Ford Faces Lawsuit Over MyFord Touch Glitches

Center for Defensive Driving calls infotainment system an "unmitigated disaster"

From the moment cars equipped with MyFord Touch rolled off the assembly line two short years ago, the infotainment system has been a black eye for the company.

It has been plagued by glitches. It blacks out. It freezes up. It stops working. It requires numerous software updates. It refuses to connect to drivers' mobile phones. It fails to respond to touch commands. Not all of the time, mind you, but when it does fail to work as promised, critics quickly complain.

And now those complaints have landed Ford in court. The Center for Defensive Driving has brought a class-action lawsuit against the automaker in U.S. District Court, alleging the company knowingly concealed defects and advertised the products as fully functional. It seeks damages in excess of $5 million.

Ford did not respond to questions about the lawsuit.

In its complaint, the CDD, a nonprofit based in Torrance, Calif., says the company continued to sell cars with the systems, long after Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in numerous interviews that MyFord Touch, MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch were faulty.

The lawsuit stated the organization leased a Ford F-150 Lariat pickup equipped with MyFord Touch in February. By July 1, the MyFord Touch system had failed on 27 separate occasions, the lawsuit claims. As the problems persisted, the center initiated a buyback request with Ford. But a company representative said they should visit the Sync website and troubleshoot compatibility issues.

"The system has been an unmitigated disaster for Ford," the lawsuit alleges. "The Internet is replete with complaints from Ford owners who have experienced significant problems with the system."

Complaints such as the one from the Center for Defensive Driving have sent Ford's reliability rating plummeting. In November 2012, Consumer Reports ranked Ford 26th out of 27 automakers in its annual measure of reliability.

Automotive experts who conduct the annual survey of car owners noted that it wasn't mechanical problems that hurt Ford, but that the plunge was directly related to MyFord Touch.

"Ford had a really bad year this year," said Jake Fisher, the director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

Pete Bigelow is an associate editor at AOL Autos. He can be reached via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.

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