— A Ford MyTouch class-action lawsuit is scheduled for trial in May after multiple lawsuits were consolidated into a case called the "MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation."
The MyFord Touch infotainment systems are advertised as the answer for functions such as navigation and GPS, controlling climate control systems and functions related to smartphones and MP3 players. However, customers for years have complained the systems are full of problems and can easily cost $1,000 to repair.
Owners say Ford has known about the problematic systems because the automaker sent technical service bulletins to dealerships about owners complaining about the systems going wacky and the screens going black.
Documents presented in court allegedly show Ford engineers knew the touchscreen systems had problems before the vehicles were sold to the public. Even worse, the plaintiffs allege Ford executives stopped using the systems in their own cars because they were tired of the problems.
Court documents say Ford's statements indicate fixes for the systems haven't worked, and using software updates for safety features such as rear-view cameras and defrosters haven't solved the MyFord Touch problems.
Owners report their systems shutting down while driving, then turning back on with a message saying maintenance is being performed. To some this wouldn't be a problem, until you need the system for an important function while driving.
For an example of the all-too-often complaints about the systems, check out the chaos this Ford Flex driver endures:
"The MyFord touch software is full of bugs. It constantly forgets my preferences and goes back to the defaults. It has trouble retaining my setting for my iPhone, but more than anything, the navigation and mapping functions are completely unreliable. When inputting my destination using voice prompts, the system often cuts me off and starts playing the radio. I have to try several times to get the destination in the nav. Whenever I choose "Home" on the dash, it loads my Home in the nav about 25% of the time. The rest of the time, it just thinks about it and then goes back to the default screen. Occasionally the whole system just wigs out and reboots, putting all my settings back to default. This system is a piece of garbage and needs a team of people addressing it so my $30K rolling computer actually serves the purpose that I brought it for."
Additionally, a Ford truck owner gives an idea of the cost if a driver wants their MyFord Touch system repaired.
"2013 F150, 48k miles. MyFord Touch, everything I read says should be 5 year unlimited mileage. 911 assist fault, no volume whatsoever. Dealer says digital signal processor is bad, $800+ to fix."
Ford has been working to get claims dismissed and succeeded in a case filed by the Center for Defensive Driving in 2013 alleging failures of the MyFord Touch system in a 2013 Ford F-150 Lariat.
The organization accused Ford of manufacturing and selling a system that locked up, had trouble with phones and MP3 players and didn't work with voice commands. The plaintiff says the MyFord Touch failed at least 27 times in a five-month period.
However, the judge dismissed a claim of violating the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act because the Center for Defensive Driving doesn't have the legal right to bring the claim as a non-consumer.
Another lawsuit from 2014 claims the MyFord Touch systems cost about $1,800 and deliver nothing like Ford promised in marketing materials. The plaintiff alleges people would have never paid extra for the infotainment systems if they would have known the screens constantly go black.
In the consolidated action, the judge allowed breach of warranty claims to move forward as well as claims concerning fraud and unfair competition violations. Additional claims that will continue entail state-based claims for negligence and violations of consumer protection acts.
Ford did convince the judge to dismiss claims of California consumers for violations of the Song-Beverly Act, in addition to tossing out liability claims filed by Colorado customers.
The lawsuit is being argued in front of Judge Edward M. Chen in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - In re: MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation.