Regular readers know that we aren’t fans of Ford’s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainment systems. The controls are overly complicated, cumbersome to use, and potentially distracting. But aside from the usability problems, we’ve had numerous electronic glitches and system crashes in our test vehicles’ systems. As it turns out, we’re not the only ones.
In our 2012 Annual Auto Survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, a relatively high percentage of Ford and Lincoln owners reported having problems with the audio system in their vehicles. To drill deeper into these problems, we conducted a follow-up survey this past December with owners of 2011 and 2012 Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, and Lincoln MKX vehicles that were equipped with the Touch systems. We asked them about their specific problems and their satisfaction with the systems.
Thirty percent of survey respondents said the Touch system was highly influential in their purchase decision. And while almost two-thirds found it complicated to use during the first few weeks of ownership, most of those owners felt it got easier as they got used to it. Still, it was plagued by problems.
About half of the respondents had trouble with their vehicle’s entertainment, navigation, or communication systems. And two-thirds of them said they had problems with MyFord or MyLincoln Touch. The most common problem, reported by almost 75 percent of this group, was that the system locked up. More than half said that it was slow to respond or had a blank screen, or that voice commands didn’t work properly. Forty-five percent said the touch buttons didn’t respond as expected. Almost 70 percent said the system required repair, but only three-quarters of them said the fix worked. Only half of all owners said they were highly satisfied with the Touch systems.
In our tests of 2013 Ford and Lincoln models, we are still finding the systems to be buggy. In response to continued complaints, Ford is pushing out further updates and increasing warranty coverage. We’ll let you know whether things improve in future tests.