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.


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2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus

MSRP $39,200 Electric Hatchback

0-60 MPH:

7.6 SECS


26 City / 36 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick