UPDATE: MyFord Touch Once Again Hammers Ford in 2012 J.D. Power Rankings
June 20, 2012 2:04 PM
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
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
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 Edmunds.com 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
official rankings are out
and Ford dropped from 23rd place down to 27th place -- worse than Ford predicted.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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