After complaints about touchscreen controls, automaker Ford says it will return
to physical radio tuning knobs and buttons in its car entertainment systems.
The complaints center on the difficulty of using the MyFord Touch touchscreen multimedia systems offered on some vehicles models beginning in 2011.
Physical buttons and knobs will make a return with upcoming redesigns of existing models, a top Ford executive said.
Ford has been in the vanguard of installing mobile-phone-based technologies, voice recognition and touchscreens in its vehicles, and while they have been a big selling point on showroom floors, problems with the systems have dragged down the company's reputation for quality.
As Ford redesigns its vehicles, the flat control panels that have brought complaints of difficulty changing radio stations or adjusting volume will have more physical buttons and knobs and the main screen will become simpler, Ford officials said.
"We've been able to spend a lot of time with customers to find what exactly are the areas that are bothering them," Raj Nair, Ford's global product development chief, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
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