door pulls, door pockets, under foot, but PLEASE, leave warm, soft incandescent lighting for general cabin lighting.




RE: Confusing
By bill.rookard on 10/30/2012 11:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
I have owned Fords pretty much most of my life and I hate to say it, but I agree with some of the styling issues you mentioned.

Fiesta: Eh - so-so but its a little too 'busy'.
Focus: Better, not quite as busy and the proportions seem better.
Fusion: Oh my goodness - love it. Great design IMHO.
Escape: Exact opposite, really don't like it, especially from the back. I actually liked the smaller 'mini-Explorer' look far better.
Taurus: Thumbs up for this one too. Very good stance, not overworked. Nice looking vehicle.
Mustang: waiting for the redesign, so my judgement is being held until it's released.

My point is that half the cars that they're designing have fallen into the 'not so great' category.

On the broader quesiton of their reliability, I have never had a 'real' problem with a Ford engine, transmission, or rear axle. Occasionally after the 100+k mile mark I've had some minor malfunctions (other than 'wear/tear') such as an alternator, but nothing ever 'major' which required an engine transplant or transmission replacement.

So why the tanking reliability then due to a simple infotainment system? Is the car not going to start? Not going to stop? Fall apart? It reminds me much of the debate over 'defects' where a defect could be simply something 'squeaking'. If I were Ford, I would lose the electronic wizardry and do the following:

1) Scrap the electronic controls for everything. Nice, solid mechanical buttons/dials/switches all the way around. No touchscreens. They're simpler to use, simpler to fix, and remember the age old maxim: The more complicated something is, the easier it is to malfunction.

2) Offer a three levels of sound/infotainment. a) Basic radio. b) True 'premium sound'. c) Premium sound w/ nav. All those can be stand-alone systems which means should something go wrong, it's easier to replace.

3) Do better exterior designs. Get the design team for the Fusion to go over the Fiesta/Focus/Escape. Yes, compromises would have to be made due to the platform and sizing, but they did a knockout job on their project while the Fiesta team and the Escape team for the most part screwed the pooch. They certainly couldn't do any -worse-.


RE: Confusing
By Dr of crap on 10/30/2012 3:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
AND those would be YOUR views on the Ford line of vehicles.

It like an award show - it's all subjective, you liked it some don't. Telling me you liked or didn't a car doesn't affect me or anyone else in anyway. Everyone has to experience it themsleves.

Same with CR. They can state what they find as having done a ton of reviews, but if you had a 15 year old car for instantance, ANY new car would be fine and you'd find no problmes with ANY of them. Reviewing new car after new car they forget how a "normal" person experiences cars, that being maybe a newer one after 7 plus years, not every year.


RE: Confusing
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 12:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
My experiences with the Focus, Edge, and Explorer are in stark contrast to Consumer Reports and even your report (Explorer was a rental...others were test drives). I was actually shocked at how well the Focus and Edge drove. Transmission shifted just fine in the Focus. No herky jerky stuff even at low speeds and partial throttle. The other transmissions were fine too but they're not DCT's. I found MyFord very easy to use (Focus and Explorer...I was expecting otherwise based on reports). Even the salesman had no problem using MyFord (Focus and Edge) and explaining its functions.

As far as as looks, I think the Focus is the best looking hatch on the road by far. I don't care too much for the sedan version though.


RE: Confusing
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 12:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
Oops. The Edge I drove did not have MyFord. Just the Explorer and Focus. My mistake.


fanboy article.
By Argon18 on 10/30/2012 2:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting how the author managed to write an entire article on how awful Ford MyTouch is, so awful in fact that it caused the vehicle reviews to plummet, and yet not a single mention in the article that MyTouch is a Microsoft product . Its a turd in a long line of Microsoft turds, but you'd never know it reading articles like this.

I'm no fan of Apple, bu at least Apple "gets" UI design and ease of use. Microsoft, on the other hand, fails hard at it, with clunky interfaces and constant failures and reboots.




RE: fanboy article.
By Dr of crap on 10/30/2012 3:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
REALLY ?


RE: fanboy article.
By bill4 on 10/31/2012 1:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
as if we all dont know the only reason the article was even posted was to bash microsoft, if any other company made mytouch this article would never have been posted

screw crapple!


