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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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Stupid product
By Argon18 on 6/20/2012 5:03:59 PM , Rating: 1
Using a touch screen for ANY controls that a driver will use while driving is just plain idiotic.

A touch screen has no tactile feedback, and it *requires* the driver to take his eyes off the road to use those controls.

Buttons and knobs on the other hand, can easily be used without looking. The high end auto makers all know this - look at the display in a Mercedes or BMW or Porsche. The screen in those cars is not a touch screen - it has buttons along the side (or a click-wheel thing, in the case of BMW) that allow a driver to feel the controls with his hand, without taking his eyes off the road.

This Ford touchscreen stuff is a complete failure, and it ought to be illegal, since it *forces* a driver to look away from the road just to change the cabin temperature or radio station. It's idiotic.

RE: Stupid product
By JediJeb on 6/20/2012 6:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
I know right now these are optional, but I imagine they are wanting to push these down to lower trim levels as standard eventually. How well will these things hold up under extreme conditions, people leaving their windows down and getting moisture in them, heavy dust and wet hands and such when in the F series as I have seen they are soon to be?

I don't even care for power windows because the seem to fail more often than regular manual ones, not sure I would ever want this in my vehicle. I am definitely not a technophobe, I love my computers and gadgets, but technology does not always have to come in the form of a flashy screen, it can be in a mechanical form also.

RE: Stupid product
By Belard on 6/22/2012 9:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
Power windows from the 80s and down are bad... In my 2000 sports car, I had to replace a power window switch... $70 + 30 mins to swap it out. That switch has lasted 60,000+ miles.

I have another car with 215k miles... all switches work. All motors work (one is getting weak).

My 92 Ford Explorer lost two power windows. many many years ago... left them up, used AC... :)

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