The lawsuit states at least 500,000 of Ford's F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesel pickup trucks, which sold for $8,400 more than their gasoline-fueled counterparts, produce emissions up to 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen-oxide pollutants. Another automaker, Volkswagen, admitted to skirting emissions standards in 2015 - and Bosch was involved in that scandal, too. A defeat device is software created to fool emissions tests by allowing a vehicle to boost its performance, but pollute substantially more in real-world driving.
The law firms are working in collaboration with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, an important company in the field of class actions in the United States, which has simultaneously brought a similar suit in the name of affected American buyers and lessees.
In the tests Ford carried out on the F-250 and F-350 vehicles, "emissions are consistently as high as five times the standard", the lawsuit stated, quipping that the trucks must bear the moniker "Super Dirty". "We will safeguard ourselves against these baseless claims".
Erik Gordon, a specialist in entrepreneurship and technology at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, stated that if real, the "allegations would expose Ford to the threat of billion-dollar liabilities and punch a hole in its efforts to place itself as an automobile technology leader".
Automotive supplier Bosch is also named in the suit and is accused of allegedly developing software that allows for adjustment of various parameters while being tested. Although the complaint says that Ford and tech partner Bosch worked in tandem to create a system that would hide the real-life emissions in order to maintain the performance promised to vehicle users.
"The lawsuit said the trucks at issue represent a profitable and key part of the Dearborn automaker's offerings, noting that it charges about "$8,400 for diesel-equipped vehicles over comparable gasoline Super Duty trucks".
Ford shares closed down 0.4 percent at $13.03.