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Ford: Justice Department Opens Probe Into Emissions Certification

April 26, 2019 - 11:18 am

DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) - Ford says the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into its U.S. emissions certification process.

The automaker said in a regulatory filing the "matter currently focuses on issues relating to road load estimations, including analytical modeling and coastdown testing."

Last September, a group of employees reported possible problems with a mathematical model used to calculate pollution and mileage, prompting Ford to hire an outside firm to run tests. And in February, Ford launched an investigation into whether it overstated gas mileage and understated emissions from a wide range of vehicles.

"Our investigation continues into how Ford estimates road load as part of the U.S. fuel economy and emissions certification process. We are working with regulators and independent experts to complete a technical review, as planned," Kim Pittel, group vice president of Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering at Ford, said in a statement.

Ford Motor Co. voluntarily disclosed the matter to the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board in February. It has also notified a number of other state and federal agencies.

Ford said Friday it's fully cooperating with all government agencies about potential concerns involving its process for estimating road load.

"The Department of Justice contacted us earlier this month to let us know that they had opened a criminal investigation. Ford is fully cooperating with the government, and we’ll keep them posted on what we’re finding through our investigation and technical review," Pittel said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.