Even Ford Execs Hated Early Versions Of Ford’s Sync Infotainment System
MyFord Touch system was the bane of their existenceby Kirby Garlitos, on
You know something’s wrong with your product when even your own engineers are trashing it and your executives are getting frustrated by it themselves. Apparently, that’s what court documents from a 2013 class-action lawsuit filed in California against Ford revealed about the early iterations of the Blue Oval’s MyFord Touch and Sync Infotainment. The system was so flawed that it was described at one point as “polished turd” and that no less than executive chairman Bill Ford got stuck on the side of the road because the “system was rebooting.”
Those were just a few of the many embarrassing details that were made public about the glitch-prone system, which prompted consumers to file lawsuits against Ford over what the plaintiff’s lead attorney, Hagens Berman, described as a “pricey inconvenience that failed to live up to the most basic of Ford’s gilded promises.” A U.S. District Court judge has since certified classes of consumers from nine states in the lawsuit filed against Ford with a trial expected to commence on April 2017.
Evidently, the customers weren’t the only ones that grew frustrated by the plethora of bugs and problems that plagued the early versions of the system, which included freezing screens, malfunctioning voice recognition and navigation, and slow response to commands, among others. Ford engineers even expressed concern about the system being “unsaleable” from when it was first launched in 2010 with one openly mocking the subsequent upgrades as like “putting lipstick to a pig.” Even Ford CEO Mark Fields reportedly broke a touchscreen in frustration and admitted in a separate email that he didn’t use the system anymore after experiencing repeated problems with it.
Fortunately, Ford has come a long way since those troubling days with the system. The current version of the system, Sync 3, is largely well-received by consumers and media outlets, a lot of whom have said that it’s doing a good job atoning for the sins of the much-maligned MyFord Touch system. How that’s going to help Ford in its case against those disgruntled customers is another matter entirely.
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Is a settlement on the horizon?
It’s hard to comment on pending litigation that has yet to start, but based on the details that were revealed in those court documents, it looks like it’s going to be an uphill climb for Ford to win this lawsuit, especially if it’s own CEO and chairman were reportedly confounded by the same issues that plagued the system during its ill-fated run.
May Ford may be able to finagle a defense or two to get them out of the lawsuit but I hardly think that would be the case either. From what I can tell, I wouldn’t rule out a settlement taking place before the trial is to start in April 2017. I think that’s the likely scenario knowing that Ford probably just wants this whole thing to go away and move on from it.
Either way, it is a little amusing to see how a system as maligned as the MyFord Touch system also affected the people who were trying to sell it. Just goes to show that if a product is as bad as the system was in its time, there’s no end in sight to the number of people it affected. Heck, even the descendants of Henry Ford himself was inconvenienced by the system!
Source: The Detroit News