Frequently Asked Questions

*This section was updated shortly before the Settlement Effective Date to include information on filing claims. Please review closely for information on the claim submission process.

  1. What is this litigation about?
  2. Why did I receive a Notice?
  3. Who is included in the Settlement Class?
  4. Who represents the Settlement Class?
  5. Who represents Ford?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. When will I receive these benefits?
  8. How do I file a claim?
  9. When is the deadline to submit a Claim Form?
  10. Can I file a claim for both options?
  11. What type of documentation do I need to include to submit my Claim Form?
  12. What do I do if I am unable to submit my Claim Form electronically?
  13. What happens after I submit my Claim Form?
  14. When will I receive my benefits if my Claim is approved?
  15. What will the amount of my benefits be?
  16. What can I do if the Claim Administrator denies my claim?
  17. What do I need to submit with my appeal?
  18. Will the Appeals Administrator hold a hearing?
  19. What can I do if the Appeals Administrator denies my appeal?
  20. What if I am still experiencing exhaust odor in my vehicle?
  21. What happens because the Court approved the Settlement?
  22. What if I don’t want to participate in the Settlement?
  23. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  24. How do I get more information?

1. What is this litigation about?

The Named Plaintiff in this case alleged that model year 2011-2015 Ford Explorers are defectively designed and manufactured so that Exhaust Odor may enter the passenger compartment of these vehicles when they are driven at wide open throttle and with the internal ventilation on recirculate. Plaintiff asserted nationwide claims under federal and state express and implied warranty laws, and under consumer protection statutes. The Court certified the lawsuit as a nationwide class action for the purposes of settlement. The Court granted final approval of the settlement on June 21, 2017, but the settlement is not yet effective because the Court’s approval order was appealed, and will not be effective until the appeal is resolved.

Ford denied all allegations of wrongdoing asserted, including that the Class Vehicles are defective and that Ford is liable to any buyer, lessee, or operator of the Class Vehicles under any legal claim. Nonetheless, Ford agreed to settle the Litigation by providing the benefits described in the Notice.

2. Why did I receive a Notice?

You received a Notice because you may be a member of the Settlement Class.

3. Who is included in the Settlement Class?

All entities and natural persons in the United States (including its Territories and the District of Columbia) who currently own or lease (or who in the past owned or leased) a model year 2011-2015 Ford Explorer that was sold or leased in the United States.

Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (1) all federal court judges who have presided over this case and any members of their immediate families; (2) all entities and natural persons who elect to exclude themselves from the Settlement Class; (3) all entities and natural persons who delivered to Ford releases of all their claims; and (4) Ford's employees, officers, directors, agents, and representatives, and their family members.

4. Who represents the Settlement Class?

Class Counsel are Jordan M. Lewis, Esq. and the law firm Jordan Lewis, P.A., and John Uustal, Esq. and Michael A. Hersh, Esq. and the law firm Kelley Uustal PLC.

Jordan Lewis Esq.
Jordan Lewis, P.A.
4473 N.E. 11th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
jordan@jml-lawfirm.com

Michael Hersh, Esq.
Kelley Uustal PLC
500 North Federal Highway, Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
mah@kulaw.com

5. Who represents Ford?

Ford is represented by Brian C. Anderson, Esq. and the law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

6. What does the Settlement provide?

Upon the effective date of settlement, Ford will provide the following benefits to Class Members:

Notice of New Technical Service Bulletin (TSB). You are hereby notified that Ford will issue a New Exhaust Odor TSB describing updated procedures to address Exhaust Odor in the Class Vehicles. The TSB may include two phases of service: (1) air conditioning system recalibration and sealing of gaps in the passenger compartment; and, (2) if Ford and its Authorized Ford Dealer determines that phase (1) did not eliminate the Exhaust Odor in vehicles equipped with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing ("TiVCT") engine, additional services may be performed, including installation of a modified exhaust system. Ford may, but is not required to, issue a Future Exhaust Odor TSB that supersedes the New Exhaust Odor TSB.

Reimbursement for Post-Warranty Repairs for Exhaust Odor. Ford will provide one of the following two benefits to Class Members (Class Members can seek one, but not both, of these benefits):

a) In-Warranty Repair Owners. Settlement Class Members who present to Ford service records from an Authorized Ford Dealer showing that, prior to dissemination of the Class Notice, and during the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period applicable to their Class Vehicle, (1) they obtained one or more Exhaust Odor Repairs to their Class Vehicle, or (2) were denied an Exhaust Odor Repair after the Authorized Ford Dealer diagnosed Exhaust Odor in their Class Vehicle ("In-Warranty Repair Owners"), and who present to Ford evidence that they incurred Out-of-Pocket Expenses obtaining an Exhaust Odor Repair to that same Class Vehicle within the later of (1) 4 years/48,000 miles after the vehicle was placed in service (whichever comes first), or (2) 60 days after the Effective Date of Settlement, may receive from Ford reimbursement of such Out-of-Pocket Expenses up to a maximum of $175. If the Exhaust Odor Repair for which an In-Warranty Repair Owner seeks reimbursement of Out-of-Pocket Expenses involves installation of a modified exhaust system in a Class Vehicle equipped with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter TiVCT engine as described in the New Exhaust Odor TSB, the Settlement Class Member may receive from Ford a reimbursement of the Out-of-Pocket Expenses for this repair up to a maximum of $500. In-Warranty Repair Owners may submit claims for up to two qualifying Exhaust Odor Repairs per Class Vehicle under this provision.

b) Post-Warranty Repair Owners. Settlement Class Members who did not¸ prior to dissemination of the Class Notice, obtain an Exhaust Odor Repair or obtain a documented diagnosis of Exhaust Odor from an Authorized Ford Dealer during the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period ("Post-Warranty Repair Owners"), and who present to Ford evidence that they incurred Out-of-Pocket Expenses obtaining an Exhaust Odor Repair to that same Class Vehicle within the later of (1) 60 days after the Effective Date of Settlement, or (2) 60 days after the expiration of the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period, may receive from Ford reimbursement of such Out-of-Pocket Expenses up to a maximum of $175. Post-Warranty Repair Owners may submit claims for up to two qualifying Exhaust Odor Repairs per Class Vehicle under this provision.

Inability to Repair Remedy. Settlement Class Members who obtained one or more Exhaust Odor Repairs to their Class Vehicle during the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period or during the pendency of a Ford Extended Warranty, and who receive a repair to the same Class Vehicle under the New Exhaust Odor TSB (including, if applicable, installation of a modified exhaust system in a Class Vehicle equipped with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter TiVCT engine) or any then-applicable Future Exhaust Odor TSB that fails to resolve the presence of Exhaust Odor in their Class Vehicle may, within six months after notifying the Authorized Ford Dealer that the repair was unsuccessful, and thereafter providing the dealer with an additional opportunity to correct the repair (i.e., the Settlement Class Member must give the Authorized Ford Dealer two chances to perform the most currently available Exhaust Odor TSB), submit for mediation followed by (if necessary) binding arbitration to the Better Business Bureau ("BBB") AUTO LINE program a claim for violation of the Lemon Law and/or breach of Ford's New Vehicle Limited Warranty under the laws of the Settlement Class Member's state. Stated more simply, for a Settlement Class Member to bring a BBB claim, (1) the Class Vehicle must have received an Exhaust Odor Repair during the basic or extended warranty coverage period, (2) at least two attempts must have been made to perform a New Exhaust Odor TSB (or a Future Exhaust Odor TSB if there is one), and (3) the Class Vehicle must still be experiencing Exhaust Odor.

For the purpose of any such BBB AUTO LINE claim by a Settlement Class Member under this provision of the Settlement, Ford waives the following defenses: (1) that the Exhaust Odor is allegedly caused by a design defect, (2) that the statute of limitations for such claims expired before end of the extended period for obtaining partially subsidized post-warranty Exhaust Odor Repairs established by the above section (i.e., 4 years/48,000 miles; 60 days after Effective Date of Settlement; 60 days after expiration of the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period). Ford preserves all other applicable defenses to such claims, including whether the Authorized Ford Dealer has made a sufficient number of repair attempts to support the Settlement Class Member's claims, the requirements with respect to which are set forth in the prior paragraph, and whether the Class Vehicle is defective.

Ford will pay all costs of mediating and/or arbitrating claims by Settlement Class Members made to BBB AUTO LINE under this provision. An award of attorneys' fees will not be available through the BBB AUTO LINE program. Arbitration determinations by BBB AUTO LINE will be final and binding upon Settlement Class Members and Ford, with no right of appeal or further litigation.

7. When will I receive these benefits?

You will receive these benefits beginning on the effective date of settlement only if you remained a Member of the Settlement Class, and if you submit a timely, complete Claim Form supported by the required documentation. If you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you will not receive any benefits.

To monitor the status of the Settlement, to learn if and when it becomes effective and to obtain Claims Forms, you may continue to check this website or call 1-855-581-1279. Shortly after the effective date of Settlement (which will not be effective until after the appeal is resolved) claim forms will be available on this website.

8. How do I file a claim?

A claim form will be available on this website shortly after the effective date of the settlement, which is pending resolution of the filed appeal. You will be able to submit your claim form electronically through this website, or you can call the Claims Administrator at 1-855-581-1279 to request a paper claim form be mailed to you. Check this website frequently for updated information.

9. When is the deadline to submit a Claim Form?

Claims for reimbursement for Post-Warranty Repairs for Exhaust Odor must be submitted by the later of February 25, 2019 or two months after the date of the Exhaust Odor Repair for which reimbursement is sought.

10. Can I file a claim for both options?

No. You may only file one Claim Form for EITHER Option 1 (Reimbursement for In-Warranty Repairs) OR Option 2 (Reimbursement for Post-Warranty Repairs). If you submit multiple Claim Forms, your claims may be rejected.

11. What type of documentation do I need to include to submit my Claim Form?

To submit a Claim Form, you must submit the following documentation
  • Documents that show you were the owner or lessee of the vehicles for which you are submitting a claim when the Exhaust Odor Repair(s) you listed above occurred (e.g., vehicle registration, title documents);
  • A copy of the invoice(s) from an Authorized Ford Dealer for the repairs, which should also show the vehicle mileage the time of the repair and the date of the repair; and
  • Proof that you paid money to obtain the repair(s) (e.g., credit card receipt), unless your repair happened during the warranty period.
If you submit your claim electronically, you can upload copies of these documents using the claim submission website. If you submit your claim by mail, please remember to include copies of these documents. If you do not submit the required documentation your claim may be denied.

12. What do I do if I am unable to submit my Claim Form electronically?

If you are having difficulty submitting your claim form electronically, you should check your information for common inputting errors.
Vin Number Errors
Confirm you entered exactly 17 letters and digits. All VINs contain 17 letters and digits—so if you entered a VIN with anything other than exactly 17 letters and digits, it will not be valid.
Double-check that you have properly input each of the digits and letters of the VIN as some digits and letters may be confused for another (e.g., the number 0 and the letter O; the number 5 and the letter S; the number 1 and the letter I).
In-Warranty Reimbursement Errors
Confirm that your repair was performed while the vehicle was in warranty.
Confirm that your repair was performed either:
  • 4 years or 48,000 miles after the vehicle was placed in service (whichever comes first), or
  • 60 days after the Effective Date of Settlement (December 24, 2018).
Post-Warranty Reimbursement Errors
Confirm that your repair was performed either:
  • 60 days after the Effective Date of Settlement (December 24, 2018), or
  • 60 days after the expiration of the Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty Coverage Period.
If you are still having difficulties, please contact the Claim Administrator at 1-855-581-1279.

13. What happens after I submit my Claim Form?

After you submit your Claim Form, the Claim Administrator will review it and determine whether you are eligible for reimbursement. You will receive a letter explaining whether your claim has been fully approved, partially approved, or denied.

You may also receive a deficiency notice if your claim form did not include all of the information that you were required to submit. If you receive a deficiency notice, you will need to provide the required information to the Claim Administrator by the date specified in the notice. If you do not send in the information, your claim may be denied.

14. When will I receive my benefits if my Claim is approved?

If your claim is partially or fully approved, you will receive a check card approximately two weeks after you receive notice that your claim was approved.

15. What will the amount of my benefits be?

You will be reimbursed according to whether your vehicle was repaired in-warranty or post-warranty. In either case, you will be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket costs up to a maximum available amount. The specific amount you receive will depend upon what you actually paid to obtain the repairs.

In-Warranty Repair Owners: You may receive reimbursement of such Out-of-Pocket Expenses up to a maximum of $175, unless your repair required installation of a modified exhaust system in a Class Vehicle equipped with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter TiVCT engine. If your repair required installation of a modified exhaust system, you may receive a maximum of $500. You may submit claims for up to two qualifying Exhaust Odor Repairs per vehicle.

Post-Warranty Repair Owners: You may receive reimbursement of such Out-of-Pocket Expenses up to a maximum of $175. You may submit claims for up to two qualifying Exhaust Odor Repairs per vehicle.

16. What can I do if the Claim Administrator denies my claim?

Review the letter you received from the Claim Administrator to see if your claim was determined to be ineligible, or if it was denied as deficient because it was lacking certain information or documentation. If it was denied as deficient, you may resubmit it to the Claim Administrator with the missing information. Such resubmissions must be postmarked no later than one month after the date of the letter you received from the Claim Administrator.

