The MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems may be technologically advanced, but they also have been the subject of well-publicized problems. Ford has announced it will perform another sweeping round of software upgrades and extend the warranty on the systems by two years.
It’s been about two years since MyFord Touch (and its MyLincoln Touch sibling) reached markets, but for Ford it might feel longer. MyFord Touch was widely panned by critics for being confusing and slow, to the point where outlets like Consumer Reports dinged the ratings on Ford and Lincoln products equipped with the system. Ford’s ratings in initial quality studies dropped as well — some 22 spots in the IQS rankings in two years.
Ford attempted to solve the problems with a massive upgrade campaign in which it mailed USB flash drives with upgraded software to hundreds of thousands of owners in March of this year. While the improvements were welcome, many said they didn’t go far enough. To that end, Ford promised another round of updates — dubbed MyFord Touch 3.5 — over the next four months.
MFT 3.5 debuts December 10 but will trickle out to current owners through the end of Q1 2013. It includes improvements to Bluetooth device pairing and voice recognition, with the promise that the system will be more able to parse natural speech instead of relying on a finite set of commands. The upgrades also extend to the in-dash navigation system, for cars so equipped (Ford didn’t say exactly what it would change on the GPS units).
The changes will be rolled out to owners much like the last major update: owners can request USB drives from Ford, or use their own flash drives. Alternatively, owners can take their Ford or Lincoln vehicles to their respective dealers for a free upgrade.
Here’s hoping that the changes work: the last round of updates came too late for the major quality rankings, so there’s a chance that the new version of MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch could push their respective brands up the ratings this year. To make sure that owners get further upgrades, Ford promises to extend the warranty on its infotainment systems. MyFord Touch’s warranty increases from three years/36,000 miles to five years/unlimited miles, while MyLincoln Touch’s warranty increases from four years/50,000 miles to six years/unlimited miles.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)
By Ben Timmins