Ford Focus: Don't MyTouch Me!

Type “MyFord Touch” into Google, and the auto-completer’s third suggestion adds the word “problems.” That’s unfortunate, because if you say “2012 Ford Focus” to me, the response you’ll get is “Great Car!”

But I wouldn’t consider buying a MyFord Touch-equipped Focus until MyFord MyFixes that MyAwful Mytouchscreen interface. Seriously. Last month, I had an Explorer with the system, and I nearly punched the screen in because of its unintuitive, distracting layout and utter lack of ability to understand any spoken commands. My complaints to several of Ford’s engineering team were met with only modest sympathy until they also couldn’t enter the simplest address by voice command (123 Main Street) and when it would show, but not accept, my home address on the nav screen. And they didn’t believe me that there was no way to display the clock if we had actually managed to set a destination. And then it happened: the system locked up completely. I just laughed. When it finally rebooted (after giving some lyin’ bastard screen about a “scheduled update”), the Navigation system was permanently inop and there was a blank space on the screen where the radio presets had previously been. Neither function ever returned. The Ford guys were “mortified.” I can’t imagine what a paying customer would feel.

Fast forward to last night, when I’m in a cute black Focus with three friends. They’re all German-car snobs, and they’re marveling at how nice the Focus is. Really good looking inside and out, they say. Quiet. Surprisingly fast. The dual-clutch automatic shifts smoothly. I agree with all of their comments and add that it’s brilliant from behind the wheel, with accurate steering and great brakes. The electric power steering isn’t even bad, and this car’s optional automatic parking function actually works. Too bad about the touchscreen, I say, which only occasionally will connect to my Bluetooth phone, occasionally reboots while driving, and sometimes doesn’t bother to offer radio presets.

Oops, I must have pissed MyFord Touch off.  A few minutes later, the screen goes blank and then comes back up. And out of the front-right speaker suddenly comes some radio station’s broadcast so loud it’s distorted. No amount of button-pressing will stop it. The display clearly shows “Minimum Volume” and yet the speaker crackles on with 90 decibels of eardrum-piercing Sturm und Drang. Luckily, it was just the one speaker.

I pull over and switch the ignition off. It stops. Start the car again, and the sound returns. We change audio source from FM to AM to XM to USB to CD. No change. Finally it occurs to me to hold down the power button for a second, and the clatter finally stops.

The rest of the way home, we can listen to either no audio or the deafening, distorted music from some unidentified source playing out of one lone speaker. I drop off my friends and am driving home in silence when the system finally decides to crash completely. Black screen. White screen. Black screen. And then that same lying bastard “scheduled maintenance” screen.


This is the screen that MyFord Touch displays when it's rebooting.

After a few minutes, the MyFord Touch main screen comes back up. All normal functions resume, thankfully, but I wouldn’t even consider buying a Ford with this system in it – nor one with the last version of SYNC. (I had SYNC lock up in a Flex with the A/C set to 60’F and the stereo set to a station I didn’t want to listen to. It was a cold, loud ride home. And a long one, since I was lost and the navigation system was also inop.)

Thankfully you can get a Focus without MyFord Touch – and I recommend you do. It’s a great, great car.

