Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields may have cracked the screen of the MyFord Touch infotainment system in a Ford Edge five years ago because he was “a little aggravated” with it.
That’s according to documents submitted to the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California as part of a 2013 class-action lawsuit against the automaker alleging it released the infotainment system for the 2011 model year knowing it was flawed. At the time, Fields was Ford's president of the Americas.
The documents, originally reported by Forbes, detail various cases of the system malfunctioning -- some while it was in use by top Ford executives.
“I think Mark Fields may have been a little aggravated with the system,” wrote a mechanic to Ford engineer Kenneth Williams in a 2011 email that included a photo of a cracked screen.
In 2010, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford was forced to pull off the road for five minutes when the navigation system stopped working in an area he was unfamiliar with, according to a memo included in the court documents.
Even engineers working on the software were frustrated, with one calling it a “polished turd” in an internal email.
Ford replaced the problematic technology in the 2016 model year with the updated Sync 3 system.
The case was granted class-action status in September, after Ford lost its motion to dismiss in 2014, and covers customers who bought vehicles with MyFord Touch in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The trial is scheduled for April.
A Ford spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation, but added that the case is “an interim order and not a merits ruling.”
“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,” said Steve Berman, managing partner at Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, in a statement. “But in the worst scenarios, the failed MyFord Touch system’s defects can be a hazardous distraction for drivers.”
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