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The “knob” has to be the bane of an automaker’s existence. Take out a volume, tuning or HVAC knob, and people go bonkers. With the introduction of Ford Motor Co.’s huge vertical screen on the Mustang Mach-E, we saw a single knob on top of the screen that only controlled volume. Now with an over-the-air update, Ford adds functionality to the knob.

Ford OTA update 4.1.2

Ford pushed out a “Power-Up” update overnight that includes a new “Parking Lot” game that can be used (presumably) while parked, new SYNC screen design, improved home screen navigation and a personal profile accessed through the status bar.

But the biggie update (in our humble opinion) is the fact the gigantic volume knob can now be used to control cabin temperature, fan speed and heated seats.

Knob functionality

We’ve started seeing a lot of dual functionality to make knobs work with more simplistic design schemes, and Ford OTA update takes advantage of that possible duality. To use these knew controls just tap the temperature, fan or heated seat screen once and that will enable the control of the feature when turning the volume knob.

Which vehicles get the Ford OTA update?

Though we were alerted to this update on Twitter specifically regarding the Mustang Mach-E, this Ford OTA update rolls out to all vehicles with the SYNC 4A system. This includes the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, Edge, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

The bottom line

We’ve seen the knob duality on vehicles like the Kia Sportage, and while it’s awkward at first, you get used to it. So, we appreciate the new knob functionality in the Ford vehicles with the HVAC controls. Now, can we have a conversation about radio station tuning?

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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