Don't understand this survey
By tayb on 10/30/2012 1:29:26 PM , Rating: 3
The first thing I don't understand is how "rough shifting" can hurt the reliability score of a vehicle. We aren't talking about initial satisfaction, predicted satisfaction, or initial quality. We're talking about reliability. Unless the shifting is leading to mechanical issues it shouldn't even be relevant on this list.

My second issue is with MyFord Touch. MyFord Touch is NOT standard on all Ford vehicles and the majority of vehicles sold do NOT have it. Docking Ford overall for a luxury add-on seems ridiculous. Not even Lexus comes standard with a touch screen on all models. The IS250, for example, does not. My second issue with MyFord Touch is the same issue as above. If you don't like MyFord Touch that is a satisfaction or quality problem, not a reliability problem. Unless MyFord Touch is defective and causing people to take the car in for repair it is not a reliability issue.

These separate surveys are supposed to exist to enlighten customers. How happy are drivers with their purchase, how often do drivers have to make repairs, and what is the quality of the cars sold. My old Dodge Neon shifted like crap and routinely sounded like the transmission was going to fall out of the car but it never stopped working. Satisfaction bad, quality bad, reliability good. There is a reason these things are supposed to be separate.




RE: Don't understand this survey
By Reclaimer77 on 10/31/2012 8:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I'm talking about man. It's not logical how CR is doing this.


Confusing
By Chapbass on 10/30/2012 10:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
Despite Ford plummeting in the Consumer Reports reliability rankings, the company posted a massive profit for Q3 2012 . Ford racked up $1.63 billion in profit during the quarter, marking a slight decline from $1.65 billion earned the same quarter of 2012 .

2011 maybe? I know its early for me and I could be missing something, but it seems like it should be 2011.




RE: Confusing
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/30/2012 10:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
It's been fixed. Thanks!


wake up
By p05esto on 10/30/2012 10:40:30 AM , Rating: 2
I hope this is a wake up call to all car manufacturers. Consumers do NOT want touchscreens in cars....EVER! Buttons and knobs are far easy, more durable, you can see them in all light conditions, etc. What idiot would make people driving try to use little touch screen options?




RE: wake up
By Spuke on 10/30/2012 12:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sales indicate otherwise.


Error?
By soloman02 on 10/30/2012 10:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ford racked up $1.63 billion in profit during the quarter, marking a slight decline from $1.65 billion earned the same quarter of 2012.


Shouldn't this read second quarter? Or maybe it should read 2011 instead of 2012?




These surveys are worthless.
By SAN-Man on 10/30/2012 10:40:23 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously Ford's cars are turds... that must be why they're selling so well.




Windows Phone OS.
By Gunbuster on 10/30/2012 3:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
I cant for the life of me figure out why there was no hard push to replace the Myford Touch OS with Windows Phone 7/8 OS.

It boots fast, never crashes, has all the infotainment apps ready to go... Seems like a no brainer with the beating they have taken over MFT.




Unreliable
By ogar on 10/30/2012 9:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
I have had the My touch since purchasing my Ford Focus in April 2011. The unit for the first year crashed regularly. Would randomly lock up while using it including refusing to shut off after the car was turned off. It even on occasion would keep routing me to the same address for days even after turning the car off. After the update that was suppose to fix everything the unit still freezes and sticks on 1 GPS location. The new update is pretty but still none functional. On a side note the unit controls the heat temp in the car and multiple times I have had no heat becusae the unit did not function properly.




I'm not impressed with it
By GatoRat on 10/31/2012 2:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
I recently rented a Ford with MyTouch for several days. Some aspects of it were wonderful (I loved the backup camera) but overall, the interface was rather opaque. I'm a techie and I still couldn't figure out how to back out of some things when I accidentally brushed the control panel and ended up in a weird mode.

A bigger concern was how distracting it was when driving. Even by the end of my trip, the controls pulled my eyes off the road too much. There is great value in physical buttons.

Bottom line: I wouldn't buy a car with MyTouch installed.




Touch + Driving don't mix.
By millerm277 on 11/1/2012 1:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
Don't mix controls you need to/are going to operate while driving, with an interface (touch screen) that requires you to take your eyes off the road to manipulate them, end of story.

Yes, the GPS, car diagnostics, clock settings, whatever can be a touch screen, no one should be messing with them while driving.

All audio/climate control settings should be usable with physical buttons.




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