The Justice Department in the United States of America has opened a criminal investigation into Ford Motor Company over its emission certification process. Bloomberg reports that the US government has notified the company of the investigation earlier this month, while the manufacturer has stated in a regulatory filing that it is cooperation with the concerned agencies of the government.
Ford is now the third major car manufacturer to be investigated over emission reporting since the Volkswagen Group was suspected of emission cheating in 2015 and paid a $4.3 billion penalty in 2017. This was followed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV which issued a recall of almost 863,000 vehicles which violated the regulation emission standards and is reportedly undergoing criminal investigation.
Ford stated that it had discovered potential flaws in how it calculated key data to determine new-vehicle fuel economy rating and tailpipe emission by taking the effect of aerodynamic drag and tire friction on the fuel economy of its vehicles outside of testing labs. Currently, it is unclear whether the issues Ford discovered has led to incorrect mileage ratings. The investigation as reported does not involve the use of a “defeat device” similar to the ones investigators found in diesel-powered vehicles manufactured by the Volkswagen Group.
While Ford has reported fuel-economy issues prior to the investigation, the manufacturer has initiated retesting of six of its models sold in the US which include the Fiesta, C-Max and Fusion hybrid models. In 2014, Ford has also issued cheques reportedly worth as much as $1,050 to more than 2,00,000 customers as compensation for false reporting of fuel economy figures.
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