Ford Motor Co. agreed to pay $17 million to owners of vehicles with MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch to settle a class-action suit.
The suit was filed on behalf of owners angry about the lack of functionality of the system. More than 360,000 owners or vehicle leasees of Ford cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles between 2010 and August 2013 are covered under the deal, according to TheDrive.com.
Some of the issues with the system included not responding to voice commands, not connecting to cell phones, faulty navigation software, system freezes and crashes. Often users were left without the use of the rather pricey system for long periods of time.
Ford has struggled with its infotainment technology for a long time, going all the way back to the introduction of Sync. However, the problems were exacerbated by the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems at the beginning of this decade.
Company officials repeatedly vowed to resolve the problems with the system, which was often supplanted by offerings from outside vendors like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The automaker maintains it did nothing wrong but agreed to the settlement. However, only owners who live in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington are eligible to file a claim.
What claimants receive is dependent upon how many times they brought their vehicles in for service related to problems with the system. If it was repaired once, they can file a $100 claim. If twice, that jumps to $250. If more than that, claimants can ask for $400.
If you’re one of the lucky few who never had any problems or never took it into the dealer for a repair, you can still ask for $45. Current and former owners seeking compensation need to submit a claim online before September 24. Proof of ownership is required.
In addition to the settlement, the automaker issued a recall for more than 13,000 vehicles Wednesday for select 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles for a potentially missing manual park release cover.
Federal mandates that the manual park release cover be in place and only removable with a tool. If the cover is not installed, the manual park release lever may activated accidently. This could allow the vehicle move, if the electronic park brake is not applied, increasing the risk of crash
Also, the instrument cluster of affected vehicles may be in factory mode, which disables warning alerts and chimes, and does not display the PRNDL gear positions and which gear is selected. Factory mode is used to reduce battery drain during the production process.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require the gear positions and selected gear to be displayed whenever the shifter is not in park.
Fortunately most of the 13,896 vehicles affected in the U.S. (and 239 in Canada) are still in dealer inventory. However, Ford says it knows of one accident occurring during vehicle transport within the production process. The incident resulted in only vehicle damage.
For the vehicles in dealer inventories, the problem will be fixed before vehicle delivery. The affected vehicles were built at Chicago Assembly Plant and include:
- 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles built from March 27, 2019 to July 24, 2019
- 2020 Lincoln Aviator vehicles built from April 10, 2019 to July 24, 2019
Dealers will inspect for the manual park release cover and install one, if necessary. Dealers will also verify the instrument cluster is out of factory mode and clear any diagnostic codes. The Ford reference number for this recall is 19C06.