Ford was sued by the Center for Defensive Driving for failing to fix issues in the vehicle touch-screen control systems which might cause safety hazards for drivers.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday, July 15th, by the Center for Defensive Driving in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of customers who leased or bought Ford vehicles fitted with the MyFord Touch system, MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch.
Customers have complained that the touch-screen freezes up, blacks out, malfunctions or fails to connect with other devices. Due to these issues, drivers have been confronted with “significant safety risks”, as their attention has been diverted from the road.
The US automaker launched the MyFord Touch in 2010 and the system’s purpose is to centralize climate, audio, mobile-device, navigation, safety and entertainment controls using LCD interfaces powered by Microsoft’s Sync operating system. The device is controlled through the touch-screen panel, buttons on the steering wheel or voice commands. Unfortunately, since its launch, the system was prone to an “unmitigated disaster,” according to the plaintiffs.
In November 2012, Ford, which is the second largest US automaker, reported 400 issues with its MyFord Touch system at every 1,000 vehicles. The automaker plans to lower the number to 360 by August.
“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.”