MyFord Touch is So Faulty It's Really Dangerous

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#interior #infotainment #technology #lawsuit

MyFord Touch[1] was Ford's attempt at an all-in-one, in-dash communication and entertainment system. What owners got instead was an unresponsive, difficult-to-use and needlessly complicated mess. The system is often cited as the primary factor in Ford's declining standing in customer satisfaction studies since 2010[2].

A System So Difficult, it's Actually Dangerous

Early adopters of Ford's new touch screen system complained that it crashed without warning, did not reliably respond to touch commands and failed to sync with mobile phones. Other than that it was great.

In response, Ford released an update in March 2012[3] that overhauled the user interface and addressed a few performance issues. That hasn't stopped the complaints, however.

Most Common MyFord Touch Complaints

Where do we begin? Let's just take a look at a few of the most common complaints before diving into more detail:

  • Once the screen goes black, it doesn't come back.
  • SYNC system freezes and stays frozen, even after the vehicle is turned off.
  • System randomly jumps through audio sources. Musical roulette!
  • Doesn't recognize phones, wait ... did it just? Nope, still doesn't work.
  • Back up camera turns off while backing up.

A few more common complaints:

Check, Check -- is This Thing On?

With the popularity of touch enabled smartphones, you knew the auto industry wanted to cash in. Unfortunately for us, the consumers, not all touchscreens are created equal. A screen you have to press over and over again -- waiting for a response of any sort -- is not a good thing, just ask Mike of Longview, TX who wrote to about his wife's experience with MyFord Touch:

We have been having ongoing issues with the MyFord Touch Sync system. Backup camera, gas gauge, seat positioner control, radio interface, plus many others. My wife drives the car and treats it like a new born baby. She was stopped in a parking lot and trying to get her phone to make a call by pushing on the touch screen phone icon. Two taps on the screen and nothing. Third tap and the screen spider cracks at her finger.

Difficult to Use in the Cold

When the system got rid of all buttons it became extremely difficult to use with gloves on, long fingernails or in very cold temperatures.

A Pain to Update

At first, the only way to get software updates for MyFord Touch involved going to the dealership.

Ford has let us know that existing owners will not be required to visit their dealer for the upgrade, and will be receiving a USB drive allowing for a self-install in the mail. That said, you can still drop by your dealer after getting it to have the install done there.

How MyFord Touch Has Affected Consumer Confidence

Ford's sharp decline in consumer satisfaction since 2010 is not tied to engine, transmission or fuel economy performance -- although we could argue that these things don't help -- but to consumer frustration with the in-dash headache.

“[Ford] had a really good quality story,” said David Sargent from J.D. Power, in a telephone interview with The New York Times . “They were progressing steadily year over year, and everything was going fine.”

That was before MyFord Touch. Ford decided they wanted to be one of the first to market with a complete infotainment system and perhaps by rushing it they brought these words on themselves: "complex", "confusing", "non-intuitive", "frustrating" and "aggravating."

Here's how Ford Customer Satisfaction Has Suffered Since MyFord Touch

  • In 2010 (before the disaster that is MyFord Touch, known around here as BTDTIMYT) the automaker ranked No. 5 and was the highest-ranked non-luxury brand in the study.
  • After MyFord Touch was launched in 2010, Ford dropped to below average, ranking 23 out of 32 in 2011 and 27 out of 34 last year[4].
  • Ford plunged from 5th in 2010 to 23rd in 2011's Initial Quality Study released by J.D. Power & Associates. Similarly, Lincoln fell from 8th to 17th[5].

It's easy to see why with complaints like these:

"The SYNC system is garbage. I only had the car for a week and the system would freeze up. The only fix was to turn the car off, then back on. After a few weeks, it froze up so bad that I had to have the battery unplugged to reboot the system. After a few updates the car wouldn't recognize my ipod or any other MP3 device. I was told by Ford that the problem was that my ipod was too old, so I bought a new one. Then my iPod was apparently too new." --- keychy8, Greenwood, Nova Scotia

"This is where you buy hands-free expecting that hands free is going to work. I could have bought an after-market stereo that had hands free that was more problem free. "I'm sorry I didn't understand you" or cutting out literally without even acknowledging that you are trying to make a call.....doesn't load phone book....When I contacted the dealership their response was that Ford was working on it and I will receive information in the mail on how to fix......ya....2014 and still waiting...." --- Tamara, Maple Ridge, BC

Not fair to sell an system that is full of problems and requires multiple visits to dealer! Awful! --- Cheryl, Cranberry Twp, PA

A Series of Lawsuits

On July 2, 2013, Ford was on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit in a California court. The lawsuit questions the safety of having a car with MyFord Touch: it's difficult to use and has documented problems giving owners access to other systems such as the defroster and rear-view camera.

