US Department of Justice Opens Investigation on Ford Emission Testing
An official release from Ford stated that the "potential concern does not involve the use of defeat devices" such as the ones that resulted in a $2.8 billion penalty for Volkswagen in Germany.
Ford and Volkswagen logo.
The US department of Justice has commenced a criminal investigation into Ford Motor Co.’s US emissions certification process. An official release from Ford stated that the "potential concern does not involve the use of defeat devices" such as the ones that resulted in a $2.8 billion penalty for Volkswagen in Germany.
The issue surfaced after Ford said it was investigating if incorrect computer modelling had led to miscalculation of fuel economy and emission for selective models. The automaker also hired an external firm to investigate the vehicle “road load” specifications that were used in the company’s testing and applications for emissions and fuel economy standards.
At the time, Ford also notified the Environmental Protection Agency and characterized the investigation by Department of Justice to be “still in the preliminary stages”. The automaker is reported to be cooperating with all the government agencies and stated that it cannot predict the outcome.
In an official release, Ford had earlier stated that the issue was reported to the officials by a ‘handful of employees’ through its internal Speak Up channel. The main concern, as the company stated, was whether it miscalculated “road load” during testing.
In a nutshell, Road load is the effort put on a vehicle while driving at constant speed on a flat surface. The lower the road load, the better the fuel economy. Reports suggest that the first vehicle in the crosshair will be the 2019 Ranger which is currently lauded with an EPA estimated 9kpl combined fuel economy.
Despite the set-back, Ford reported a surge in profits that beat analyst expectations. With its current course, the automaker expects its full-year 2019 results to surpass last year’s. Its stock last Friday climbed by 10.7% to $10.41, and for the first time overtook Tesla’s market capitalization.
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