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MyFord Touch  (Source:
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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RE: Easy for a Ford executive to say...
By avxo on 6/22/2011 1:00:33 AM , Rating: 2
They are all incredably jerky, don't know what to do going up or down hill, take forever to downshift more than one gear (overstepping) and do not produce any better fuel economy than a slushbox...

I have an Audi TT with with the DSG transmission. It's smooth as butter on the highway and just as smooth in town (it's only ever jerky when forcing a downshift from 2nd to 1st). I test-drove a TT-S with 265 hp and it's just as smooth.

There are currently no STOP START vehicles on the road. Not one.

That's a blatant lie.

DSG's are not high performance like people think, either. Infact VW recalled 14,000 vehicles (all A6's, S-series, and some diesels) because the DSG clutch packs were inadequate for the engine torque output.

My TT has 211 hp between 4300 and 6000 RPM. It cranks cranks 258 lb-ft of torque between 1600 and 4200 rpm. And gets from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds.

Granted that's not super-car like performance, but it's pretty high performance.

It's true that higher-performance models, like the TT-RS and the R8 don't come with a DSG, but clearly such gearboxes are capable of coupling a lot of power. Yet.

By Alexvrb on 6/22/2011 6:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
Your 0-60 time isn't because you have a really powerful engine. It is because the car is sleek and small, relatively light, has lots of gears and reasonably aggressive gearing, with decent power. Strap a DSG to a bigger, heavier model with a nasty engine and watch it break too early and not be covered under warranty and/or maybe they'll release a FREE software update to make it shift gently and reduce your acceleration times.

DSGs have advantages, but I'm just not sure they're appropriate for all vehicles. Conventional MTs and ATs with 6+ gears seem to be pretty good competition, in many cases. I do agree that a lot of it comes down to implementation.

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