Problems with Ford’s SYNC and MyFord Touch system dragged down Ford Motor Company’s quality ranking for the 2011 model year. Ford fell from 5th in 2010 to 23rd this year, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report released today, at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, as reported by The Detroit News. Ford’s troubled Lincoln brand dropped from eighth to 17th.
Complex and buggy
Speaking from personal experience with my new 2012 Focus, which is equipped with SYNC and MyFord Touch, I’d have to agree that’s what is pulling down Ford’s quality scores. The MyFord Touch system is buggy and quirky. Furthermore, the system is complex. Customers need to be educated before heading down the road.
In my case, I headed down the road expecting to use the turn by turn navigation feature on a road trip from Detroit to Silver Spring, Maryland. It stopped providing directions halfway to my destination. Lucky for me, I spotted a Best Buy where I pulled in and purchased a GPS.
Some bugs come and go. A week ago, the MyFord Touch screen went black for about five minutes, came back to life and displayed a “Microsoft System Update” text message. While driving to work a few days ago, the exterior temperature displayed on the MyFord Touch screen indicated 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperature setting for the climate control system at the bottom right of the MyTouch screen displayed the temperature in degrees centigrade! By the time I got to the office, that particular bug mysteriously fixed itself.
Calls to the Ford Customer Care Center have been frustrating. They had me crawling around on my hands and knees, pulling and replacing fuses underneath the glove box, removing the battery from my cell phone and doing master reset procedures, all of which failed to help get the MyFord Touch system working the way it’s supposed to. A trip to the dealer got the system working for a few days but the bugs have returned.
Only one chance to make a good first impression
Customer expectations are high at new vehicle delivery, and if those expectations aren’t met, the resulting customer dissatisfaction can be extreme and long lasting.
When a new vehicle is launched with flaws it is difficult to recover. Witness the Pontiac Fiero, which had a slew of quality problems when it was launched. By the time GM fixed the problems the Fiero had gotten such a bad reputation it never recovered.
My advice to Allan Mulally: If you haven’t already done so, put a “tiger team” on MyFord Touch. Tell the entire advanced technolgy group they’re on seven day weeks and no one goes on vacation until the problems are solved.
Read earlier articles here:
- I bought a 2012 Ford Focus
- Road trip in a 2012 Ford Focus revieals MyFord Touch growing pains