Ford extends features to new models

June 22, 2011 at 5:03 PM
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DEARBORN, Mich., June 22 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. said it was expanding availability of two technology features, Sync AppLink and inflatable seat belts.

Sync AppLink, a $395 option that allows drivers to use voice commands to make phone calls or dial in music, will be offered in the 2012 F-Series pickup, the Expedition, E Series, Mustang and Fusion, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

Ford also said the $195 option of an inflatable rear seat belt would be available in the Flex and two Lincoln models. It is currently available on the 2011 Explorer.

Ford also said it was making improvements in the Sync AppLink software and making the advanced version, called MyFord Touch, easier to use.

There have been complaints that MyFord Touch was distracting to drivers, The Detroit News reported.

"We're going to continue to improve the system. Consumers really like it," said Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas.

Ford is concerned -- as are other companies -- with the release of the J.D. Powers & Associates Initial Vehicle Quality report, an annual report that simply counts how many complaints come in from consumers with new cars.

Ford topped the list for 2010, having the fewest problems reported. But the additional feature of a sensitive, voice-activated program with, as Ford admits, a few initial kinks, could set Ford's rating back this year.

The report is due for release Thursday.

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