A San Francisco federal judge Wednesday certified a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co.’s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems, which the suit calls defective and dangerous.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen approved the class-action status for people who bought at least one Ford product with the system in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Attorneys said they hope to expand the suit to more states.
The suit alleges the Touch “infotainment” touch-screen systems crash or freeze while the vehicle is in motion, fail to respond to repeated commands, provide inaccurate GPS information and fail to connect to phones and other mobile devices. A trial is currently set for April.
“While we are appreciative of the court’s careful consideration of the class in this case against Ford, we will continue to fight for the rights of all consumers who paid a heavy premium for dangerous, defective in-car touchscreen systems,” Steve Berman, one of the attorneys in the case, said in a press release.
The Touch systems first were introduced in 2010, promising the ability to operate audio controls, use a GPS navigation system, make phone calls, manage climate systems and play music straight from mobile devices.
“At best, what consumers paid for amounted to a pricey inconvenience, failing to live up to even the most basic of Ford’s gilded promises,” Berman said. “But in the worst scenarios, the failed MyFord Touch system’s defects can be a hazardous distraction to drivers.”
The lawsuit filed in 2013 by owners of Fords and Lincolns alleges Ford was aware of the problems before the vehicles were delivered. Since then, Ford has implemented a number of updates, but the suit alleges the problems persist, even affecting such functions as the defroster and rear-view camera, posing a safety risk.
Consumer Reports panned the Touch system in 2012, calling it frustrating and saying it got worse as it got more advanced and expensive.