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U.S. driver safety group sues Ford over touch-screen systems

Maniak

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Window controls still work though, right? No AC isn't a safety issue; it's unfortunate, not dangerous.

Please don't begin to say you're dangerous on the road without navigation or a backup camera. Lol

While not having a/c isn't dangerous.. Someone looking/messing with the controls becuase they aren't working right is..

I'm not sold on the lawsuit but unfortunatly sometimes that is the only way to get a company to change things..

~Mark
 


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13Sport

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Ford doesn't force you to use the touch screen. That's a choice. You have to use the ignition, steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal. Everything else is for your "pleasure." Sue for inconvenience if you must (and still lose) but it's only a safety issue if you choose to take your eyes off the road. Ford doesn't make you.

Cry me a river.

Actually . . . the technology sold (bluetooth hands free, voice navigation, etc) was sold under the premise it would increase driver safety by allowing hands free use of the system. Because the touch screen system regularly crashes, reboots, and freezes while in use it poses a considerable safety risk to the driver. The lack of any tactile buttons to be able to adjust any settings w/out taking your eyes off the road also poses a considerable safety risk. The fact that the HVAC system is integrated w/ the touch screen and while rebooting may blow hot or cold air at full speed w/out the ability to adjust (fogging windows and distracting the driver) poses a considerable safety risk.

People PAID for MFT, it wasn't provided for free, therefor selling something with safety targeted marketing, and having it fail time and time again is grounds for litigation.

Your statement might be true if MFT was provided for free on all vehicles. It is not. It is a paid for feature (meaning it must provide to the marketed features it promises).
 




OffTrac

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I'm not arguing that. The lawsuit claims that MFT itself causes safety risks. I don't think a judge can rule that it is a safety issue because there are ways to avoid a dangerous situation. Safety is only compromised by driver choice. The lawsuit was probably too narrowly defined.

I know people are probably risking their lives to mess with their malfunctioning gadgets but you can't blame a phone company if their Bluetooth malfunctions and you wreck because you "had to" manually type a text while driving. You had the option to pull over or not text. Same principle with MFT.
 




13Sport

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I'm not arguing that. The lawsuit claims that MFT itself causes safety risks. I don't think a judge can rule that it is a safety issue because there are ways to avoid a dangerous situation. Safety is only compromised by choice. The lawsuit was probably too narrowly defined.

I know people are probably risking their lives to mess with their malfunctioning gadgets but you can't blame a phone company if their Bluetooth malfunctions and you wreck because you "had to" manually type a text while driving. You had the option to pull over or not text. Same principle with MFT.

Quick example of actual scenarios that MFT has put me in . .

1) Driving while it was < 30F outside, MFT decided to reboot on the freeway. During the reboot my defroster switched to blowing cold air through the bottom vents and no air to the windows. My windshield instantly fogged giving me zero visibility at 60mph, I did in fact have to pull over and wait for it to finish rebooting.

2) Driving while listening to music from my phone via bluetooth. MFT decided to reboot, during the reboot it switched the source from my bluetooth audio to FM radio. During the reboot there are no volume controls or ability to change sources or shut off the stereo. The audio level difference between my device and the fm radio made the FM radio at almost full volume (piercing my ears) w/ no ability to lower the inside volume for the almost 10 minutes it takes to reboot.

I think both of these are valid safety issues caused by MFT instability
 




OffTrac

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Quick example of actual scenarios that MFT has put me in . .

1) Driving while it was < 30F outside, MFT decided to reboot on the freeway. During the reboot my defroster switched to blowing cold air through the bottom vents and no air to the windows. My windshield instantly fogged giving me zero visibility at 60mph, I did in fact have to pull over and wait for it to finish rebooting.

2) Driving while listening to music from my phone via bluetooth. MFT decided to reboot, during the reboot it switched the source from my bluetooth audio to FM radio. During the reboot there are no volume controls or ability to change sources or shut off the stereo. The audio level difference between my device and the fm radio made the FM radio at almost full volume (piercing my ears) w/ no ability to lower the inside volume for the almost 10 minutes it takes to reboot.

I think both of these are valid safety issues caused by MFT instability

Now those are real issues. I've only read inconveniences until now. I stand corrected.
 




dco43054

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Which controls are those exactly?
The lawsuit says it causes driver distraction while dealing with a malfunctioning system. That is correct.

As noted, there are HVAC controls that are only available through MFT, like rear a/c, seat heating controls, all of the radio controls.

While you can argue some of these are not safety related, if you are trying to get the thing working while driving down the road, you are definitely not paying 100% attention to driving.
 




peterk9

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The only so called 'safety' issue that currently come to mind would be the inability for the auto 911 call to function in an accident situation.
Taking your eyes off the road to fiddle with functions that suddenly stopped working is a 'safety' issue but only because of a bad decision made on behalf of the driver. No different than fiddling with radio knobs or temperature settings in a non MFT environment.
BTW, my MFT works fine, always has. I use a Nokia C3, non smart phone. I get the occasional little hic-cup like the radio being off when I start the vehicle but that certainly isn't a big deal for me.

