Move over MyFord Touch apologists, it truly is a reliability issue

Ford will issue yet another update to MyFord and MyLincoln Touch, as well as adding two more years of warranty coverage, according to Automotive News. Our experience with these cars, backed up by Consumer Reports reliability survey data, shows why Ford had to take these steps.

I already know what you're thinking: "Another MyFord Touch article from Consumer Reports. Those guys are out to get Ford. This is the future, and they hate touch screens and technology."

This sentiment commonly pops up from media, bloggers, and know-it-all forum posters. It came up when Consumer Reports publicized its latest reliability data, showing that problems with MyFord Touch were a big factor in bringing down Ford's previously impressive corporate reliability. It comes up in CR's Owner Satisfaction survey, too. Critics dismissed our data, saying that it was because owners (likely anti-technology luddites!) just didn't know how to use the system.

But it's not the users: It's MyFord Touch (MFT) itself. Even after updates, it's buggy, including in Ford's latest vehicles.

While driving our Ford Escape Titanium recently, I was treated to a new MFT glitch: the rear camera didn't shut off. Oh, the system worked fine and I was able to navigate through the menus. It seems MFT decided to use the live camera as the background for the system. Distracting, but not earth shattering. However, it is the type of flaw that continually rears its head with MFT and forces people to bring their car back to the dealer. It isn't user error.


The other image is from when I was driving our Ford Flex. As you can see, the missing presets flaw reared its head. This is a problem I've experienced in nearly every MFT-equipped product I've driven, and it's a flaw Ford knows about. I was fortunate to be able to pull over and document this occurrence, too.

"Well, it's new technology," the apologists scream. "It will have some bugs!" To that I say: #FAIL. As annoying as Cadillac's CUE is, it doesn't have these problems. Five days of driving our new Mercedes-Benz GLK and two days driving the new GL resulted in zero problems like this. These systems may have their own annoyances or usability issues, but they aren't unreliable.

We're not against technology or touch screens. However, we want these systems to be well designed, such as the Chrysler's UConnect 8.4-inch touch-screen system.

These systems also must be reliable, not only to reduce trips to the dealer, but to reduce distraction when driving. But MyFord Touch doesn't qualify. Until MFT is improved, consumers are going to keep needing repairs and will continue to mark down the vehicles in our reliability and owner satisfaction surveys.

But Ford's move does show that MyFord Touch's problems go deeper than ease of use. It's curious that the company gets it, but some in the media and on online enthusiast sites don't.

New Cadillac CUE infotainment system frustrates
Japanese brands tops in Consumer Reports' 2012 Car Reliability Survey, Ford continues fall
MyFord Touch defends itself against critics, including Consumer Reports
Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks
Video: Consumer Reports installs MyFord Touch flash update, notes improvements

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