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Ford may fall even further in important ranking

Ford learned a valuable lesson last year when it equipped hundreds of thousands of Ford and Lincoln vehicles with versions of the MyFord Touch system for controlling entertainment and climate systems inside the vehicle. The problem was that the interface was cumbersome and difficult to navigate leaving many users confused and distracted while driving.

The complicated nature of the system led to Ford taking a beating in the important J.D. Power Initial Quality Study rankings in 2011. In 2011, Ford plummeted from seventh place to 23rd place in the Initial Quality Survey rankings simply because of MyFord Touch.

Ford started working immediately to make the system better, promising a major update that would make the system easier to use and simplify the screens. The bad news for Ford was that the update didn't land until March. The cutoff for the system be considered for this year's Initial Quality Study rankings was February.

"We expect to do about the same or a little better than last year," said Bernie Fowler, Ford's vice president of global quality. 
"Technology is one of the main reasons why people see us differently now today than they did just a few years ago," Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president for global marketing, sales and service, said to reporters Tuesday.
Despite the huge dip in rankings based on the technology, Ford remains committed to adding technology in automobiles and its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems.
"They certainly have made some improvements," said Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs, who reported problems getting the voice-recognition system to locate certain cities. "Whether they've gone far enough remains to be seen."
Ford sent out upgrades to the system to owners of vehicles equipped with the optional hardware on a USB flash drive. The drivers plug that flash drive into the USB port inside the vehicle to apply the software update. According to Ford, 90% of the 377,000 vehicle owners who receive the software update have installed it, and 70% of those people installed the software without assistance from a dealership.

The official J.D. Power rankings will be released later today. 

Updated @ 2:07pm
The official rankings are out and Ford dropped from 23rd place down to 27th place -- worse than Ford predicted.

Sources: Detroit News, Inside Line, J.D. Power

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RE: Time to wake up
By wallijonn on 6/20/2012 11:04:07 AM , Rating: 0
A customized interface based on the driver is where we are going, so you can "design" the perfect interface for you and your current drive.

The problem with LCD touch screens is that they can't be seen when it's very bright in the cabin and when wearing polarized sun glasses.

Nothing less than voice activation will do. Ford, maybe you ought to modify an iPhone 4S... Well, either that or a HUD on the windshield.

From what is shown on-screen it would be very easy to duplicate the temp adjusters with physical devices, and fan controls have had varistats for a long while. People are used to varistats in their homes for dimming lights and controlling fan speeds. No, what the LCD computer does is just save space, cutting down on gauge cluster clutter.

RE: Time to wake up
By Jaybus on 6/20/2012 1:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, Ford DOES have voice commands, and they work very well. You just have to learn the syntax.

As for the LCD, yse, any LCD is completely useless in bright sunlight. I would have much preferred an e-Ink screen like a Kindle. I can read my Kindle while sitting on the beach with sunglasses on. If while reading on the beach I get a text on my iPhone, I have to remove sunglasses, turn my back to the sun, and cup one hand over the top it just to have a chance at seeing it. Frankly, I would much prefer e-Ink on a phone as well.

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