Bill B
I had the update installed at the dealer and everything worked great for a few weeks. But then one day I was listening to blue tooth radio and the screen and audio just went blank. A short time later the last radio station I was listening to came on but still no screen. I later found that if you touch the screen the Sync splash screen will display but nothing else happens - there is no progress bar. Took the fuse out and waited 30 minutes, replaced it and restarted the car with no difference. I even downloaded the latest update (why the hell does it need MS Explorer and ActiveX is betond me) onto USB flash drive but he system will not even read it.
James Kingsley
I think the update looks nice but same problems or worse. Ford tells me it's my IPhone 4. I would gues at least 25% of at a minimum of people who would spend 38-42k on new Explorer have the same phone.. Ford has problems and there are many other issues that involve safety. As usual they will have to be forced to do something. All of those horror stories about texting while driving will come out about trying to get MyTouch to respond while driving. Total deception to the buying public. I will never trust them again.
I have the 2012 Ford Focus. My Ford Sync has never worked properly. The best I can say is that it has a mind of its own. Within one week of purchase (October 2011) when I went to unlock the front door my whole car started shaking with a very loud unrecogonizable sound (sounded like water rushing through the car). I had a co-worker come out to verify what was happening. Yet, when I took it to Ford I was told diagnostics showed no problem. Additionally, when my iPhone is connected and I have to take a call, when the call is done I cannot disconnect it on screen and then the radio switches not only channels, but from AM to FM. When I start my car it now takes several minutes for the screen to come up and then randomly the Ford logo will continue to appear in the back ground and then my clock will change time by several hours. Again, when I take the vehicle to Ford I am told there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sync feature and that they cannot duplicate the problem. Funny, that it only takes me one try to duplicate it. I have the most up-to-date update on the system and instead of fixing any prior problems it is now WORSE!!! I will NEVER buy another Ford!
I have a 2011 Ford Explorer - SYNC has NEVER worked correctly! I took it in 2 weeks ago for the updated "new" version and navigation won't work already and it won't download my phonebook!
Tiffany Belford
I just bought a new Ford Focus in March the radio has already gone out on me and the dealer said it had already been "updated" so he wasn't sure what the problem was. It is now a month later and my screen is black again with no sound, nothing. Very frustrated.
Michael Daw
Same thing happened to me. I plugged in the USB drive, and it froze on file #3. After FOUR HOURS, I finally shut the car off. I was running out of gas... Now, the SYNC system doesn't start up at all. Blank screen. Sure, it said in the supplied instructions that I could take it to a dealer to have the update installed, but it also said that all you have to do is plug the USB drive in. So what gives?
We just bought a new 2012 ford foucus titanium with every feature you can think of for $30,000. Very nice car except for the issues with the radio. We took it to Ford 3 times in the past month and they replaced the entire fuse box and updated the radio firmware. Ever since then it has worked like it should.
James Kingsley
My 2012 Explorer Limited was the worst decision of my life. I am not far from retirement and got lulled into believeing the Quality gargage I heard about Ford. I have had two prior Explorers going back to when they first came out. I decided I loved the look of the Explorer but my decision was based on the MyTouch option as I love Technology. I wished they told me before I flopped down 40K on the Limited that right out of the box "it does not work". How may purcahes have you made let alone the cost didnt work. Would you have bought them. The Upgrade they touted is worse. It is inconsistent and unreliable. The new grapghics are sharper BUT.... I went to set the ringtones on the notification screen and the climate came on. My phone was synced but upon my 3rd time using it the Bluetooth audio sat spinning for 3 hours while the phone was connected! When did Quality is jo One stop? Same crap different day. I am going to get rid of this as fast as possible. Goodbye Ford and thanks for the lesson.
Madalyn Goncalves
I received the update and it still does not work. This car is a lemon and Ford keeps making excuses. They are no help and just keep denying there is a problem. I regret buying this car. Everyone should stay away from this car. Lemon lemon lemon!!!!
kathya stokes
I am still having issues after the so call new update if anything has made my Sync slower and still going black!
I also have a Focus Titanium and was unhappy with the MFT system. Not anymore. Got the update a couple weeks ago and am SO much happier. It's actually FAST. Not iPhone fast but it doesn't make me say "come on!" every time I press a button anymore. It just WORKS. It's actually enjoyable to use now and I find myself wanting to have the nav screen up all the time because it looks so much nicer and runs so much smoother. And I input a destination by voice the other day and it worked perfectly. It finally has made my Focus a complete car with no caveats.
