Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Ford Infotainment System Crashes Could Lead to Actual Crashes, Lawsuit Alleges

Infotainment Systems and Accidents

A class action lawsuit was filed earlier this week against Ford Motor Company, alleging dangerous product defects in its MyFord Touch, MyMercury Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainment systems. These touch screen systems deliver information and access to a variety of features, including GPS navigation, satellite radio, the car’s climate control system, the rear-view camera, vehicle safety systems and more. The complaint alleges defects in the system which cause it to lock up, crash, or fade in and out of responsiveness. If these defects are proven to exist, not only are owners and lessees of the subject vehicles not getting the value they paid for, but a system failure at a critical moment could cause a serious collision or other automobile accident.

The lawsuit is being brought by the Center for Defensive Driving, a nonprofit corporation based in Los Angeles which provides educational presentations to the public on defensive driving and motorcycle safety. The case is The Center for Defensive Driving v. Ford Motor Company, and it is being pursued in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. According to an article on the case published online at The Auto Channel website, malfunctions in the MyFord Touch have caused the vehicle to receive low ratings from J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports. Sites such as www.syncsucks.com and www.fordsyncproblems.com detail negative user experiences with the product, and you can also find complaints reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by clicking here and keyword searching for MyFord Touch.

Potential for Distracted Driving Accidents is Also Present

Even a properly functioning touch screen system could present dangers of its own in the form of distracted driving. A recent study sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and conducted at the Center for the Prevention of Distracted Driving created a distracted driving scale of 1 to 5 to measure levels of driving distraction. Driving itself requires mental effort and is measured at 1. Listening to the radio pulls that level to 1.21, and listening to an audiobook comes in at 1.75. Talking on the cell phone hands-free was rated at 2.27, and handheld phone use was 2.45. Using a text-to-speech device such as voice-activated GPS ranked 3.01, more than tripling the driver’s cognitive distraction. Adding touch-screen features, which actually divert the driver’s eyes and attention from the road, is likely significantly greater.

Stop Product Defects Before They Hurt Others

While some corporations are more responsible than others, many have been known to put profits ahead of people and ignore potential safety issues with their products. Class action lawsuits are often an effective way to make corporations change their behavior and fix their products before people are hurt or killed. This litigation could potentially have such an impact. If you find yourself injured by a defective product, contact a law firm experienced in design defects, manufacturing defects and other product defects. In Los Angeles and Southern California, contact the products liability lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for assistance.

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