In a survey released last week by Consumer Reports magazine, Ford virtually tied Toyota as the auto brand most favorably viewed by U.S. consumers.
The bad news for Ford: Consumer Reports also said it won't recommend the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers because of low test scores -- mainly due to MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch technology.
Ford has climbed 35 percentage points in the survey in the last two years, while Toyota, in the wake of massive recalls, has fallen 46 points, leaving the brands "in a statistical dead heat," the magazine said. But it said Ford excels in the factors that consumers say matter most: safety, quality and value.
But that may change if consumers agree with Consumer Reports' evaluation of Ford's touch-screen technology, used to control such things as temperature, music and cell phone calls from a screen.
The magazine called the technology "a complicated distraction while driving." It said "first-time users might find it impossible to comprehend. The system did not always perform as promised."
Derrick Kuzak, Ford's product czar, disagreed, saying of MyFord Touch: "Nothing could be simpler or safer."