Sunday, May 22, 2011

What you may not see in the commercial...

Robert B. Rice, D.C.
[Skip to the Problems Below]
Hello, my name is Robert Rice.  I am the owner of a 2011 Ford® Edge.  I am also a car salesperson's worst nightmare.  Though I'm friendly and kind, I know what I want and I am somewhat immune to sales tactics.  Like most analytical left brained people out there, I generally spend a long time before making a purchase that will effect me over a long period of time (IE: cars, homes, electronics, etc.)  I am also logical so it's hard to "make me veer off" from a good decision.  

Now that you know how seriously I take car purchases you'll have no problem believing me when I say that before I bought my 2011 Ford® Edge in October of 2010, I spent weeks, maybe even a month.  I test drove many cars from many companies.  I made Pro-Con lists.  I got out Excel and broke it down to the "apples-to-apples" comparison.  It is because of this that I'm shocked that my decision was such a bad one for me; however, I know where I went wrong.  Though I'm an early adapter with purchases, I usually make sure there are plenty of "testers" who buy the item before me.  My mistake is that I saw all the technology offered in the vehicle and between my drooling episodes, I clicked marketing video after marketing video.  Though the 11 Edge was not the first model, the "MyFord Touch®" was brand-spankin' new.  The "MyFord® Touch®" system, by the way, is a system tied in with the Ford® Sync® system.  

My intention for this Blog is to educate auto consumers who are considering the 2011 Ford® Edge - especially those with the MyFord® Touch® system.  If you watch T.V., you're seeing plenty of the "Swap my Ride" programs and they always show people who are very happy with their decision to make the swap permanent.  What I don't see in those visual advertisements are the numerous problems I've had with mine.  Listed below are some examples of the problems I'm having and/or have had.
  • MyFord® Touch® System won't turn on.  The screen(s) are blank and do not respond to input.
  • While Driving, the Center Console that houses the main MyFord® Touch® display is locked on a picture of my neighbor's front yard (from the Reverse Camera Display).
  • Button Presses take excessive time to register such that you might press a button again only to have both button inputs register minutes in the future (often cancelling each other).
  • Very poor voice recognition under ideal User-Interface Interaction with the car (IE: low road noise, air conditioner turned off, nearly-perfect phonetic input).
  • Voice Command Button not-responsive.
  • Voice Command Button Pressing locks up entire MyFord® Touch® System (including radio).
  • Incorrect Channel Selection that Locks In (No joking, I said "Nineties on Nine" and it went to "Chanel 99" (PlayBoy®) and would not let me change it again; the buttons were non-responsive.  And my employees were in the car with me.  It also wouldn't let me turn down the volume.  Even the power off button didn't work.
  • Navigation input impossible or slow (This is nightmarish; I actually have a stand-alone navigation system because I can't input a destination.  You'd just have to be in the car to experience how nightmarish this is.  I try speaking destination and inputting it using the on-screen touch keyboard; both are difficult at best).
  • MyFord® Touch® System randomly reboots - even during the middle of a destination.  In one example, I had to pull over and wait for the computer to start back up because I didn't know my way around.
  • "Check Fuel Fill Inlet" warning message.  This has since been resolved but it took four attempts to resolve it.  And I'd say it's in remission because it's really only been about a month since that message light has been off.
  • "Service Engine Soon" warning light on.  This too has been resolved like the aforementioned warning message.
  • "No Key Detected" error message.  I have the "Push Start" button so you just need your keys in your pocket or somewhere in the car.  I have had it several times where it says "No Key Detected" so I had to exit the car and re-enter the car before it would allow me to drive.  Once, I fought with that message for a solid two-minutes.  Might not seem like much time but had I been running late or having an emergency, this could have been a much larger problem.
  • "...Stability Control..." (I don't remember exact message).  This took two or three visits before it resolved.
  • Annoying, incorrect and persistent error messages.  The two most common messages are "Dr. Rice's iPhone 4 disconnected" (though the phone is absolutely connected as indicated in the phone quadrant of the screen) and "Rob's iPod Nano disconnected" (though again, the iPod is connected as evidenced in the entertainment selection).  Both of these messages lack a "cancel" or "ignore" option and stay on the screen for the duration of the trip; the messages block much of the information (IE: What song is playing, etc.).  Another message more recently is that the Navigation SD Card is Faulty; sometimes it's true and sometimes you can actually see its working evidenced by the top right corner of the screen correctly displaying the road you're on.
  • Annoying and persistent Incident Reporting messages while in Navigation.  While navigation system is in operation, you'll get these messages saying there's an incident ahead and asking you if you want to "Avoid", "Get info" or "Ignore".  If you don't choose anything, the message stays there indefinitely.  If you hit "Ignore", however, it pops up again.  In effect, it makes it impossible to see what road you're on and your next turn, etc.  This is a big reason that I chose to buy a stand-alone GPS/Navigation unit.  Because in my experience, if you get past the arduously difficult destination input selection then you have all of these messages that dangerously pull your focus away from the road.
Now, to be fair, I have to say that my experiences - though not unique - do not represent all of the 2011 Ford® Edge experiences.  I am sure that there are some out there who are not having these issues.  But if you look online, you'll see many people are having these issues left-and-right.

I have always been a GM
® guy but with Ford® refusing to take bailouts, I decided to give them a chance.  At this point, it is quite possibly the worst financial decision that I've ever made.  Though I have given Ford® ample time to solve this issue, their answer at the repair shop was either, "We cannot isolate the issue", "We cannot reproduce the issue" and/or "We acknowledge the issue but there is no solution at this time."  I finally did have Ford® main corporate office for the Service Department contact me and say there was a fix.  When I brought it in, the lady refused to install the update because she couldn't confirm my issues.  Ford® contacted her and told her to do it any way (a couple more months down the road after I just "dealt with it") but alas, the fix was largely unsuccessful.  They updated the software (and firmware?); an update that only the dealer could perform; this update has not resolved my issues.

I contacted a law office specializing in Lemon Law and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.  They have recommended that I keep track of the issues including video documentation.  Of course, many of these issues pop up while I'm driving and I generally can't video them - so I have a very small sample of the problem documented via video.  Here is the link to my YouTube channel that has SOME of the issues displayed.  Please excuse the "nerdiness" behind all of the videos, I am trying to document and display what might help my case by way of showing what needs to be shown to prove that this vehicle is in poor-working condition and is unreliable.

I hope that all viewers of this blog are able to make an informed decision if they are considering a Ford® product, especially the 2011 Ford® Edge with the MyFord® Touch® system.