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September 20, 2012

GM Offering Customers Extra Help with Touch Screens

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Touch screens are apparently among the most confusing features for new owners of some cars made by companies like GM and Ford.

In response, GM is providing training to consumers at dealerships and providing additional help after a car is sold. That may even include a visit by a GM rep to a consumer’s home.

GM now ensures there is a specialist at most of its dealers. Each received training on how to operate the touch screen and training on how to answer questions about them. Some 25 more specialists are being hired.

GM regularly calls consumers after they purchase a car to ensure – among other things – they understand how to work the touch-screen system.

“We proactively reach out to the customer after a couple days of ownership to understand, to ask if they have any issues, if there's anything that we can address," Alicia Boler-Davis, GM’s vice president for Quality and Customer Experience, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

The dashboard-mounted touch-screen systems play a key role in operating the GM cars. They are used to turn on and adjust radios, telephones, heating and air conditioning and other functions.

Other automakers are also seeing confusion about the touch screens in cars.

Ford was recently 27th out of 34 brands in a J.D. Power survey, according to a report carried on TMCnet. The automaker fell from fifth place in 2010 after MyFordTouch screens were offered in cars. In response, Ford is also helping consumers understand how to work their touchscreens.

Ford’s touchscreen problems were recently made worse after Consumer Reports criticized the company in an online article, “Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks.”

“It's the fundamental design of the system that's flawed,” Consumer Reports said.

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Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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