Ford will return to using buttons and knobs on its MyFord Touch radios, following years of complaints that its systems are too difficult to use for many drivers.
Knobs for tuning and volume will be restored to Ford systems, Ford’s head of product development Raj Nair told The Wall Street Journal.
Also the main screen will made simpler. Currently, most MyFord Touch radios use a touch screen radio with voice activated controls.
All Ford vehicles will get the new radio design as new models are rolled out.
Ford also announced there will be changes to MyFord Touch this summer in a downloadable upgrade.
Nair said consumers are happier with vehicles with MyFord Touch than without. But customer surveys showed they want to be able to change the volume or change channels quickly through familiar knobs. This is already offered to some degree on the F-150 which has an 86 percent rate of customer satisfaction.
“The F-150 blends touch screen capability with traditional buttons and knobs, a similar balance planned for future Ford vehicles,” said Ford.
Back in 2011, Consumer Reports revoked its highly prized “Recommend” rating for some Ford vehicles because the MyFord Touch radios were found to be too complicated.
J.D Power & Associates also found the quality wanting in the radios in its 2011 and 2012 Initial Quality Survey results
Ford’s announcements on the changes to its system come as J.D. Power is about to release it 2013 survey results, which may yet again prove unfavorable, said the WSJ.
Also, Ford said the MyFord Touch is ordered on almost 80 percent of its vehicles, a rate much higher than infotainment systems for competing automakers.