Ford has subtly revealed that it will reintroduce the use of traditional buttons and knobs as part of its Sync and MyFord Touch in-car technology systems.
While Ford says its voice- and touchscreen-reliant systems “help drive higher customer satisfaction with vehicle quality", the Sync and MyFord technologies have been heavily criticised since launching in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
The US manufacturer dropped from fifth place in the 2010 JD Power and Associates US Initial Quality Study to 23rd in 2011, and 27th in 2012. And while the car maker said at the time that it expected to see a “dramatic improvement” in the 2013 results, it has maintained the same position in the latest survey, with a score 18 points below the industry average.
Ford says the Ford F-150, which uses a MyFord Touch that “blends touchscreen capability with traditional buttons and knobs”, has the highest rate of quality satisfaction across its line-up at 86 per cent.
It appears this positive reaction from users has led the company to reveal that, “a similar balance [is] planned for future Ford vehicles”.
Group vice president of global product development Raj Nair said Ford was committed to listening to its customers and improving MyFord Touch to draw in new customers and increase satisfaction.
“Sync and MyFord Touch are key parts of our innovation strategy, and not only bring more new customers to our brand, but help deliver higher satisfaction with overall vehicle quality.”
Though Ford sent a software upgrade to more than 370,000 North American owners of vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch in March 2012, it will update the system again with another downloadable upgrade from this US summer.
The decision by Ford to reintroduce a simpler system employing buttons and knobs mirrors a similar move made by BMW following criticism over its iDrive infotainment system.
The latest version of MyFord Touch will be offered on the new 2014 Ford Fiesta (pictured above) in the US.