| July 16
July 16 Ford Motor Co has been hit with a
proposed class action claiming it neglected to fix defects in
vehicle touch-screen control systems that create safety hazards
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California by the Center for Defensive
Driving, a non-profit driver safety group. The plaintiffs are
bringing the lawsuit on behalf of customers who purchased or
leased Ford vehicles equipped with a MyFord Touch system, as
well as variations like MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch.
According to the lawsuit, customers have complained that the
system freezes up, malfunctions, blacks out and fails to connect
with mobile devices. The complaint said system flaws have
created "significant safety risks" for drivers, diverting their
attention from the road when the product malfunctions and
failing to contact 911 during emergencies as designed.
Ford launched MyFord Touch in vehicles in 2010. The system
was designed to centralize audio, navigation, climate,
mobile-device, entertainment and safety controls through LCD
interfaces powered by Microsoft's Sync operating system. The
MyFord Touch system can be controlled via a touch-screen panel,
voice commands or by buttons on the steering wheel.
Since its launch, however, MyFord Touch and other so-called
infotainment systems in Ford vehicles have been an "unmitigated
disaster," plaintiffs said in the lawsuit.
A representative for Ford declined to comment, citing the
Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, reported 400
problems with its MyFord Touch system for every 1,000 vehicles
in November 2012. The company previously said it aims to lower
that number to 360 by August.
Automakers have struggled to create easy-to-use and effective
touch-screen systems that integrate entertainment and navigation
Ford has faced public criticism over its systems from some
customers. At least two websites, including syncsucks.com, have
been set up to chronicle customers' problems with the systems,
the complaint said. Customers also have lodged complaints with
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the
system, according to the lawsuit.
"In theory, MyFord Touch is a brilliant idea and worth the
premium that Ford charged its customers for the system,"
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."
Ford said in a June press release that Sync and MyFord Touch
were sold on nearly 80 percent of 2013 Ford vehicles, up from 68
percent in 2012.
Ford has issued several updates to address issues with the
system, but the complaint said that the updates failed to
address plaintiffs' problems.
The company said in June that it is also planning to add
buttons and knobs to MyFord Touch systems in future vehicles.
Plaintiffs are seeking a court order compelling Ford to
recall or replace the systems, as well as damages.