facebook linkedin twitter

Ford Investigated Over Concerns About Improper Emissions Tests

April 29, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
2019 Ford Edge ST. The ST is the performance version of Ford's popular five-passenger Edge midsize SUV. (Ford)

Ford Motor Co. is being investigated by the Justice Department over its emissions certification process, the company said in a government securities filing Friday.

Ford said in the quarterly report that the criminal investigation focuses on its “road load estimations,” which refers to its method for calculating how much energy the powertrain must exert to achieve certain speeds. Different speeds produce different amounts of hydrocarbon emissions.

Ford said it voluntarily disclosed potential problems with the calculations to the Environmental Protection Agency in February after employees reported concerns through internal channels. The Justice Department responded with the criminal investigation.

The company said in a statement that it “cannot predict the outcome and we cannot provide assurance that it will not have a material adverse effect on us.”

Ford explained the investigation focuses on equipment that is different from the computer software Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV were accused of rigging to trick enforcement agencies.

Those companies’ software was designed to make vehicles emit lower levels of pollutants during testing than during regular use. Together they paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements.

Instead, “This matter currently focuses on issues relating to road load estimations, including analytical modeling and coastdown testing,” Ford said in its quarterly report.  

In addition to the EPA, the company voluntarily reported the issue to the California Air Resources Board as well as other state and federal agencies.

“Our focus is on completing our investigation and a thorough technical review of this matter and cooperating with government and regulatory agencies,” Ford said in a statement.

The road load estimation uses factors such as aerodynamic drag and tire friction to determine both fuel economy and emissions from vehicles, according to the EPA.

“Because it is difficult to measure road load directly, EPA has adopted the coastdown method to characterize road load force,” the EPA explained in a 2015 guidance. “During a coastdown test, the vehicle is allowed to decelerate with the transmission in neutral while its speed is periodically measured.”

Although Ford’s cooperation with the government is undisputed in the investigation announced Friday, the company is facing racketeering and fraud claims over its emissions tests in a separate federal court case pending in Michigan.

Ford and auto parts manufacturer Robert Bosch LLC are accused of rigging a half-million F-250 and F-350 heavy duty trucks to fool emissions tests.

Unlike some automakers, Ford has supported controversial Obama administration regulations that gradually reduce the emissions allowed from vehicles operating in the United States.

The Trump administration proposes freezing the emissions standards as a concession to other automakers who complained they would raise vehicle costs to comply with the regulations.

“We support increasing clean car standards through 2025 and are not asking for a rollback,” the company’s top executives said in a blog post last year.

Announcement of the Justice Department investigation had no measurable effect on Ford’s shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The stock rose nearly 11 percent in trading Friday.

Business

October 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Consumer Confidence Grew in October as Concerns Over Delta Variant Eased

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence grew in October, reversing three month of declines due to concerns over the spread of... Read More

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence grew in October, reversing three month of declines due to concerns over the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. The not-for-profit, non advocacy think tank said its proprietary Consumer Confidence Index currently stands at... Read More

Hertz Order for Teslas Ranks Among Biggest-Ever EV Purchases

DETROIT (AP) — Hertz announced Monday that it will buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, one of the largest purchases... Read More

DETROIT (AP) — Hertz announced Monday that it will buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, one of the largest purchases of battery-powered cars in history and the latest evidence of the nation's increasing commitment to EV technology. The purchase by one of the world's leading rental... Read More

Businesses Nervously Await Fine Print of Vax-or-Test Rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies with 100 or more workers, President Joe Biden's most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day. ... Read More

October 15, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Panelist Says Counterfeit Goods a 'Globalized Business’

WASHINGTON -- If you do a quick Google search for fake Apple Airpods, an almost endless list of options will... Read More

WASHINGTON -- If you do a quick Google search for fake Apple Airpods, an almost endless list of options will come up, said Piotr Stryszowski, senior project manager at the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, Thursday.  Not only does the counterfeit problem affect the U.S.... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Action on Supply Chain Bottleneck Seen As First Step To Ending Crisis

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a... Read More

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a tropical storm during hurricane season. We refer, of course, to the daily television news footage of a reporter bobbing up and down in a decidedly modest... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
Better to Go Bold Than to Go Bland

NEW YORK -- Marie de Foucaud, the brand-building expert and founder of Elovation Consulting, was on a summer road trip... Read More

NEW YORK -- Marie de Foucaud, the brand-building expert and founder of Elovation Consulting, was on a summer road trip with her kids when The Well News called to ask how her global clients strive to improve their reputations and brand identity. Already well past the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top