The [lawsuit] cites internal Ford documents that purportedly show that 500 of every 1,000 vehicles have issues involving MyFord Touch due to software bugs, and failures of the software process and architecture. Owners report that Ford has been unable to fix the problem, even after repeated visits.

"In theory, MyFord Touch is a brilliant idea." plaintiffs' lawyer Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro said in a statement. "In reality, the system is fundamentally flawed, failing to reliably provide functionality, amounting to an inconvenience at best, and a serious safety issue at worst."

In 2014, another class-action lawsuit sued Ford over similar claims. Ford Fusion owner, Sandra Storto, filed the lawsuit accusing Ford of deceptive trade practices, fraud, and warranty violations. Storto says the system isn't worth the money because it's an expensive, flawed product and even trying to update the software can cause a major headache.

"Had [the] plaintiff and the other class members known of the defects in the MyFord Touch system at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have purchased or leased class vehicles, they would have paid substantially less for the vehicles, or they would have purchased or leased Ford manufactured vehicles not equipped with the MyFord Touch system, if available, at a reduced price."

Ford Makes Some Changes

In 2013 Ford announced plans to bring back more traditional knobs and buttons for the next generation of MyFord Touch[6], something consumers had been asking for. A Ford spokesman said the automaker has been talking about adding more buttons and knobs along with the touch screen features for some time and that some vehicles, such as the F series models, already include the knobs and buttons.

Then in 2014 Ford announced they were leaving Microsoft (SYNC) for a variant of Blackberry's QNX-based operating system in future updates. This is the same embedded OS used by other manufacturers for a wide-range of systems, not just infotainment.

Don't get too excited yet. Just because these changes have been announced, we're still in wait-and-see mode to see if Ford can actually deliver an improved system.

  1. Also branded as MyLincoln Touch in Lincoln vehicles and MyMercury Touch in, you guessed it, Mercury vehicles. ↩︎

  2. Source: Aggravating MyFord Touch Sends Ford Plummeting in JD Power Quality Survey ↩︎

  3. Source: Ford releases latest MyFord Touch update ↩︎

  4. Source: Ford adding knobs, buttons to MyFord Touch ↩︎

  5. Source: J.D. Power & Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study ↩︎

  6. Not sure if the name will change now that the MyFord Touch relies less on, well, touch. ↩︎

Lawsuits Regarding This Problem

Lawsuits about this problem have already been filed in court. Many times these are class-action suits that look to cover a group of owners in a particular area. Click on the lawsuit for more information and to see if you're eligible to receive any potential settlements.

  • Settled

    MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation

    1. Settled

      Ford has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleges MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainment systems malfunction on a routine basis.

    2. Case Filed

      Based on consumer complaints, as well as complaints about MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch, Ford is on the receiving end of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in a California court. The lawsuit claims the system is a safety hazard because it often fails and can cause serious problems with the defroster and rear-view camera.

    Class Vehicles
    • Ford with MyFordTouch purchased before 08/09/2013
    Class Members
    Purchased or leased a Ford in CA,MA,NJ,NC,OH,VA,or WA

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Ford generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at

  1. MyFord Touch intended to bring sophisticated technological control to your vehicle’s center console.

    Emphasis on intended because the system is well-known for failures. While a glitchy navigation system is an inconvenience, a proposed class-action lawsuit says the system can be dangerous in how it limits access to basic vehicle functions.

    Ford is on the receiving end of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in a California court. The lawsuit claims the system is a safety hazard because it often fails and can cause serious problems with the defroster and rear-view camera.

    Common complaints about MyFord Touch include a terrible navigation experience, rear-view camera failure, issues controlling the temperature, no way to turn on the defroster, and more.

    keep reading article "MyFord Touch Complaints May Finally Get Their Day in Court"

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA