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Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch

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On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch

If you're wondering why nearly every automaker in the industry is turning to the Apple iPhone for its in-vehicle electronics, it could have something to do with the fact that developing car electronics in house is a thankless task. The MyFord Touch system is one of the more advanced systems out there, but it seems to be getting nothing but complaints. Last year, Ford's slide in major studies like the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study and Consumer Reports Reliability Study were largely attributed to MyFord Touch and Sync problems. Despite issuing an update that was supposed to solve those woes, Ford is still feeling the effects.

Ford customers continue to complain about infotainment complications in this year's Initial Quality Study. Before the study was released on Wednesday, Ford said that it anticipated performing about as poorly as last summer, when it fell from 5th to 23rd, dropping below the industry average. That drop was attributed nearly exclusively to hiccups with the infotainment technology.

Last fall, Ford also slipped from 10th to 20th in Consumer Reports' reliability study, and infotainment was again cited. Ford developed a software update for the system to address complaints about its complicated interface and controls. Unfortunately for Ford, that update didn't get out to owners until March, after the November-February period in which J.D. Power conducted the survey for the Initial Quality Study.

Ford actually falls by two points in this year's Initial Quality Study, moving even farther from the industry average, which improved over last year.

Ford says that it sent the USB update package to 377,000 owners and 89 percent of those customers have installed it. It will presumably do better in next year's Initial Quality Study - and possibly studies later this year - once the update has had the chance to change drivers' minds about Ford's infotainment offerings.

Ford isn't the only automaker struggling with technology difficulties. J.D. Power says that problems with audio, entertainment and navigation systems have increased 8 percent since 2011, calling this area the one notable exception to the overall increase in quality across the industry. Problems in the area of vehicle electronics have increased 45 percent since 2006, as more and more vehicles become equipped advanced electronics. For the first time in the study's 26-year history, more problems are cited in regard to infotainment systems than any other part of the car.



dwalter | 5:23PM (Fri, Jun 22, 2012)

"Thankless" indeed.

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