If your claim was determined to be ineligible (either based on your original submission or following your re-submission), you may appeal that decision to the Appeals Administrator. The Appeals Administrator is a separate entity, Rust Consulting, who is empowered to review appeals of the Claim Administrator’s decisions. You must submit any appeal within one month of the date of the letter you received from the Claims Administrator informing you that your claim was ineligible.

17. What do I need to submit with my appeal?

In order to appeal the Claim Administrator’s decision, you must submit the following documents: (1) your claim form, (2) the denial letter that you received from the Claim Administrator, and (3) a short (no more than two pages long) statement of the basis of your appeal, including an explanation of the Claim Administrator’s alleged error. You may not submit additional documentation with your appeal. These materials must be postmarked within one month of the postmark date on the envelope in which the Claim Administrator mailed its decision to hyou. The appeal should be sent to the following address:

Attn: Appeals Administrator
P.O. Box 43444
Providence, RI 02940-3444

18. Will the Appeals Administrator hold a hearing?

The Appeals Administrator will review the documents submitted with your appeal, along with any responses submitted by Ford and Class Counsel and will send you a letter notifying you of its decision. The Appeals Administrator will not hold a hearing.

19. What can I do if the Appeals Administrator denies my appeal?

The Appeals Administrator’s decision is final.

20. What if I am still experiencing exhaust odor in my vehicle?

Some vehicle owners who continue to experience exhaust odor after receiving at least two repairs are eligible to submit for mediation followed by (if necessary) binding arbitration to the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) AUTO LINE program a claim for violation of the Lemon Law and/or breach of Ford’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty under the laws of the vehicle owner’s state. Ford will pay all costs of mediating and/or arbitrating claims made to BBB AUTO LINE and will waive certain possible defenses.

If you have met the following criteria, you may bring a BBB AUTO LINE claim against Ford: (1) your vehicle received an Exhaust Odor Repair during the basic or extended warranty coverage period, (2) at least two attempts must have been made to perform a New Exhaust Odor TSB (or a Future Exhaust Odor TSB if there is one), and (3) your vehicle is still be experiencing Exhaust Odor.

Please read the Mediation Rules carefully for more detail on mediation. The Mediation Rules are available here and on the Mediation Administrator’s website.

After reviewing the Mediation Rules, if you would like to initiate a BBB AUTO LINE claim, call 1-800-955-5100, or contact BBB in writing at BBB AUTO LINE, Council of Better Business Bureaus, 3033 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201.

21. What happens because the Court approved the Settlement?

Class Counsel pursued the lawsuit on a contingent basis and paid all the costs of the litigation. They had not been paid or recovered any of their expenses. As part of the Settlement, Class Counsel asked the Court to award them up to $5 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses, and to approve a $60,000 service award to be divided among the Named Plaintiff and Unnamed Plaintiffs (named plaintiffs who pursued other related class action lawsuits). The Court granted these requests in a written opinion which you can view here. None of these payments reduce the benefits that you, as a Settlement Class Member, receive.

Ford will provide the benefits described in the Notice to the Settlement Class Members who have not excluded themselves from the Class beginning on the Settlement Effective Date. Settlement Class Members are barred from pursuing non-personal injury lawsuits based on Exhaust Odor in the Class Vehicles. Therefore, if you want to bring your own lawsuit against Ford, you must have excluded yourself from this Settlement by the deadline (which was May 17, 2017).

22. What if I don’t want to participate in the Settlement?

The deadline to ask to be excluded from the Settlement Class or object to the Settlement was May 17, 2017, and has now passed. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you will receive the benefits of the Settlement beginning on the Settlement Effective Date (October 25, 2018). If you are eligible to receive a reimbursement under the terms of the settlement, you may submit a claim to the Ford Claim Center. Claim forms will be available on this website shortly after the Settlement Effective Date, which will not occur until after the pending appeal has been resolved.

23. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on June 21, 2017. An appeal of that approval order was filed on July 17, 2017. The order dismissing the appeal took final effect on October 24, 2018. For this reason, the Settlement Effective Date is October 25, 2018.

24. How do I get more information?

For additional information, you may explore other sections of this website, or call the Claim Administrator at (855) 581-1279 or Class Counsel at (954) 640-1180. Please do not call or write the Court or the Office of the District Court Clerk with questions about the Settlement.