Time for an upgrade: Ford offers a software fix on a flash drive for MyFord Touch users

The Ford Motor Company has been using a digital-dashboard-control system—called MyFord Touch in many of its models the last couple of years. And now, it is time for an upgrade.

Just like an upgrade to your PC's operating system, or new version of computer software, Ford can now upgrade dashboard controls in existing vehicles, without you having to buy a whole new car to get the latest gadgetry.

Of course, Ford doesn't want to upgrade your dashboard too often, or you'd never want to buy a new car. So, in the case of MyFord touch, they waited until there were enough complaints--and a drop in consumer confidence in the brand, before they offered the upgrade.

The MyFord Touch upgrade, contained on a flash drive, will be sent to customers early next year. The look and feel of the digital dashboard which controls functions like the radio and climate controls allows drivers to use a touch screen display, or voice commands to control the system. More than 1,000 screens in the system have been redesigned to be less cluttered and easier to use, with the screen's virtual buttons responding twice as quickly, and the voice-recognition system working more rapidly.

Speaking of rapid response, the new system can be upgrade by the car's owner (or by a dealer if you wish) in a matter of minutes, using a flash drive.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the software fix is in response to massive complaints by Ford owners. They report that consumer complaints about MyFord Touch have dragged down Ford's standing in some widely followed surveys of vehicle quality. Consumer Reports earlier this year withdrew its recommendations from the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, citing difficulties using MyFord Touch. The magazine in late October said Ford's overall reliability ranking fell to 20th place from 10th place, in part because of MyFord Touch.

If only they had listened to their customers earlier, or better yet, improved the system themselves without waiting for a barrage of complaints, Ford would be in better shape than it finds itself now--playing catch-up with a software fix.

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