Among the systems surveyed, just 37 percent of those who had initial difficulties learning HondaLink stated that they grew much more accustomed to its operation over time. In contrast, 47 percent of similar Ford/Lincoln owners and 51 percent of Cadillac owners said those systems became a lot easier to use with experience.
Even though older drivers were more apt to cite challenges in operating their systems initially, this group was less likely to report experiencing problems overall. In fact, reports of problems followed the opposite demographic pattern as the learning curve, with 46 percent of drivers 44 years and younger reporting a problem compared to 36 percent among drivers between the ages of 45 and 64 and 28 percent among those 65 years and older. It may be that younger drivers were likely to use the systems more often and depend on more features, whereas older drivers may not be relying on such a broad spectrum of functions.
With HondaLink, the most commonly reported problems were associated with the system’s communication component (43 percent of defective systems), radio (32 percent), CD/DVD player (21 percent), and touch screen (16 percent).
Likewise, the most commonly reported problems drivers experienced with the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch system focused on the communication facet of the system. In addition, around two in five Ford and Lincoln owners who reported problems operating the system had difficulties with the CD/DVD and touch screen, respectively. Among those with touch screen problems, 56 percent complained that the screen was unresponsive to their touch, 47 percent experienced screen freezes, and 43 percent had to deal with blank screens. (Due to sample size, we do not have this detail for the Cadillac CUE.)
Lucky for these owners, most Ford and Lincoln dealerships repaired the faulty components and when they did, the problems, more often than not, did not reoccur. Yet, regardless of the component, around a quarter of those experiencing a specific Touch problem said the dealer not only didn’t fix the system, they didn’t even take the time to explain how to properly operate it. Reading into the results, a detailed walk-through of the systems may accelerate the learning curve, but clearly there are problems with these advanced systems that need to be addressed.