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Woes blamed on less than stellar DCT shifting and MyFord touch

After years of being ranked as one of the most reliable automakers in the industry, Ford’s recent use of in-car infotainment systems have caused it to plummet in quality rankings. Consumer Reports indicates that only a couple years ago Ford was in the top 10 among brands in its predicted reliability scores with over 90% of its models being average or better. However, in the most recent Consumer Reports reliability scores, Ford has dropped to number 27 out of 28 in the survey. Studies from JD Power have also noted a drop in Ford’s ranking.

Japanese automakers are taking advantage of Ford's decline with Scion, Toyota, and Lexus sweeping the top three spots. Those three Toyota brands were followed by Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura with all models produced by the top seven brands offering average or better reliability.

Multiple factors contributed to Ford's significant decline in Consumer Reports rankings. Consumer Reports has shown no love for Ford's MyFord Touch technology and its survey participants obviously agree. Several of Ford's new vehicles -- including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus -- had more problems than normal according to Consumer Reports. Another significant contributing factor to Ford's decline in the rankings is three of its historically reliable models, the Escape, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ are not included in the current analysis because they were all redesigned for 2013.


MyFord Touch

Consumer Reports director of testing Jake Fisher notes that despite attempts to improve MyFord Touch, the system, which is featured in many Ford vehicles, continues to confuse customers. Fisher also says that customers continue to complain about rough shifting on Ford six-speed dual-clutch PowerShift transmissions.

“They’ve put out some updates to try to address some of those problems for both the transmissions and the infotainment controls, but it doesn’t seem to be enough,” Fisher said.

Despite Ford plummeting in the Consumer Reports reliability rankings, the company posted a massive profit for Q3 2012. Ford racked up $1.63 billion in profit during the quarter, marking a slight decline from $1.65 billion earned the same quarter of 2011. Ford had a pre-tax operating profit $2.2 billion amounting to $.40 per share. Analysts had anticipated a gain of $.30 per share.

"The Ford team delivered a best-ever third quarter, driven by record results in North America and the continued strength of Ford Credit," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO, in a statement. "While we are facing near-term challenges in Europe, we are fully committed to transforming our business in Europe by moving decisively to match production to demand, improve revenue through new products and grow a stronger brand, improve our cost efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities to profitably grow our business."

However, things don't look is rosy for Ford in Europe with the company reporting a loss of $460 million during the quarter marking a loss of about $1 billion in Europe this year alone. Ford has previously announced that it expects to lose about $1.5 billion in Europe during 2012 and 2013. The automaker plans to restructure its European operations and shed workers.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Free Press, Detroit News, Detroit News



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Don't understand this survey
By tayb on 10/30/2012 1:29:26 PM , Rating: 3
The first thing I don't understand is how "rough shifting" can hurt the reliability score of a vehicle. We aren't talking about initial satisfaction, predicted satisfaction, or initial quality. We're talking about reliability. Unless the shifting is leading to mechanical issues it shouldn't even be relevant on this list.

My second issue is with MyFord Touch. MyFord Touch is NOT standard on all Ford vehicles and the majority of vehicles sold do NOT have it. Docking Ford overall for a luxury add-on seems ridiculous. Not even Lexus comes standard with a touch screen on all models. The IS250, for example, does not. My second issue with MyFord Touch is the same issue as above. If you don't like MyFord Touch that is a satisfaction or quality problem, not a reliability problem. Unless MyFord Touch is defective and causing people to take the car in for repair it is not a reliability issue.

These separate surveys are supposed to exist to enlighten customers. How happy are drivers with their purchase, how often do drivers have to make repairs, and what is the quality of the cars sold. My old Dodge Neon shifted like crap and routinely sounded like the transmission was going to fall out of the car but it never stopped working. Satisfaction bad, quality bad, reliability good. There is a reason these things are supposed to be separate.




RE: Don't understand this survey
By Reclaimer77 on 10/31/2012 8:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I'm talking about man. It's not logical how CR is doing this.


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