The Ford Motor Company has been making some big plays lately to bring the automobile up to speed with consumers used to touchscreens and on-demand content. But one of its flagship efforts in this regard, the MyFord Touch dashboard system introduced in new Ford and Lincoln cars starting in 2011, has not had a smooth ride so far — plagued with glitches and freezing menus, which Ford tried to fix with UI updates and a return to some analog buttons. But it's about to get worse. MyFord Touch is the target of a class action lawsuit filed against Ford in California earlier this week. The lawsuit, which was brought to our attention by Automotive News, alleges that MyFord Touch "has been an unmitigated disaster for Ford" and accuses the company of "unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices" and "failure to disclose defects in the MyFord Touch system" that led auto owners to "[suffer] losses in money and/or property."
"Failed or locked up on no fewer than 27 separate occasions."
The lawsuit goes into fairly vivid detail of one incident in particular, of a Ford auto salesman who allegedly convinced the plaintiff, a representative from a nonprofit group known as the Center for Defense Driving (CDD), to lease a 2013 Ford F-150 Lariat in February. The lawsuit claims the salesman extolled the virtues of the MyFord Touch system without ever telling the plaintiff about problems customers encountered while using it, which Ford had previously publicly acknowledged. As the complaint puts it: "shortly after the launch of the system in 2011, Ford’s CEO, Alan Mulally, in numerous interviews, admitted that MyFord Touch suffers from numerous problems." After CFD leased the car, here's what supposedly happened: "between February 22, 2013 and July 1, 2013, Plaintiff’s MyFord Touch unit has failed or locked up on no fewer than 27 separate occasions."
The lawsuit goes on to recount the painfully slow and unhelpful Ford tech support process that followed. The amount of damages CDD is seeking on behalf of its and other customers' problems with MyFord Touch remains to be determined, but the complaint says it will be in excess of $5 million. Ironically, Ford itself previously contributed grant money to the CDD. The company declined to comment to Automotive News, citing pending litigation.