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Mr. Mulally, when it comes to MyFord Touch, mother knows best

What do my mother, Consumer Reports magazine and Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally have in common?

They all recognize that MyFord Touch is a problem.

During Ford's second-quarter earnings call Tuesday, someone asked Mulally if Ford's quality problems were limited to two areas: transmissions and MyFord Touch?

"Yes," Mulally replied.

It's a remarkable admission.

I remember asking Mulally around Christmas time about reputed technical glitches regarding MyFord Touch, Ford's in-vehicle touchscreen technology. He said he did not know of any problems then and raved about the technology.

But the criticism over MyFord Touch has escalated. Many dealers tell me they have had to fix several glitches with the technology and assuage customer frustrations over usage of MyFord Touch.

And Consumer Reports, the influential shopping guide, has panned MyFord Touch in recent issues.

Which brings me to my 81-year-old mother — who recently joined me for a spin in a 2011 Explorer crossover. She was awed by the comfort, the style and the smooth ride. Yet as I maneuvered through MyFord Touch, she casually remarked, "Boy, you have to pay more attention to that thing then you do to the road, don't ya?"

Yep. And for the record, I know how to use it, even the voice commands. It's still too distracting, and more than I need. It would freeze sometimes, requiring a vehicle restart so that I could see the instrument panel.

Mulally, during the earnings' call, said the "vast majority" of customers are pleased with MyFord Touch. He went on to say Ford is listening to feedback from others and will incorporate that feedback "in a very timely manner."

Maybe Ford will listen to my mother.

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