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 parcel it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Consumer Reports Says MyFord Touch "Stinks"
Reuters says Consumer Reports remains less than impressed with the MyFord Touch touch screen navigation and entertainment system. In fact, CR says it "stinks." In a blog post, the magazine said, "MyFord Touch still frustrates us like few other control systems in any other brand's automobiles," And worse, it is influencing competitors." It's particularly unhappy with the version that's on Lincoln models, and in general, CR says there's too much information and the system is still too clunky even after an update that Ford made in March.
Ford, for its part, says consumers who updated the system are much happier with it. "We listen closely and value all feedback on our vehicles - whether it's from customers or third parties. That feedback is used to continuously improve our products and we're seeing results from that commitment," Ford said in a statement. Complaints about MyFord Touch cost Ford some spots in customer surveys last year, and CR's continued problems with the system show that it is still a headache for Ford.
2nd Gear: Did Toyota Overstate Korean Fuel Economy Figures?
AsiaCar Motoring says Toyota is facing a possible class action suit in South Korea over allegations it inflated the fuel economy estimates for its hybrid cars. The suit is being led by a Lexus owner, who posted a photo on the Web showing his fuel economy gauge. According to AsiaCar Motoring, his Lexus CT200h "recorded a real mileage of 12 to 13 kilometers per liter though the company claimed a figure of 25.4 kilometers per liter."
A Toyota Motor Korea spokesperson said the company "is continuously communicating with consumers with complaints in terms of customer service." But he downplayed the allegation that Toyota or Lexus rigged the figures for fuel-efficiency. According to AsiaCar Motoring, he said that gas mileage was affected by an individual's driving style, adding that the company does not think the class action suit has much chance of success.
3rd Gear: Volkswagen Is Taking The Wraps Off A Classy, Thrifty New Golf
Autocar has the first official details on the new Golf, which is set to be introduced in Berlin on Sept. 4. It says it gets a completely updated "classy" interior, while its fuel economy improves by 23 percent. The new Golf goes into production in Germany next month. Autocar also says VW will show a GTi concept car at the Paris Motor Show, and put that car into production sometime next year. The GTI is set to get an Audi-developed, 1.8-liter direct injection engine and not the Bentley W12 in the GTI W12 Concept pictured above.
4th Gear: One Up, One Down For GM Production
The Detroit Free Press says the United Auto Workers has called a 2 p.m. press conference today to talk about a production announcement at General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio plant. It says analysts are speculating the announcement could be about a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze, which GM has indicated it will sell. Meanwhile, Reuters says a German radio station is reporting that GM will cut production at Opel's main Russelsheim, Germany, plant by 20 days through the end of the year. However, the Opel works council hasn't yet signed off on the plan.
Reverse: The Plane That Couldn't Leave
On this day in 1979, Russian ballet star Aleksandr Godunov defected to the United States. You might remember him more as a star in movies like Die Hard and Witness. But his defection was a bizarre story that involved a plane that couldn't take off. Godunov asked for political asylum while he was appearing with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York. When the Soviets found he was missing, they hustled his ballerina wife, Ludmila Vlasova, off to the airport and put her on a plane to Moscow. However, the flight was stopped because American authorities weren't convinced she was leaving voluntarily. The plane sat for three days, and the State Department even brought a U.S. passport to the airport, telling her she was welcome to stay. Eventually, she chose to go back to Russia and the plane was allowed to take off. [History]
In keeping with our new discussion system, here's a place for you to own the floor. We're asking each day what you think about an issue that comes up in TMS.
Today, we'd like to hear from anyone who's familiar with MyFord Touch. Does it stink, as Consumer Reports says, or are you able to get it to function? How would you improve it — or would you just leave it the way it is? Remember there's no right answer or wrong answer. It's Neutral.
Got tips for our editors? Want to anonymously dish some dirt on a competitor? Know something about a secret car? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.