Ben C.
Sorry John, I wish I shared your enthusiasm. My USB "update" has been going for over 90 minutes now and it's stuck on file #6. I know it's not going to advance after this much time, and I am afraid that when I shut off the car, everything is going to be all screwed up. Now I'll be stuck on the phone for God knows how many hours trying to straighten this out. Wish I'd never plugged in that USB drive... this "upgrade" simply doesn't work.
Had the same problems with my ford touch going blank and unresponsive on my Edge. It takes more than just pulling a fuse. You need a proper computer geek that knows the system and unfortunately some dealerships dont have the right guy for the job. If your dealership can`t or won`t fix it find one that can. I had to go to a few before they sorted it all out. Love my car now! Its been fine for almost a year now (fingers crossed.)
My 2011Edges MFT worked pretty well until I did the update.Now I have a black screen and the dealer is telling me the whole dash needs to be removed to change the Mft computer.God only knows what can of worms this is going to open.
Ryan Peyroux
I just bought a 2012 focus with the sync. It never works though. The phone is real fuzzy when talking on it. Is there anything i can do
John Tanner
I work for Ford and i'm a sync specialist with my dealership. Unfortunately everything said about the system is true. BUT, a update was released on March 9th that completely repairs the problem. It works so well and fast that it is unbelievable. If you have a mytouch system Ford will send you the update via a flash drive. You will need to plug it in while the car is running and other than a couple of prompts through out the process it is very smooth. Will take about 30-40 minutes to complete. If you have NAV, a SD card will also come with the flash drive. You must use the new SD card to use the NAV and it is also a complete update. Trust me when I say it is awesome. I feel for the owners that have had to wait this long for the update to happen.. Hopefully Ford will give some sort of compensation.
Mike S.
Purchased a 2012 Ford Focus SEL -- had it 1 week. What I'm about to write has bascially been said by everyone above but will say it anyway. The Good: Car has great style, fun to drive, comfortable seats. The Bad: MyFord Touch is the worst piece of technology I have ever seen. I have lost count of how many times it has frozen, voice commands work sporadically, almost had to take out a government contract to get my phone and IPod to connect with car. While I like the idea and design of car, doubt I will be keeping it for more than a few months because of the Touch issues.
Gary Grandy
Unreal, what a piece of crap car. I have a 2012 Ford Explorer XLT. I travel and my screen is blank and I have no radio.. I tried to reset the system by pulling the neg battery cable, but it did not fix it. Humm...must be a blown fuse..OK, so I looked in the manual and it said the fuse box is "below and to the left of the stearing wheel by the brake".... well, I can't find the fuse box. The dealer is real helpful too...they tell me "it is a Ford problem"... really ??? Wow, way to support the product you sell and your customers. The last time I had a Ford, 1995, I said I would never buy another one it was such a piece of crap. This is really my fault you see, becuase I was stupid enough to give them a second chance becuase I want to support products made in the USA. This is my bad and not really Fords fault. I should have learned and not given them the opportunity TO SCREW ME TWICE !!
Same here, Mine has worked great and I use every feature on it. I did register with Sync My Ride and applied the current update. So far still no issues. Maybe it helps to be an IT Guy.
I just got off of the phone with the Ford Rep Mark Johnson 866-631-3788 Ext 77716. Feel free to call him and stay on him about when we are gettingthe "fix" that we were promised would be here in January. I am now being told that I misunderstood and it was meant for the first quarter of 2012. My Edge has had every problem listed in all of the emails above. Can't wait for my lease to be over.
Wow. This is just sad. For the love of god, why does everything have to be turned into a computer/ electronic needlessly complicated hell? And Otherwise Ford is on a good roll? Last time I checked, I didnt need to be an electrician to turn the lights on in my house. I could honestly see considering buying a Ford, but ONLY if Touch and Sync are stand almond OPTIONS at any and all trim levels. Bring on the technology, but it better be invisible, and ENHANCE performance/driving experience-- not cause accidents due to distraction or frustration related suicide. Sheesh
Sorry to inform you, but your 2011 Fusion doesn't have MyFord Touch. It isn't offered on the Fusion, just SYNC.
