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MyFord Touch  (Source: egmcartech.com)
Ford and other automakers' newest technologies will be rated this Thursday when J.D. Power and Associates releases its annual initial-quality study, which is based on consumer opinions

When it comes to in-car communications and entertainment systems, it's no secret that MyFord Touch is the problematic one of the bunchConsumer Reports has said that the system is too complex and distracting due to its lack of tactile buttons and knobs as well as its voice recognition system. In addition, the fact that its screens are partially controlled by two steering-wheel-mounted five-way switches doesn't help its case either. 

Now, auto reviewers aren’t the only ones hating on MyFord Touch, and MyFord Touch isn't the only Ford technology being criticized. Consumers are now throwing in their two cents, and it's not looking favorable for some of Ford's newest technologies.

While not all consumers who have tested MyFord Touch dislike it, many have complained that the system reboots randomly and has trouble responding to voice commands. In addition, some of is features confuse consumers, even though Ford dealerships offer courses on how to use the system. The good news is that many revisions are in development and will be "phased in" over the next year. 

Aside from technical issues, safety advocates worry that the system will distract drivers too easily causing accidents. 

Others have also mentioned problems concerning Ford's PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission, which can be found on the 2011 Fiesta and the 2012 Focus. The PowerShift combines two manual transmissions where one clutch controls first, third and fifth gears while the second clutch controls second, fourth and sixth gears. The idea behind the system is to enable more efficient shifting in order to improve fuel economy. 

Despite its best intentions, the system isn't perfect. Consumers have noted that the system overall is "jerky" with unexpected shifts. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that "huge metallic noises" occurred when downshifting at low speeds, and "dangerous gear changes" made the vehicle surge and eventually stall. 

"The Focus is a little slow to find the right gear as you're slowing from 50 miles per hour," said David Champion, director of Consumer Reports' auto test center in East Haddam, Connecticut. 

But Ford spokesman Richard Truett assures that the PowerShift is just a "different type of transmission" that uses actuators and solenoids to change gears electronically, and that it just takes some getting used to. 

"Consumers will hear different sounds and experience different sensations," said Truett. "But that's normal. We chose the PowerShift because it helps deliver outstanding performance and best-in-class 40 miles per gallon fuel economy." 

Ford and other automakers' newest technologies will be rated this Thursday when J.D. Power and Associates releases its annual initial-quality study. The study is based on consumer judgment after 90 days of ownership, and consumers are to point out any problems they encounter.



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The idea of MyTouch isn't the problem
By tayb on 6/21/2011 8:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
It's Ford's lousy implementation. I remember reading some quote describing the MyTouch development along the lines of "two developers sitting behind two separate closed doors working on the same project without any collaboration."

I've used Sync and MyTouch and I did not experience problems but it seems pretty apparent that my brief demo was the exception, not the rule.

Ford also failed miserably with the firmware upgrades. Everyone one of these cars should be able to receive an update OTA. Imagine if you had to go sit in line for two hours to upgrade your iPhone or Android at a Verizon store? Great idea.

Overall I think Ford has the right idea with this they just failed miserably at execution.




RE: The idea of MyTouch isn't the problem
By barich on 6/21/2011 8:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
The lack of tactile feedback from the touch-sensitive controls on some models is a serious problem, along with the same thing on the Chevy Volt. I don't know whose bright idea this was, but while driving I need to be able to find controls by feel, without activating them.


By JediJeb on 6/21/2011 12:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
This exactly. How are you supposed to use a touch screen without looking at it? With the old style buttons Ford used that all had a different profile and texture you could find any control you needed simply by feel while never taking your eyes off the road. Also when these vehicles are 10+ years old, how difficult will it be to keep the system going, will they support it or kill off the old versions like MS does with windows and force a upgrade to something newer that might require a hardware upgrade also?

I don't believe in vehicles being disposable items you buy every 3-5 years, I believe they should be a workhorse durable item that you use until it is totally worn out and that should take at least 10 years.


By inperfectdarkness on 6/21/2011 8:32:07 AM , Rating: 4
it's just ford idrive v. 1.0. ;)


RE: The idea of MyTouch isn't the problem
By crydee on 6/21/2011 9:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
I believe you can download the updates and put them on a usb stick and plug them in and update them yourself.


By omnicronx on 6/21/2011 9:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
Only minor updates, apparently any large ones will require a visit to the dealer. You also need a specific version (may 25th i think) in order to even have the USB update functionality.. (on the Focus at least)


By Manch on 6/21/2011 10:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that was a previous DT article that had the two developer comment. It also said how Ford threw out the original code and had an MS affiliate remake it from scratch, and it's disjointed and bloated which is why it seems slower on faster hardware than the previous version.

My brother said he hasnt had any issues with it so far, but that could be since he just picked up the truck a month ago so it probably has the latest firmware. My father hasnt had any issues with his either.

The latest firmware corrections is probably rather large so OTA wouldnt be so great. I dont know about waiting two hours in line, but when I take my cars to the local Ford dealer, I just make an appt.

Hopefully, the next gen will be better. I plan on getting a 50th anniversary mustang when they come out.


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