One engineer had a particularly colorful phrase about the infotainment tech.
Consumers really, really hated Ford’s first attempt at infotainment technology, MyFord Touch. The shoddy software installed in millions of Fords and Lincolns routinely crashed or froze, rendering features like the backup camera and navigation system inoperable and inaccessible. This led to a class-action lawsuit being filed against the automaker in 2013. But normal drivers weren’t alone in their hatred of MyFord Touch. Ford execs and employees also hated it just as much, this according to Forbes.
Forbes obtained documents, mostly emails, related to the lawsuit that give insight into what Ford’s top employees thought of MyFord Touch and its issues. The emails unearthed are revealing, to say the least. Bill Ford was once left stranded on the side of the road in an unfamiliar area as he waited five minutes for the system to reboot and his navigation system to return. Mark Fields also reportedly had numerous problems with the system. An email quoted him in a meeting as saying he got the “dreaded black screen” in his Edge. Fields apparently had to once call a software engineer into his office as he was having trouble pairing his phone to the system.
Fields may have become so upset at the technology that he smashed the screen in one of his cars. A man identified in court documents as Kenneth Williams, one of the top engineers of Sync, was sent a photo of a broken screen from a mechanic with the caption: “I think Mark Fields may have been a little aggravated with the system.” But it wasn’t just top execs who internally acknowledged the system’s failure. An engineer in one email called an updated version of the system “a polished turd” and another expressed sympathy for “those poor customers.” Forbes says the lawsuit could go to trial in April 2017. It includes plaintiffs from nine states: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
While losing your navigation system for five minutes and not being able to take a phone call hands-free sound like First World problems (they are), the reality is that Ford knowingly charged customers extra for cars equipped with shoddy software. The automaker may end up paying for this, although how dearly remains to be seen.