We got a 2011 Explorer about six months ago. One day my iPhone was paired to it, my friend picks it up and unlocks it and my explorer was changing settings, deleting apps , and turning the bluetooth on and off. I dropped him off and a little while later I go to use my navigator(not MyFord, I use Garmin) and none of the power sockets in the car were working. The next morning I start it, and the touchscreen failed to come on at all. By this time I was getting very frustrated, because my iPhones apps were still getting deleted and my voicemails would start playing at random. I take my explorer to our Ford Dealership, park it, turn it off and go in. I come back out with the "myFord Specialist" and the freaking thing comes right up. I leave the dealership really pissed off because I had wasted all this time. I finally get to work, and go in. Well come lunch time I turn the thing on. Not only does the screen not boot up, but my entire instrument panel stays black. I restart it and nothing happens. None of my steering controls would work, fortunately the manual controls would. I decide not to take it to the dealership because of my previous experience. About 15 mins later, I hear "FORD, DRIVE ONE" come blastin through my speakers and the whole system starts back up. EXCEPT THE RADIO. GRRR!!!
My 2011 Ford Fusion with MyFord Touch that we have had for 4 months has never had a problem! The screen layout is fine - there is a lot of info. Only thing I don't like is the only way I have figured out how to get directions to an address is via voice commands - sometimes I want to be able to do it via the touch screen. Also, have had good luck with voice commands - just need to speak a little slower and enunciate - just like any voice system. The only thing that really irks me is I would like it to sense weight in the passenger seat and allow touch when there is someone in that seat. Also, I would like to be able to merge the picture screens to show just one picture and show it full screen without distortion - it should crop it if it doesnt fit. And lastly the Sync stuff seems a little hokey as it is all voice activated - the Sirius stuff is better since it is displayed on screen - but it is definitely not worth the money they want to keep renewing it.
Dave Johnston
2012 Focus SE. I removed the antenna from the roof and filled it in with clay. took 5 minutes. Then dialed all the non-CD functions of the Sync System and just use it as a CD player. Took about 20 minutes. My $29 Bluetooth ear piece connects to my phone in a more reliable manner than the Sync. FORD got a pig in a poke with this. Microslop strikes again.
Saravana Kumar
Sometimes factory fitted gadgets may not work to your satisfaction!
Jeff Wetterlind
Alan Hall's comments about "rarety" are inaccurate - I just bought a 2012 MKX two weeks ago and the MyTouch system has froze, rebooted, and generated errors in reading the Navigation SD card mutiple times. I apparently didn't do my homework - but what I purchased for $45K was a defective vehicle from Coon Rapids, MN Ford/Mercury/Lincoln. Alan - I hope you're "updates" as you call them carry some weight, because if the dealer can't fix the problem this week, I'm going to attempt to return the vehicle and get my money back. I paid big bucks for features on a vehicle you know don't work. This is all over the internet and I will solicit help from our state attorney general, and leverage whatever relief I can get from our Lemon Laws and private representation to get some satisfaction.
I was considering buying a new Lincoln MKX in 2012, but after reading all these truly, truly horror stories from these sad souls I think I will pass on the Lincoln and start going back to church and say 10 Hail Mary's and 15 Our Fathers for each and everyone of them. What ashame!
Darrin Murphy
We bought a 2012 Focus to replace our 2002 Civic we bought new after 210000 miles, we spoiled ourselfs with a Focus SEL big mistake My Touch has locked up no radio ,no heater just blank.Now the drivers power window is not a 1 touch down/up back leather seats are pulling away from the head rest and less than a month old I ran out of gas driving to the gas station with in minutes of the light coming on and showing 68 km to empty. And its a pig on gas get in the low 30's[31.2 to 33.4] dealer told us around 55 mpg, but the salesman told me it gets better fuel milege after the first oil change after we signed the paperwork Been looking at the 2012 Civic's asking the dealers what they will allow for a 3 month old Focus whats it going to be like warranty is gone,living in Canada they don't have the updates for mytouch till spring I was told by the dealer.
All of the same issues listed above, and as a double bonus, I did the download onto a flash drive and it slowly installed over a period of 45 minutes, then froze 1/3 of the way through step 3 of 6, I gave it another 25 minutes, it never moved, so I turned the car off. My wife now has a $38k car with no nav system, a back up screen that wont come on, and a whole host of issues with radio/audio. DO NOT GET THIS SYSTEM!!!!!!!
wanted to add: The dealer suggested that I leave the car, stereo blasting. "After about 20 minutes it should go off." Are you kidding? Are you laffing? Everyone who's watching is. Meanwhile, Im running into work, stereo's blasting. Thanks ford.
Purchased 2012 focus sel. Have had it for 1 wk. Touch screen has froze on a station 3x so far. Dealer knew. Has no idea what to do. Turning the engine off/on works only after i walk away from the car. 1st time I was on the freeway. Tried to change the station only to find i had to listen to music i didn't want to for 30 minutes. Couldn't use bt/navigation/usb. Real disappointed. Ford should be ashamed. Get on the ball and fix this mess.
Inhad problems for like a week or two and i recieved my 5 door titanium april 28th ever since an update my car hasn't had problems since!
