Ford to introduce call-blocking MyKey feature to 2012 Explorer

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The 2012 Ford Explorer will be the first vehicle in which Ford will include a feature that blocks incoming phone calls and texts via Ford’s MyKey system.

The “Do Not Disturb” feature is expected to appeal to parents, who will be able to program it into MyKey through the vehicle’s message center. A processing chip in the ignition key can identify specific MyKey codes and will activate the call-and text-blocking features.

When the MyKey feature is hooked up to Ford’s Sync voice-activated technology, Bluetooth-enabled cellphones will divert incoming calls to voicemail and will save text messages. Drivers can make voice-activated outgoing calls.

Additional features that consumers can program into their ignition key include maximum speed limits between 65 and 80 mph, speaker-volume limits and a “no belts, no tunes” feature, which mutes the audio system until occupants secure their seat belts.

The Do Not Disturb feature already is available on all 2011 Ford models that have the Sync system.