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Ford Customer Satisfaction Sinks Due To Sync

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On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 4:50PM | By: Tim Healey

Ford Customer Satisfaction Sinks Due To Sync

Ford has slipped in customer satisfaction in a major J.D. Power survey, due mainly to consumer complaints about its technology features, such as Sync, MyFordTouch, and MyLincolnTouch.

Meanwhile, Toyota has recovered from past problems to climb back into the top ten, while Dodge finished last.

The infotainment systems, which use voice recognition and MP3 player-like interfaces, have received mixed reviews from the automotive press since launching, and their relative complexity has confused customers who are unfamiliar with the technology. Combined with new automatic-transmission programming that has caused consumers to think the transmissions are hesitating, this has caused Ford to slip from fifth to 23rd in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Survey, which tracks complaints in the first 90 days of ownership.

Ford's problems per 100 vehicles rate rose to 116, up from last year's 93. The industry average stands at 107 complaints per 100.

Lexus finished first with 73 problems per 100 vehicles, while Toyota rebounded from its recall woes with a finish of 101 problems per 100 vehicles. Dodge finished last with 137 problems per 100 vehicles.

Ford has responded to criticisms by attempting to update software, improve voice recognition, and increase the font size of graphics, along with offering training to customers at dealerships.

The company has said it's aware of the issues, which is why has made those changes.

Ford took a risk by bringing this technology to market—it can be hard for consumers to accept change, and it does take time to adapt to new technology. Not to mention, it's possible that the technology wasn't quite ready for primetime.

It's also true that the some complaints might come from consumers who are frustrated with the system's design, and not any actual problems involving system failure.

Either way, until Ford's improvements take hold and/or customers get more used to the new tech, Ford's IQS numbers might not be as high as they were before.



Tweakly | 3:03PM (Mon, Jun 27, 2011)

2011 Lincoln Navigator
I agree with the transmission comment and dissatisfaction with sync-it SUCKS!
Confusing, nonintuitive layout of controls looks like a 90s Microsoft product; certainly nothing to be proud of offering in 2011!
Voice control is a bad joke. radio takes forever to come on after starting car. Wind noise is terrible. Handling is fine-if you're a TRUCKER. Navigation/maps are not live, so no traffic info.
Digital Info panel is unreadable in daylight and totally hostile to polarized sunglasses. Do NOT BUY the fully digital dashboard unless you have time to familiarize yourself with the controls and only drive at night.
Seat/armrest? placement is very uncomfortable. Seats kill my butt on trips, requiring stopping every hour to work out the soreness.
Just glad I kept my 2003 Tahoe, much better ride, comfort and handling.
Dumping the navigator soon. Going back to GM.
IMHO, the 2011 Navigator is the worst designed car I've driven in the past 50 years! Drives and consumes gas like a tank.


dwalter | 4:39PM (Thu, Jul 7, 2011)

With so many states passing hands-free cell phone laws, you'd think Ford's Sync would be in high demand. I guess the voice control idea just seems overly complicated for most new car buyers.

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