I'm so bummed!!!! My beautiful new 2012 explorer has horrible my touch issues!!! It freaks out constantly, drops my calls, goes black randomly changes the volume and channels etc. I had it in the shop for four hours last week (while I drove a crappy Nissan rental) and it worked for less than a day. What is the best way to start the complaints? Is there a lemon law that applies? Ugh.
Any word on Lemon law? I went through arbitration with the BBB and Ford and was denied. I am considering trying again.
Dear Alan...I have had a one-on-one w/a very nice tech person and all he could do was say he was sorry for ALL of the problems sync/my touch were causing me...11 months and at least 7 trips to the dealer (software last updated 8/31/11) This is my 6th Lincoln. NOT HAPPY!
Just moved to the USA, bought a Explorer with MyTouch as needed a navigation system in a new country. Love the car but I'm having all the problems above. Just got off the phone 20 mins ago with Ford after the Dealer (who didn't mention it was rubbish at the time of the sale) says it can't fix it. Ford still have no idea when they will have a solution, they said in the New Year but when questions said they didn’t know when. Stay well clear of Ford's with this system until it is fixed. I don't know how Alan Hall dare actually makwe the comments he has
I must be the only person to have 2 Fords with about 10k miles on them each with the my touch which i have never had a problem with and i live in ND where the temp gets to -40 without wind, and it has never let me down.
Wayne Kucheran
My Touch went blank. Love the car. I am sure Ford is pulling their hair out with ther problems Microsoft is having. Hope mine gets updated.
my screen went blank. What was the fix?
David L.
How is your Lemon Law Cases coming? I would like to go that route as well.
Due to the nature of our business, we have to pick up the newest vehicles. So, at first, when I saw this new 2012 Focus, my heart began beating much faster - sleek, cute, sexy, whatever. Getting behind the wheel was fun too - responsive, a bit harsh on brakes, steering slightly stiff (compared to Chev and Honda we had before). But most of all I was attracted to this computerized luxury on board. Attraction did not last too long. One day the whole thing went blank on me, locked the Bluetooth setting on my phone (how the heck that happened, no one knows still!) Nothing helped. Nothing. Mind you, I really enjoyed voice recognition options - I was heard and understood perfectly. But... blank screen is a black screen. It cost me more in time and disappointment than actually enjoying the vehicle.
WoW! These are from May. Too bad I didn't look this up. On day 21 of my enjoyment of my factory-ordered 2012 Ford completely shut down. battery saving power steering...oh yes...your engine is overheating and you should pull over. Yea...right. So I had my car 21 days...the dealer had it for 14 days. Now I got it back 3 days ago. During rush hour...left lane of a busy downtown street...shutting down battery saving mode. Same song 2nd verse. Really!!! I am so lucky the idiots that didn't know I was stuck didn't rear end me. is back at the dealer. Strike 2. 3 strikes and they buy it back from me. Kia, Hyundai, anyone but I come.
When I read enough bad reviews of the MFT, I got a Ford Focus with the regular Sync. It works very well. The voice recognition could be better though.
Same My Touch problems with my 2012 Focus. Awful black screen, navigation won't work and shows a "SD card error"; system freezes, i.e., won't change radio stations or media; clock changes every time I start the car; and forget the voice commands. I traded a 2008 Edge for the focus. I LOVE the car but I hate the My Touch system. The Edge had the simple Sync system which was fine and worked well.
Dang why did I not get another Honda! I have had nothing but trouble with my 2011 Edge My touch system. This weekend in the middle of a busy strange city the entire system when BLACK. No audio, navigation or back up camera. All I can say is thank Goodness for Verizion navigation on my phone!
I just bought the 2012 titanium car and after the dealership screwed up my order with not having the navigation that I ordered, yet making me keep the car my radio began to turn up/down the volume on its own to the point that it was deafing and then the screen went black after an hr of driving to work and said system reboot. When I called the tech peoplel they said dealers are aware of this and that there are suposed to make people aware of the issue, yet they dont and we the customers get screwed. I will never by another FORD and am making sure no one else does either
I have just ordered a 2012 Focus Titanium 5 Door with Mytouch/Navigation,after reading all of these problems everyone is having guess I need to call and change my order to SEL and no mytouch/Navigation.
Paul Campbell
Well Mr. Alan Hall, I have new 2012 Focus with MyFord Touch, built June 2011. It was put out in service the last week in June. Started keeping track of all the problems 6 days ago starting Aug. 9, 2011. Your "performing scheduled system maintenance screen" has appeared 6 times in those 6 days. Some days it has been twice a day. "SD Card Nav Fault" error 9 times. Never shut down after opening door twice, came back in 30 minutes and screen was still on. So obviously " …..features an update that significantly minimizes the chance of maintenance reboots…" is still waiting. Yet Ford continues to sell the product.
mel coleman

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