Good news for current and future Ford owners: according to the Detroit Free Press, the automaker will release an update to its much-maligned MyFord Touch infotainment system in December, and warranties on the system will be extended by a full two years.
The troubles with MyFord Touch and its luxury sibling, MyLincoln Touch, became apparent last year, when Ford plummeted in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Rankings. Until then, Ford had been faring well: it was the only Big Three automaker to avoid restructuring during the Great Recession; sales of Ford vehicles were strong; public opinion of the company was favorable; and new models like the Fiesta and revamped Focus were generating a lot of enthusiasm among shoppers.
But despite that forward momentum, Ford and Lincoln became tripped up -- not by recalls, but by owners frustrated with complicated, occasionally glitchy infotainment systems. While Ford held the #5 spot in J.D. Power's 2010 rankings, last year it fell to #23. This year, it slipped lower, slotting in at #27. Lincoln followed a similar trajectory, tumbling from #8 in 2010 to #17 in 2011 and #20 this year.
It just goes to show: as beautiful and well-made as a vehicle may be, if the controls aren't intuitive, it can ruin the customer experience.
Fortunately, MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch depend largely on software, not hardware, meaning that they can be updated without much of a hassle. Speaking at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford's Mark Fields told the Detroit Free Press that current Ford customers would be able to download such an update to MyFord Touch (and presumably MyLincoln Touch) by December 10.
This revised MyFord Touch is the same streamlined system seen on the 2014 Ford Fiesta, which arrives in showrooms this spring. The Fiesta will be the first vehicle to be built around the simplified infotainment system.
Ford's Alan Hall added that the automaker will also extend the warranty on MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch. The warranty on the former will now last five years, not three, and MyLincoln Touch will come with a six-year warranty. At the moment, it's not clear if these extensions will benefit current Ford owners or solely those who purchase Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the future.
Stay tuned to The Car Connection for more news and updates from the floor of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.