Consumer Reports has decided to drop its 'recommended' rating for both the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, due to the Blue Oval's new MyFord and MyLincoln Touch systems.
Editors at the magazine said the system was difficult to use and required drivers to look away from the road for too long. Consumer Reports, it should be noted, follows guidelines laid out by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) which states that looking away from the road for more than two seconds constitutes a distraction.
CR cited the touch screen being located too low down on the center stack as an additional issue.
The news is a blow to Ford, which has touted its new telematics systems as a way to reduce instances of distracted driving. Ford plans to introduce a version of this system in almost every vehicle it produces.
Ford has acknowledged CR's ranking and has cited its steering wheel mounted controls and SYNC voice commands as alternative ways to operate the same controls.
"Our goal is to make voice and steering wheel-mounted controls the primary way drivers access vehicle functions, because it keeps drivers' hands on the wheel and eyes on the road," said Ford spokesman Said Deep in an interview with the Detroit News. "Our research confirms that voice recognition is a superior way to control vehicle functions," he added.
The Ford and Lincoln products weren't the only ones to lose out in the latest round of Consumer Reports testing, however, with the Chevrolet Tahoe also ranking too low to be recommended. The other three SUVs tested, the Porsche Cayenne, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Infiniti QX56, all lacked sufficient reliability data to be recommended.
More: MyFord Touch Distracting Says Consumer Reports, Drops 'Recommended' Rating on Edge