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Old 06-23-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
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Aggravating MyFord Touch Sends Ford Plummeting in J.D. Power Quality Survey


After steady year-on-year improvement, Ford has plunged from fifth position in 2010 to 23rd in the 2011 Initial Quality Study released by J.D. Power & Associates on Thursday. Lincoln, the luxury subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, was ranked eighth last year, but fell to 17th this year.

The rankings, however, belie the automaker’s sustained manufacturing quality, the survey authors noted.

Primarily, the steep decline was attributed to consumer complaints about MyFord and MyLincoln Touch, the company’s in-car telematics systems that use a touch screen, dashboard display and voice commands presumably to help drivers operate radio and climate controls, as well as the navigation system.

Many in the automotive press, including The Times, have been critical of the system’s complexity. Consumer Reports said the “aggravating design” was one reason it could not give the Ford Edge its coveted designation of “Recommended.”

The initial quality study by J.D. Power examines vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. This year, it was based on responses from more than 73,000 owners and lessees of new vehicles from the 2011 model year.

Vehicle owners were asked whether they had any of 228 possible problems, which included mechanical defects and malfunctions as well as design issues like the controls’ ease of use in categories like exterior, engine/transmission and audio/entertainment/navigation.

The study then graded automakers on the number of problems per 100 vehicles — the lower the number the fewer problems and the higher the initial quality rating. Over all, Lexus garnered first place in the study’s brand rankings. Rounding out the top five were Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, and Mazda and Porsche in a tie for fifth.


In the 2010 ranking, when it placed fifth, Ford had 93 problems reported per 100 vehicles. That ratio has increased to 116 problems per 100 vehicles this year.

“They had a really good quality story,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power, in a telephone interview. “They were progressing steadily year over year, and everything was going fine.”

“Consumers are looking for these touch technologies in vehicles and Ford took the, let’s say, brave decision to be a leader in this area,” he added.

But no good deed goes unpunished. Consumers complained that the system was not as intuitive to operate as they would have liked, while also airing their displeasure about the hands-free, voice-activated operations.

When asked whether there were other problems that contributed to Ford’s fall, Mr. Sargent said MyFord Touch was the primary driver, but “there were a few other things which together would add up.”

He would not elaborate on what those were, as none of the problems were significant enough to discuss in detail, he said.

There is some good news for Ford, however. In the realm of manufacturing defects and malfunctions, Ford “continues to perform pretty well,” Mr. Sargent said. “What we are witnessing here essentially has nothing to do with manufacturing,” he said.

What befell Ford this year echoes the experience of BMW in the 2006 survey. When J. D. Power redesigned the survey to add more questions about design problems, BMW performed poorly because its new iDrive interface system received significant criticism, yet its manufacturing quality was on a par with that of Toyota.


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Old 06-23-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Makes sense based on my experiences.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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Posted via FF Mobile Whats retarded is people are going to just read the ranks. You can get both Fords and Lincolns without the touch systems. People are just going to read this and think Ford sucks overall.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:42 AM   #4
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This is why I don't trust JD's retarded ratings. They blatantly skew a car's "quality" rating with BS like this. Sorry but I wouldn't consider MyFord Touch to be a critical component of the car. This is not something which is going to leave you stranded on the road. When most people read these ratings they assume it refers to the mechanical components of a car. Although I agree that these faults should be exposed, this is obviously not the best approach to keeping consumers accurately informed.

Manufacturers with false stereotypes continue to get bad ratings, while Toyota and Honda continue to get their asses kissed by them. It's so funny how they've shamelessly gotten away with this while consumers blindly take their word for it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
...
“Consumers are looking for these touch technologies in vehicles and Ford took the, let’s say, brave decision to be a leader in this area,” he added.
...
If only they did a little more R&D before releasing the product ... how nice would it have been if it was easier to use, and if it didn't come with so many freakin bugs ...

The "Touch" stuff is a nice idea, and sweet when it works, but currently it's hard to use (especially for the typical Lincoln customer) and nothing would be more fun than the nav screen to go blank when in a foreign area and you NEED to know which way to turn NOW.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmoose View Post
This is why I don't trust JD's retarded ratings. They blatantly skew a car's "quality" rating with BS like this. Sorry but I wouldn't consider MyFord Touch to be a critical component of the car. This is not something which is going to leave you stranded on the road. When most people read these ratings they assume it refers to the mechanical components of a car. Although I agree that these faults should be exposed, this is obviously not the best approach to keeping consumers accurately informed.

Manufacturers with false stereotypes continue to get bad ratings, while Toyota and Honda continue to get their asses kissed by them. It's so funny how they've shamelessly gotten away with this while consumers blindly take their word for it.


Posted via FF Mobile The public blindly takes someones word for it for a lot of things...why should cars be any different lol. I dont think I need to elaborate.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:37 AM   #7
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Sorry J.D. Power, but my 2012 Ford Focus is the BEST car on the road today!!!!

MFT works, and I have not had any problems with it or the transmission at all!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:02 AM   #8
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This is typical Ford luck. Corp gets blamed for it's owners not RTFM. I seem to recall Ford offering classes in how to use the system, and hopefully that's coming to fruition.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:28 AM   #9
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Thats nice, but it makes one wonder why they are lessons on how to use your car. I've not used MFT at all (still havent gotten out to test drive a 2012), but if the interface is clunky enough to require classes then its a bad interface. I dont expect people to pick it up instantly, but look at something like the iPhone. Anyone can learn to use it fluently with just a few pointers.
If the interface was designed well, all you'd need to include with it is a simple 5 page pamphlet outlining basic features and anyone but the dullest user should be able to figure out the rest.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmoose View Post
This is why I don't trust JD's retarded ratings. They blatantly skew a car's "quality" rating with BS like this. Sorry but I wouldn't consider MyFord Touch to be a critical component of the car. This is not something which is going to leave you stranded on the road. When most people read these ratings they assume it refers to the mechanical components of a car. Although I agree that these faults should be exposed, this is obviously not the best approach to keeping consumers accurately informed.

Manufacturers with false stereotypes continue to get bad ratings, while Toyota and Honda continue to get their asses kissed by them. It's so funny how they've shamelessly gotten away with this while consumers blindly take their word for it.
Yes and no. True, you can still drive the car without using the MyFord interface. But lets face it, if you drop lots of money on a car and are frustrated with the interface, it's going to leave you less than satisfied. And satisfaction is basically what this survey is measuring.

I applaud Ford for being aggressive and engaging new technology. But I also feel like they should have spent more time ironing out the issues. A poor user interface can cause the driver to be distracted while driving which can lead to accidents. In a perfect world everyone would fully test the car before buying it, and pass it up if they didn't like it. But apparently that's not the case.

As for the comments about kissing Toyota and Honda's ass, all I can say is that the survey speaks for itself. Lexus is without question the quality leader, but they also have a dated model lineup. They have made no substantial changes in years, except for the CT200 which is a very low volume car. Honda climbed in ranks because they haven't changed much either, yet all around them the competition is changing. So Ford gambled with impressive new technology and now we're seeing the results.
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