Peter
 




13Sport

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The only so called 'safety' issue that currently come to mind would be the inability for the auto 911 call to function in an accident situation.
Taking your eyes off the road to fiddle with functions that suddenly stopped working is a 'safety' issue but only because of a bad decision made on behalf of the driver.

Please see my response above about specific unsafe situations that MFT has put me in. Neither were related to the 911 functionality.
 




peterk9

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Please see my response above about specific unsafe situations that MFT has put me in. Neither were related to the 911 functionality.
Noted and agree.:thumbsup: Don't know how I missed that.

Peter
 




gdecamp

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Quick example of actual scenarios that MFT has put me in . .

1) Driving while it was < 30F outside, MFT decided to reboot on the freeway. During the reboot my defroster switched to blowing cold air through the bottom vents and no air to the windows. My windshield instantly fogged giving me zero visibility at 60mph, I did in fact have to pull over and wait for it to finish rebooting.

I had a similar occurrence on a trip at night driving on a highway. Also the Nav naturally blacked out and we were close to where we were supposed to get off. Was extremely frustrating and dangerous when it hits you all at once.

All that being said mine is working now like I had hoped when I bought it. However Ford put this out way too early to beat the competition and caused many of us a year of total grief and ruined much of that new car excitement as well. Nice to see them get sued for this, sorry to say. Have not had too much trouble in the last 6 months besides a few Nav issues that make no sense and 2 system reboots tops.
 




13Sport

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In fairness and openness.. my above experiences were on my 2011 XLT ... My 2013 Sport has been flawless as far as MFT goes. I am not however using any usb devices anymore, and I'm using an iPad for all audio, navi, entertainment purposes. So MFT has become a bluetooth handsfree device for the phone, and a speaker for the bluetooth audio coming from the iPad, but doesn't do anything else (no browsing, no shuffling, no navi, etc)
 




Sgt1411

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Quick example of actual scenarios that MFT has put me in . .

1) Driving while it was < 30F outside, MFT decided to reboot on the freeway. During the reboot my defroster switched to blowing cold air through the bottom vents and no air to the windows. My windshield instantly fogged giving me zero visibility at 60mph, I did in fact have to pull over and wait for it to finish rebooting.

2) Driving while listening to music from my phone via bluetooth. MFT decided to reboot, during the reboot it switched the source from my bluetooth audio to FM radio. During the reboot there are no volume controls or ability to change sources or shut off the stereo. The audio level difference between my device and the fm radio made the FM radio at almost full volume (piercing my ears) w/ no ability to lower the inside volume for the almost 10 minutes it takes to reboot.

I think both of these are valid safety issues caused by MFT instability

I agree 100%

Adding to both of these I had the system show my iPhone5 connected and displaying in both DIC and MFT upper left quadrant. Phone rings, MFT wont provide graphic button to answer call so IM forced to pick up phone. I look at GUI on phone and it shows its connected to MFT so while driving I have to change the iphone to answer it on the handset while driving. Kind of defeats the purpose of BT handsfree.
 




OffTrac

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Answering the phone was still a choice. That is not comparable to the post you quoted.
 




gdecamp

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Well weather or not it's a choice it is a dangerous distraction. Distractions cause unsafe conditions. A judge will decide if it is a worthwhile lawsuit, not us.
 




splash5

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your 1) happened to me last winter too we often get -20F here and i had it reboot on me and i too had to pull over and wait for it to reboot so i could see where i was going.

my wife have anther winter problem, again -20F the system rebooted while she was in a parking lot and locked up she couldn't get the heat to work at all the entire trip home (with a 18m child) for 30 min and reduced visibility

We all paid for a system that works and i have to say 99% of the time it works great for me but when it fails it can be a big problem. (ive had most of the system replaced twice now)



Quick example of actual scenarios that MFT has put me in . .

1) Driving while it was < 30F outside, MFT decided to reboot on the freeway. During the reboot my defroster switched to blowing cold air through the bottom vents and no air to the windows. My windshield instantly fogged giving me zero visibility at 60mph, I did in fact have to pull over and wait for it to finish rebooting.

2) Driving while listening to music from my phone via bluetooth. MFT decided to reboot, during the reboot it switched the source from my bluetooth audio to FM radio. During the reboot there are no volume controls or ability to change sources or shut off the stereo. The audio level difference between my device and the fm radio made the FM radio at almost full volume (piercing my ears) w/ no ability to lower the inside volume for the almost 10 minutes it takes to reboot.

