Ford is setting aside $17 million to compensate owners of vehicles equipped with early versions of the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainment systems, reports Top Class Actions via The Drive. The company chose to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by motorists who complained about the software's alleged shortcomings.
The settlement compensates over 360,000 motorists who purchased or leased a car equipped with the aforementioned infotainment systems between 2010 and August 2013. The law firm representing disgruntled screen-poking drivers claims MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch were defective – the website for the settlement is here. It notes the software didn't respond to voice commands, didn't connect to the owner's cell phone, didn't get motorists to their destination, froze, and crashed. Drivers were left without features they often paid a significant premium for, and Apple CarPlay wasn't around to save the day.
The problems Ford encountered with MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch were well documented during the early 2010s. In 2011, a Michigan dealer began offering buyers a free touchscreen tutorial. Ford later paid dealers to train buyers, but the complaints gradually got louder ,and glitches sank the brand in a 2012 Consumer Reports survey. Jim Farley, the company's marketing chief at the time, vowed to fix it. Updates (and extended warranties) appeased motorists, but even family scion Bill Ford later admitted he got stuck on the side of the road after his navigation system crashed.
Ford firmly denies wrong-doing, and it stands behind the infotainment systems it put in its cars, but it agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit out of court. Only motorists who live in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington are able to file a claim.
The amount of money that current and former owners can receive depends on the number of times they took their car to shop to fix an infotainment-related problem. Those who had it repaired once can file a $100 claim. Motorists who took two trips to the dealer can get $250, and the unlucky few whose car returned to the dealership three or more times will be awarded $400. Strangely, motorists who owned a model covered by the lawsuit and simply didn't like the infotainment system but never needed to get it repaired can ask Ford for $45.
Current and former owners seeking compensation need to submit a claim online before September 24. Proof of ownership is required.