Ford Placates Customers, Brings Back Volume Knobs

Back in the day, kids, just about every electronic device had a knob on it. We even changed television channels by getting up and using knobs, which works better when you have only 4 channels instead of 400. Ford has learned the hard way that while their MyFord Touch stereo/climate control/infotainment system looks really cool, customers kind of hate it.

No, really: even our speed demon cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports couldn’t stand the system, saying that it’s too distracting for a vehicle that you’re supposed to, you know, drive. Sometimes you need to adjust the volume or change the radio station or turn on the defogger while you’re driving. Scrolling through touchscreens on a dense computer display is not an optimal way to do it. Not that touchscreen systems themselves are the problem: they like other manufacturers’ systems, but proclaimed that Ford’s “stinks,” using much more restrained language than we would.

“Despite the overall success, Ford is listening to customer feedback to improve and evolve MyFord Touch,” Ford said humbly in a press release. What does that mean? Knobs. Sure, you can control all kinds of functions with a touchscreen, but you can’t reach out for the volume knob without looking at it. By adding a little bit of tactile feedback to the system, Ford keeps everyone’s eyes on the road. We hope.

Revamped MyFord Touch Interface replaces touch screen controls with dials and buttons [PRNewswire]
New Fords to Be Full of Knobs [Businessweek]
Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks [Consumer Reports]