Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘MyFordTouch’

Ford Ready to Un-Friend Microsoft

Maker reportedly ready to switch to BlackBerry for its Sync system.

by on Feb.24, 2014

Ford's latest Sync update expanded the capabilities of the system but failed to completely resolve ongoing consumer complaints.

Ford has good reason to take claim for kick-starting today’s automotive infotainment revolution.  Its Sync system was the first to really put the technology in the eye of the American consumer, ushering in an era where motorists can access everything from music apps like Pandora to social media such as Facebook while driving.

But while Sync initially led millions of potential buyers to consider Ford products, an assortment of problems with Sync and the related MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch interfaces has resulted in countless others steering clear of the maker – Ford watching its quality scores slumping as a result of those issues.

Tech Savvy!

So there’s probably little surprise that the automaker is about ready to un-friend Microsoft, the Seattle-based software giant that supplies the underlying technology behind Sync – and which has gotten much of the blame for glitzing screens, slow responses and balky touch interfaces. Instead, the Detroit maker is expected to shift to the QNX operating system developed by BlackBerry Ltd.


Ford Unveils 2015 Focus

Compact line borrows its signature styling from the Fusion – and Aston Martin.

by on Feb.24, 2014

Notice anything familiar? The 2015 Ford Focus adopts the Aston-inspired grille first seen on the Fusion.

The Ford Focus, the world’s best-selling nameplate for the past two years, is getting a facelift for 2015, and any family resemblance is purely intentional.

And it’s not just to the bigger Ford Fusion, but also to Ford’s former luxury brand Aston Martin.  The 2015 Focus adopts the same Aston-like trapezoid grille first seen on the Fusion and now working its way through the rest of the Ford line-up, from the little Fiesta to the 50th anniversary remake of the Ford Mustang.

Keeping You Focused!

Beyond the new face, the basic shape of the 5-door model Ford rolled out at a high-tech conference in Barcelona this weekend is generally familiar, despite Ford’s claim to have redesigned everything from the nose to the A-pillars, as well as the hatchback’s liftgate.  We’ll make a closer inspection in little more than a week when the 2015 Focus 5-door reappears at the Geneva Motor Show.  The sedan version is set to follow in April when it makes its world debut at the New York Auto Show.


Ford Produces 10 Millionth Sync-Equipped Vehicle

Technology draws in new buyers – but also creates headaches for Detroit maker.

by on Nov.27, 2013

Ford's latest Sync update permits th maker to draw a number of smartphone apps into the vehicle, including the Pandora music service.

Depending upon your point of view about in-car technology, the announcement from Ford could be seen as good news or bad news – or perhaps a little bit of both.

The maker this month produced its 10 millionth vehicle equipped with the Sync infotainment system.  That’s just six years after Ford first rolled out the technology developed in cooperation with tech giant Microsoft.

“SYNC has helped us to think and act more like a technology company,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service. “It has forever changed how we look at our business and how we respond to our customers.”

Get a Free Subscription!

Since its introduction, Sync has fostered some major changes in the auto industry and there’s not a brand to be found today that isn’t offering at least a basic in-car infotainment system. But while Ford claims Sync – and the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch infotainment systems – have drawn plenty of young, tech-savvy buyers into the brand’s showrooms, the technology has also created plenty of headaches for owners and for Ford which has seen its quality ratings tumble, in large parts due to problems with its infotainment systems.


Ford S-Max Concept to Debut in Frankfurt

Updated big brother of C-Max people-mover will get array of new technologies.

by on Aug.28, 2013

Ford will officially reveal this new S-Max Concept during the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ford will roll out a concept version of its S-Max crossover during the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, and it will feature a variety of new technologies that can even track a driver’s health.

The 7-seat S-Max is the larger, more upscale version of the Ford C-Max “people mover” recently introduced in the U.S. market. The Concept hints at an update being seen by the automaker as a way to draw in the young European families Ford desperately needs to attract in order to reverse years of substantial losses in the struggling Continental car market.

Power Up with a Free Subscription!

As has become typical with Ford’s recent concepts, what you see is pretty much what you will get, global design director J Mays said during a Detroit media backgrounder.  The design, he said, is a “very good indication of what the next  S-Max will look like.”


Ford Serving up “Video Snacks”

Maker hopes to improve owner satisfaction with latest high-tech features.

by on Apr.15, 2013

A Ford customer checks out some video "snacks."

If you’ve bought a new car over the last several years, chances are it’s been a challenge trying to learn all the new features, whether pairing a cellphone, using voice commands to program in a destination or setting up one of the new safety systems such as active cruise control.

Now, add the fact that dealers often have a hard time explaining the latest technology and you can understand why high-tech features have become the single-biggest source of complaints about today’s new vehicles, according to surveys by J.D. Power and Associates and other third-party researchers.

Your Source for Auto News!

That’s prompted Ford Motor Co. to launch a new service designed to help familiarize customers with the numerous features on their vehicles – something the maker has dubbed “video snacks.”  The idea is to give a new owner a place to go to check out short, online videos that allow them to review or learn about such features as MyFordTouch, remote start or blind-spot mirrors.


Stylish yes, But is 2013 Ford Escape as Useful as Old One?

Sleek new cute ute is a major departure from the old box.

by on Dec.26, 2012

Ford says the 2013 Ford Escape is as useful as the original, but now in a sleek and stylish package.

For me, a new Ford Escape is personal. Our 2002 model was simply the best car we’ve ever owned.

With its optional V-6, it was powerful, it was as maneuverable as a go-kart and it had an interior that simply could not possibly have fit inside what looked like a smallish sport utility on the outside. Tough grey plastic cladding on the bottom gave that original Escape a rough and read, youthful look and it brushed off road debris without trouble.

Sleek and Modern!

There’s a good reason buyers have made it the best-selling small SUV on the market. It may have been a box, but it just worked.

But now Ford has built a new Escape, with swoopier styling, new powertrain options and a modern interior. The question is whether this new Escape can live up to or improve on one of the most useful vehicles of its size ever made.

Let’s take a look.

Ford Promises to Fix “Isolated” Quality Problems

Maker remains committed to MyFordTouch despite problems.

by on Dec.19, 2012

Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields insists recent quality problems are "isolated incidents."

Ford has long claimed that “Quality is Job 1,” though it has taken a drubbing in recent months for some nagging problems that have seen it tumble on quality and reliability surveys.

The maker intends to aggressively address such “isolated incidents,” Ford’s new Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields insists.  That notably includes the maker’s Sync and MyFordTouch infotainment technologies which have come in for some of the sharpest criticism. But Ford will also have to deal with a variety of other problems that have seen some of its newest models repeatedly recalled in recent months, including a variety of recalls.

Come Along for the Ride!

“We’ve had a few issues,” acknowledges Fields, who until a few weeks ago served as Ford’s President of the Americas. “When we see a problem we go at it proactively to address the issue as quickly as possible.”


Learning to Use a New Electronic Gizmo? Ask a Kid

GM hires group of specialists to teach dealers, car buyers how to use infotainment systems.

by on Nov.27, 2012

Cadillac calls its new infotainment system the Cadillac User Experience or CUE. Here, it's shown in the 2013 Cadillac XTS.

Everyone knows that if you need to learn how to use a new electronic toy, talk to a young person.

General Motors has obviously heard that advice, so it’s hired a group of young, tech-savvy people to serve as connected customer specialists to train GM dealers and support vehicle owners trying to learn its new infotainment systems.

Youthful and Connected!

After watching Ford’s missteps with its own MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch, GM is trying to avoid some of the same mistakes. But can young tech geeks teach car buyers new tricks?

Ford Updates Sync, MyFordTouch on New Fiesta

Maker hopes to resolve problem with high-tech systems.

by on Nov.26, 2012

The 2014 Ford Fiesta gets an updated Sync and MyFordTouch infotainment system.

It’s the classic good news/bad news syndrome.  On the plus side, Ford has been drawing in plenty of tech-savvy buyers with its advanced Sync and MyFordTouch technologies. The downside is that problems with the systems have turned off many buyers and caused the maker’s quality ratings to plunge.

Ford hopes to fix those problems with the next-generation Sync and MyFordTouch infotainment systems that will be integrated into the newly revamped Fiesta subcompact making its formal debut at the LA Auto Show this week.

Be in the Know!

The 2014 Ford Fiesta will get a new touchscreen when it reaches showrooms later in the model-year.  It also will have a revised voice command system designed to resolve many of the problems owners have had getting the infotainment system to do such basic tasks as syncing a smartphone and playing music. The maker claims it will also be easier to operate the 2014 Fiesta’s navigation system.

Ford was one of the first makers to embrace infotainment technology and initially scored some big kudos for the Sync technology developed jointly with tech giant Microsoft. But in recent years, as Sync and the complementary MyFordTouch technology have become more complex, owners and reviewers have started to howl.

MyFordTouch, in particularly, was blamed for a sharp drop in recent quality and customer satisfaction studies, including both the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey and Consumer Reports’ annual Automotive Reliability Study.

That non-profit magazine’s testers declared that MyFordTouch “frustrates us like few other control systems in any other brand’s automobiles.”

The maker has tried to put a positive spin on the problem.

“MyFord Touch is appealing to customers, as it consistently ranks among the top 10 purchase considerations with new owners,” insisted Michelle Moody, Ford’s cross-vehicle marketing manager.

But following a recent news conference by Consumer Reports, Ford officials also acknowledged their internal data confirms that owners have been frustrated by some of the snags with the Sync and MyFordTouch technology – and they promised that updates are in the works.

The new Sync system going into the 2014 Ford Fiesta will have a smaller touchscreen than in other models – 6.5 inches instead of 8.0, which will help hold down costs.

More significant, the voice command structure will be simplified and follow more conventional human speech patterns.  For example, a motorist will simply have to say “Play,” followed by an artist’s name, or a song title, reducing the number of steps needed to perform a task.  Similar changes should simplify changing a radio station, pairing a phone or plugging in a destination.

Beyond the basic styling changes, the 2014 Ford Fiesta will get a number of other key revisions. Among other things, the new subcompact will be offered with the latest of Ford’s EcoBoost engines. Despite its diminutive size, the 1.0-liter 3-cylinder package will outperform the current 1.6-liter inline-four — while also delivering what Ford promises will be the best mileage of any non-hybrid product on the U.S. market.

For more on the new Fiesta EcoBoost package, Click Here.)

Ford Forwarding Fix for MyFordTouch System

Technology problems led to sharp slump in quality ranking.

by on Nov.07, 2011

The new fixes should make the MyFordTouch system faster and easier to use.

A quarter-million U.S. motorists will be getting an envelope in the mail from Ford Motor Co. early next year.  Inside they’ll find a small flash drive that the maker says will fix problems owners have been reporting with vehicles equipped with the MrFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch infotainment systems.

Ford has been one of the most aggressive makers in the industry when it comes to rolling out the latest in-car technologies.  It’s helped draw in customers who might have otherwise steered away from the domestic brand – but flaws with the latest MyTouch systems have also resulted in serious customer frustration which, in turn, has hammered Ford’s quality rankings.

Upgrade Your Insight!

Ford plunged from 10th to 20th place in the latest Consumer Reports Reliability Index, while also taking a tumble in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey..

The fix?  A free software upgrade.