North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
After an excessive number of recalls on the 2013 Escape and Fusion, we can't really fault Ford for being a little extra cautious with the launch of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. Last month, we reported that dealer supply of the car was extremely limited due to more attention being paid to quality checks of cars rolling off the assembly line, which led to a 73-percent drop in MKZ sales from last year on top of a 32-year low in monthly sales for Lincoln in January.
The reason for the delay was that the sedans were being shipped from the Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant to be inspected even closer at Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan plant before they were able to head to dealers. Things seem to be straightening out for Lincoln and the MKZ's production now, as Automotive News is reporting that supply should be up to a "normal level" by the end of this month.
In recent years, there have been a lot of dire pronouncements made about Lincoln's future, or a lack thereof. But Ford's premium marque is like the Rocky Balboa of the auto business; every time the company seems ready to go, it comes back for more. Apparently, that dogged persistence is paying off, because the industry analysts at AutoPacific have put a big check in their win column with their newly released 2014 model year vehicle satisfaction survey. And despite recent enmity for its seemingly never-ending recall saga, it appears General Motors knows how to satisfy new owners, too.
In fact, not only was Lincoln named as the premium brand with the highest new owner satisfaction, even scored three models on the list of passenger cars with the most gratified buyers - the MKS, MKZ and MKZ Hybrid.
GM's stable of brands was also among the top companies in this year's survey. GMC was named the top popular brand by AutoPacific, with its Sierra pickup and Acadia crossover singled out for awards in their segments. Chevrolet also did incredibly well, with more cars on the list than any other brand. The Corvette, Camaro, Sonic and Impala all made the cut in their respective categories.
A national law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, has filed a proposed class action lawsuit whose presupposition is that MyFord Touch is defective. Specifically, the complaint states that the system - as well as the MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch clones - often freeze, fail to respond to voice or touch commands and have issues connecting to mobile phones.
According to Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman, MyFord Touch is a theoretically "brilliant idea" that falls short in actual execution. Said Berman in a press release, "In reality, the system is fundamentally flawed, failing to reliably provide functionality, amounting to an inconvenience at best, and a serious safety issue at worst."
Other MFT issues enumerated within the 41-page filing include problems controlling the window defroster, rear-view camera and navigation system. The suit maintains that Ford is aware of the problem but has yet to submit a workable and acceptable solution to MFT customers. Scroll down if you'd like to read the full press release.