Ford Emissions FAQs
Leigh Day is investigating a potential group claim against Ford over ‘cheat devices’ alleged to be fitted on some of their vehicles to artificially reduce emissions to pass EU tests.
Find out more information on the Ford emissions claim and how you can join the action.
Join the Ford emissions claim
Ford Emissions FAQs
Leigh Day is bringing a group claim against Ford over alleged ‘defeat devices’ fitted to some of their diesel vehicles, which artificially reduce Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions in order to pass EU regulatory tests.
Emissions testing by a number of regulatory bodies shows that when the vehicles are driven on the road, they emit many times more levels of toxic NOx gases than under test conditions.
This is extremely damaging, as increased levels of NOx contribute to air pollution, which is reported to be the largest environmental risk to UK public health and is linked to as many as 64,000 early deaths a year.
We believe that such defeat devices are unlawful under UK law and we are bringing legal claims for compensation on behalf of consumers who purchased the affected vehicles.
The claims are being brought on behalf of people who leased, owned Ford diesel vehicles. The claims could be worth thousands of pounds for each owner/lessee.
If you bought or leased a diesel Ford vehicle, your vehicle may be affected, and you may be able to apply to join the claim. Please complete our online form to check.
We are bringing a legal claim for compensation on behalf of owners or lessees of Ford diesel vehicles who we believe were deliberately misled over the environmental performance of their vehicles.
The claim concerns Ford’s alleged use of ‘defeat devices’ in some of their diesel vehicles, aimed at artificially reducing NOx emissions to levels which pass regulatory tests.
A number of tests by regulatory bodies have found that some Ford vehicles were producing NOx emissions that were higher than the permitted levels.
We believe that the ‘defeat devices’ used in the vehicles are unlawful under UK law and consequently, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawfully polluting Ford diesel vehicles being driven in the UK.
We believe that owners and lessees of the affected vehicles should be compensated because they were deliberately misled in relation to these vehicles, which were advertised as being more environmentally friendly with lower NOx emissions.
Increased levels of NOx emissions are harmful to the environment and to the health of children and adults.
The case is at an early stage.
We have now been instructed by over 35,000 Ford diesel owners or lessees and have issued claims against Ford in the High Court. We were the first firm in the UK to take this step, and we were able to do this because we have secured funding from a litigation funder and appropriate after the event insurance. This funding ensures that we have the resources available to instruct the best experts and barristers and to have a large enough legal team to ensure that our clients get the best service possible.
If you bought, or leased a diesel Ford vehicle, it is possible that your vehicle may be affected and you could be eligible to join the claim. Please complete our online vehicle registration checker to confirm whether your vehicle may be affected. Please note that we are currently only accepting vehicles purchased/leased in the last 6 years, and before 1 January 2021.
This claim only relates to diesel vehicles.
Complete our form as fully as possible. We will need you to provide us with your vehicle registration number and date of purchase so that we can confirm whether your vehicle is affected and you are eligible to join the claim.
There are a number of deadlines that may apply to each claim. These will vary depending on the type of claim you are eligible to bring.
Claims have strict time limits and you cannot make a claim once the relevant time limit has passed. We would suggest getting in touch with a member of our team or completing our form as soon as possible.
The VIN is a 17-digit number starting with a three-letter code. You should be able to find the VIN at various locations on your car. Frequently you can find your VIN number in one of the following locations: on the driver's side door jamb (sometimes on the passenger's side), under the windscreen on the driver's side, near the firewall of the vehicle, or on the steering column.
You do not need to have any documents to start your claim with Leigh Day.
We will ask you to provide us with documents regarding the purchase of your vehicle, including, for example, the contract of sale or other proof of purchase, finance agreement and/or lease agreement. If you have these documents, please place them somewhere safe until we request them. Do not worry if you no longer have these documents, we will be in touch with details about how to request them.
We will be bringing these claims on a 'No Win-No Fee' basis under a Damages-Based Agreement (DBA). This means that we will deduct up to 30% (exclusive of VAT) of the damages / compensation you receive if the claim is successful. This is referred to as the ‘DBA Payment’. The DBA Payment represents our fee for the work we undertake/incur in acting for you and sharing the financial risk in pursuing your claim on your behalf. At the current rate of VAT of 20% the total amount we will deduct from your damages is no more than 36%.
If you are successful in your claim we will also deduct from your damages any expenses that we incur during the case such as court fees, travel costs and expert fees which will be in addition to the 30% (exclusive of VAT). However, we will also seek to recover our costs and expenses from the Defendant(s) so that it is highly likely that you will end up paying less than 30% (exclusive of VAT and expenses) overall.
If there were any shortfall in the expenses recovered from the Defendant(s), that shortfall would need to be shared amongst all of the successful Claimants. This means that you would only be liable to pay your individual share of the shortfall which would be a small percentage of the total because you are bringing your claim with many tens of thousands of others in a group, and you benefit from being able to share the shortfall with the group.
For example, if the expenses shortfall were £100,000 in total and there were 10,000 Claimants in the group, each would be responsible for paying £10.
If you do not win your case you do not have to pay us anything, as long as you abide by the terms of our funding agreement.
We have provided an example below to illustrate how instructing us under a DBA works.
A client enters into DBA for 30% of damages + VAT + expenses. The client wins their case and receives £5,000 in compensation. We also recover from the Defendants £2,000 towards our time costs and expenses.
Costs the client is liable to pay Leigh Day:
The DBA fee 30% of £5,000 (damages / compensation):
VAT @ 20%:
Expenses incurred in the case:
Client total liability: (DBA payment + expenses)
How the client pays those costs:
Costs recovered from the Defendants:
Balance taken from damages / compensation within 30% CAP:
Which leaves monies from the DBA fee to be returned to client:
How much client receives of damages / compensation:
In the above example, the client will only pay £1,100 from the £5,000 damages / compensation received i.e. only 22% which includes all monies due to Leigh Day (the DBA Payment, VAT and expenses.
The DBA Payment will never be more than 30% of your damages (excluding VAT and expenses), irrespective of the number of claimants within the group. There will also be an insurance premium payable if your claims are successful, but payment of this will be included in the DBA payment of 30% of your damages (excluding VAT and expenses).
Once you have checked that you are eligible to bring a claim, we will ask you to read through our funding agreement and sign the same. You will then be a client of the firm.
If you lose your claim then you do not have to pay us anything.
We have arranged After the Event (ATE) insurance to protect you against the risk of losing and having to pay the defendants' legal costs.
You may have other sources of funding for your claim other than the funding package we are offering, such as legal expenses insurance. Many home insurance products include legal expenses insurance, either automatically or as an optional add-on. You should contact your insurers to check.
If you are a member of a trade union, you should check whether the union will fund you.
If you have such an alternative source of funding, then it may be cheaper for you to use this than the funding package we are offering. We are not offering to act via such legal expenses insurance/union funding, so if you wish to use your own cover you will need to instruct another firm.
Yes, provided you bought an affected vehicle and you meet our eligibility criteria, you will be able to bring a claim.
Yes, if you contributed towards the monthly payments under a salary sacrifice scheme, or similar, and the vehicle is affected, and you meet our eligibility criteria, you will be able to bring a claim.
Yes, if the contract is in your name and the vehicle is affected, and you meet our eligibility criteria, you will be able to bring a claim.
Provided we are able to confirm that your vehicle was affected, you can still bring a claim despite not having the vehicle. You will need to check your vehicle registration number and we will ask you to provide us with your vehicle purchase documents. If you sell or otherwise dispose of your vehicle after you have signed up to the claim, please let us know.
Provided all the vehicles you want to claim for are affected, yes. We will need you to complete a separate questionnaire for each of your vehicles, however, you will only need to enter into one funding agreement (DBA) with us in respect of your Ford vehicles.
No, it does not matter where you bought your Ford vehicle as long as it was bought in England or Wales. You are eligible to bring a claim against the manufacturer whether you bought your vehicle from a Ford showroom, from a private seller, or from a third-party dealer/through a private sale, or if you bought your vehicle for personal or business purposes.
Ford have a nationwide network of dealers. There are different ways of knowing if you purchased from an authorised Ford dealer/franchise e.g.:
- Ford give details of the dealership on their websites.
- A franchise dealership’s name is likely to include the Ford name or brand.
- We can assist you with checking this information once you have joined the claim.
We have determined that the interests of people who acquired their vehicle in Scotland are better served by bringing their claims through the Scottish courts. You are likely to be better off using a Scottish law firm that has expertise in this area.
You can contact the Law Society of Scotland who may be able to help to find a suitable lawyer.
Time limits apply to bringing these claims but we are unable to advise you on the time limits applicable in Scotland. You should seek advice from a Scottish lawyer to confirm the position.
Yes, you will still be able to claim whether your vehicle was bought new or second hand.
We are only accepting vehicles purchased before 1 January 2021.
At this early stage, it is difficult for us to give an accurate prediction of timescale. As with any legal claim, there are some things within our control and some things outside our control. Much will depend on the Defendants’ response to the legal claim.
In our experience, group claims of this type may take between two to five years to progress through the Court, but could take longer. As a client you will be provided with regular updates, particularly in relation to the timescale for next steps, which can be predicted more accurately than for the case as a whole.
The types of legal claims we will recommend you to bring will depend on your individual circumstances (such as when you bought your vehicle, whether you bought it from an authorised dealer, and whether it was paid for using finance). As such, it is impossible to say that all claims will be worth a certain amount.
Those clients who are eligible to bring a claim under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (“CPUT”) (those being people who bought their vehicle in the last 6 years, via an approved dealer or using approved finance and for non-business use) may be entitled to recover a discount on payments made, ranging from 25% to 100%. The compensation recoverable under other types of legal claim will be more dependent on proving loss.
This is the first time that these types of claims are being brought against Ford in the English courts. However, we are one of the country’s leading law firms and bringing group actions on behalf of consumers is one of our key areas of speciality.
We are joint-lead lawyers in a similar emissions litigation, and in May 2022 we settled a historic legal claim on behalf of thousands of Volkswagen owners.
We are also acting on behalf of diesel vehicle owners against Mercedes, Nissan, Renault, Vauxhall, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and other Volkswagen vehicles.
Leigh Day is one of the country's leading law firms. We are not a claims management company.
Bringing group actions on behalf of consumers is one of Leigh Day's key areas of specialty and we have been involved in some of the largest group actions ever brought in the UK.
We have recently been featured in Money Saving Expert’s Diesel Emissions Claims comparison guide which shows that Leigh Day has the highest Trust Pilot rating of all the firms acting in such claims and will make among the lowest deductions to any compensation awarded to claimants.
We were joint-lead lawyers in the emissions litigation on behalf of UK Volkswagen owners, which reached a £193 million out-of-court settlement in May 2022.
In that case, we argued that Volkswagen had deceived car owners as to the compliance of vehicles with EU Emissions Regulations. Lawyers for the UK drivers argued that Volkswagen engines contained defeat device software that sensed when the vehicle was being tested and so artificially reduced emissions in order to pass that test.
Volkswagen argued that the software did not meet the legal definition of a defeat device and so was not illegal. However, in April 2020 the High Court in London found that the decision by the KBA, the German road vehicle authority, that the software was a ‘defeat device’ was binding in the English High Court.
We have also been instructed by thousands of owners of Mercedes, Renault, Nissan, Vauxhall, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, and other Volkswagen Group vehicles to pursue emissions claims against those manufacturers.
We will be bringing these claims on a 'No Win-No Fee' basis. This means that we will only deduct up to 30% (exclusive of VAT and expenses) of your damages if the claim is successful, but if the claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything. This is a significantly lower fee than many firms and claims management companies that may be charging up to 50% of your damages for the same claim.
There are a number of time limits applying to the claims we are bringing:
Deceit/misrepresentation and breach of statutory duty claims must be brought within 6 years of you discovering (or if you could have discovered with reasonable diligence) that your vehicle had emissions test cheating device.
Breach of contract claims must be brought within 6 years of the breach of contract, which in this case is 6 years from the date of purchase.
CPUT claims must be brought within 6 years from the date of making the agreement to buy the vehicle.
Consumer Credit Act claims should be brought within 6 years of the first payment made under your Ford finance agreement, although it may be possible to bring the claim after that date but only in respect of getting compensation for any payments made within 6 years or to be made in the future.
You cannot make a claim once the time limit for that particular type of claim has passed.
We are only accepting claimants who purchased their vehicles in the last 6 years and before 1 January 2021.
If the relevant time limit has expired in one or more of your claims, it is likely to reduce the overall level of damages you would receive for a successful claim.
We are not in a position to assist with issuing a claim on your behalf if the limitation (the time limits you have for making your claim) is due to expire shortly. This is because, where we are acting for thousands of individual claimants, it is simply not practicable for us to process claims at short notice.
If you decide that, despite the cost risks, you want to issue your own legal proceedings to protect your limitation position, you can do this by filing an individual claim form with the court and paying the applicable court fee. This is not a matter with which Leigh Day will be able to assist you. You will need to weigh up the benefit of bringing your claim against the significant risk that once you issue legal proceedings, you will become potentially liable for the Defendant’s costs unless you have your own insurance to protect you. We cannot advise you about this, however.
On the other hand, if you decide you do not wish to issue proceedings individually, we would be happy to act for you in relation to the other kinds of claims you might be able to bring. In this case, please complete our form.
Yes. Affected vehicles which were leased or purchased from Motability are eligible to join the claims.
There are a number of possible legal claims a vehicle owner could pursue in relation to their Ford vehicle. It may be that, as a result of how you leased your vehicle, we only advise you to pursue some types of legal claim and not others. If you have your Motability documents, please keep these somewhere safe until we request a copy.
If we find on investigation that a vehicle isn’t affected, or for some other reason isn’t eligible to join the claim, we would contact you to inform you, and then cancel our legal agreement with you. You would not need to pay us any money for the work we had done in these circumstances.