This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Group Suing Ford Because They Don't Like MyFord Touch
Oh Ford. You were so far out into the future with your SYNC system. People loved it. People lauded it. It helped you charge more for cars and move Ford Foci. So what happened?
MyFord Touch (and MyLincoln Touch).
We've had some bad things to say about the system, which removes the buttons and replaces them with various touch capitative systems. It's very advanced and would actually be a great thing if it wasn't a huge pain in the ass.
You can see the whole lawsuit over at AutomotiveNews, but the nut is there's a group planning a class action lawsuit because they say MyFord Touch doesn't work and that Ford knew it had problems but didn't tell customers.
And to make things more interesting, according to AN the group behind the suit is the non-profit Center for Defensive Driving, which is partially funded by the… Ford Motor Company Fund.
2nd Gear: Here's Some Ford Tech That Works… Sort Of
Ford's going to offer a software upgrade to its fleet of hybrids that should improve the fuel economy, a move that's probably being prompted by less-than-advertised fuel economy complaints says The Detroit Free Press.
It's sharper out on the edge, that's why they call it the edge.
The new Ford C-Max, for instance, is advertised as getting 47 MPG combined. Some users are saying they aren't getting that kind of performance and joined a class action lawsuit.
Ford, for their part, says this is a voluntary effort not related to the lawsuit.
Changes include staying in electric-only mode up to 85 MPH if the car has enough juice, closing the active grille shutters in cold weather when the A/C is on to warm/cool the car faster, reducing fan speed, and changes in engine warm up.
3rd Gear: Let's Just Get All The Bad Ford News Out At Once
Just so we don't have to drag it out, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fines of $41,800 for "alleged asbestos violations" reports the AP.
They say that OSHA says that workers there were exposed to asbestos, which causes cancer and probably killed Steve McQueen, and didn't have respiratory protection.
Ford has yet to respond.
4th Gear: GM Wants To Study Tesla To See How Not To Get Fucked By The Future
Per Bloomberg, GM CEO Dan Akerson thinks Tesla "could be a big disrupter" and wants the company to continue to change its culture, pointing out that they have a ton of patents and have basically commercialized none of them.
In working with GM I've noticed that some of the old GM ways persist, especially at Corvette, but there are still a number of people in the company who are trying to make changes. Some of the big changes coming include the rollout of 4G to its cars and the introduction of a diesel Cruze.
Internally, says GM's Steve Girsky, there was resistance to the projects from people who thought they'd take too long or be too expensive.
Girsky also said of Tesla
“In the old days, they would’ve said, ‘It’s a bunch of laptop batteries and don’t worry about it and blah, blah, blah,’” Girsky said. Akerson’s “view of the world is this kind of thing can change, can impact our organization. It may not be in his lifetime here, but it will be in somebody’s lifetime. And we need to be prepared.”
5th Gear: Disney Execs Lose Awesome Car Perks
Also from Bloomberg, Walt Disney's CEO Robert Iger is trying to make the company more profitably so it's eliminating a few things.
Mostly, Disney is just firing people, yet the Bloomberg story is headlined with a mention of car perks so we're going to focus on that.
Apparently, a mid-level exec used to get a $900 monthly car allowance, which is about standard for the industry. Other studio execs would get their cars washed and gas tanks filled. This explains why everyone in Hollywood is running around in clean Porsches.
Disney also owns ESPN and ESPN is worried about Fox Sports 1, which you used to know as Speed.
Reverse: The Maestro
Juan Manuel Fangio–the Argentine race car driver dubbed "the Maestro"–makes his European racing debut at the Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France in Reims, France on this day in 1948.
Neutral: Have you ever gotten a car perk? My job is nothing but one long car perk. What about your gig?
Photo Credit: Getty Images, Shutterstock.com