I think both of these are valid safety issues caused by MFT instability
 




Sgt1411

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Answering the phone was still a choice. That is not comparable to the post you quoted.

At the risk of a thread hijack I must disagree.

I dont want to argue semantics but purchasing an Explorer is a choice, choosing to drive the Explorer is a choice, choosing to set the HVAC to a particular setting is a choice, choosing to set the media controls to a particular source is a choice.

Thats irrelevant.

If your suggesting that the previous situations are more dangerous while driving because the driver/operator cannot mitigate the those situations as easily as they could in the phone situation by simply choosing to not answer the phone I would agree.

But I didn't purchase a vehicle that was advertised with a system that intermittently allows safe hands free operation. It was sold with a system that says when connected it will work safely within the Provincial/State legal requirements for hands free operation.

The end result of all three of these situations is that the driver/operator is distracted from safely operating the vehicle, regardless of the source of that distraction.

Adding to that the phone situation puts the driver/operator in a situation that is technically an offence under most Provincial/State laws.

So IMHO they are comparable.
 




billyg900

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Driver Distraction? shouldn't all phone manufactures get sued, seems like every day i observe somebody texting while driving (usually driving slow in the fast lane, at least till their done texting)

all phones should have no texting functions while moving over a certain speed. same way you cant access certain functions on mft while driving
 




dco43054

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BTW, my MFT works fine, always has. I use a Nokia C3, non smart phone. I get the occasional little hic-cup like the radio being off when I start the vehicle but that certainly isn't a big deal for me.

Peter
So - if you get "occasional little hiccups, then your MFT is not flawless.

If MFT malfunctions while driving, it distracts the driver, if only for a moment.

Would I file a legal action based on that? No. Would I like a refund for a system that falls far short of the promises? Yes, and I've contemplated asking for one. I still may.
 




1995E

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I don't think Ford should deserve a class action lawsuit. They have been trying to alleviate the problem. They tried to be innovative. I don't find MFT distracting at all. I think this is just some money hungry people finding an excuse to get something out of this known flaw. This lawsuit would only make Ford stop trying with MFT which has been so innovative. Who caused other automakers to go touch screen? Ford did. The Toyota Camry rental I have while getting my fuel pump and fuel tank replaced for the Fusion has a Touch Screen, and I wonder why. Cadillac also has a touch screen why? Ford. The only problem is Ford hasn't been quick enough to fix it PROPERLY. There were just too many problems to begin with. However, I don't think it's Fords fault. They took care of their customers. They have people on forums, do you see any Chevy people at a forum? I haven't. Rebecca, Cory, Crystal, and the rest all work hard to try to help us. I don't think we should point the finger at Ford for this. Just wait for them to fix it. They even extended warranty. They did everything they can. I'd rather thank Ford than try to sue them. At least they didn't lie about it.
 


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13Sport

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I don't think Ford should deserve a class action lawsuit. They have been trying to alleviate the problem. They tried to be innovative. I don't find MFT distracting at all. I think this is just some money hungry people finding an excuse to get something out of this known flaw. This lawsuit would only make Ford stop trying with MFT which has been so innovative. Who caused other automakers to go touch screen? Ford did. The Toyota Camry rental I have while getting my fuel pump and fuel tank replaced for the Fusion has a Touch Screen, and I wonder why. Cadillac also has a touch screen why? Ford. The only problem is Ford hasn't been quick enough to fix it PROPERLY. There were just too many problems to begin with. However, I don't think it's Fords fault. They took care of their customers. They have people on forums, do you see any Chevy people at a forum? I haven't. Rebecca, Cory, Crystal, and the rest all work hard to try to help us. I don't think we should point the finger at Ford for this. Just wait for them to fix it. They even extended warranty. They did everything they can. I'd rather thank Ford than try to sue them. At least they didn't lie about it.

I'm sorry but 3 years "fixing" a problem with a car that is a possible safety issue, and devalues the vehicle is not acceptable (especially when after nearly 3 years it's still as broken as it was to begin with). They did their big "performance" upgrade telling everybody it would be the fix, but then it turns out they stuck with the same flawed Flash technology that caused them problems in the first place. They tried to cut corners, they're in-house development team has pretty much proven to be incompetent.

The class action isn't about little annoying bugs in MFT. It's not about how innovative they are, or that they are "trying". It's about the fact that MFT poses real safety concerns to drivers. And . . . I was using a touch screen in my car a decade before Ford introduced MFT (one that worked flawlessly I might add). Ford's only innovation was allowing owners to avoid going with aftermarket units.... in doing that they've also restricted owners from being able to install aftermarket units (can't replace MFT because it is so integrated into climate and diagnostics).

The lawsuit doesn't make anybody money except the lawyers, but class actions require the manufacturer to step up and fix the problem (a real fix).
 




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