US Department of Justice investigating Ford over emissions testing problems

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

On Friday Ford Motor Company announced the United States Department of Justice was performing a criminal investigation of Ford's internal emission testing practices. Ford said in a financial filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the criminal investigation started on some unspecified date after Ford voluntarily disclosed the matter to the federal government on February 21.

Ford Motor Company's logo.

Ford said in their filing the matter "currently focuses on issues relating to road load estimations, including analytical modeling and coastdown testing", and "does not involve the use of defeat devices" which were an issue with another automaker previously.

"Ford is fully cooperating with the government, and we'll keep them posted on what we're finding through our investigation and technical review", Ford told The Verge. In the filing itself Ford also made this point, writing "In addition, we have notified a number of other state and federal agencies. We are fully cooperating with all government agencies."

In February, Ford announced investigating itself, following employee concerns that emission testing calculation could be inconsistent. The employees were reportedly concerned about the calculation of "road load", a measurement of ordinary resistance factors such as tire resistance and aerodynamic drag.

Ford started its investigation by hiring law firm Sidley Austin, according to The Verge.

According to the filing, Ford voluntarily disclosed this matter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on February 18, and also to the California Air Resources Board on February 21.