Ford investigating emissions test certification process

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday disclosed that it has hired an outside law firm to investigate the process under which the carmaker certifies its compliance with federal emissions standards.

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In a statement, the Environmental Protection Agency said it takes "the potential issues seriously and are following up with the company to fully understand the circumstances behind this disclosure."

Ford says the investigation is not centered on so-called defect devices – or those products that are used to purposefully manipulate federal emissions tests. Instead, the carmaker is looking into whether its calculations that determine the emissions information ultimately provided to regulators are faulty.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company admitted it has identified potential issues in its testing and will examine first the 2019 Ranger, along with other vehicles.

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“In September, a handful of employees raised a concern through our Speak Up employee reporting channel regarding the analytical modeling that is part of our U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance process,” Kim Pittel, vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering at Ford, said in a statement. “We plan to work with regulators and the independent lab to complete a technical review.”


Fiat Chrysler in January said it would pay over $800 million to settle allegations from the federal government that it used illegal technology to bypass emssions laws, similar to a 2015 scandal involving Volkswagen AG.

The attention from the EPA is the latest challenge for Ford which, last month, posted a loss in the fourth quarter as the iconic carmaker struggled with higher costs due to President Trump's tariffs and slower sales in the lucrative China market.