Ford Motor Company admitted in a financial presentation on Friday that it is being investigated by the US Department of Justice. UU On their internal emission testing practices. The investigation is still in the "preliminary stages," according to the automaker.
In particular, Ford says that the investigation has nothing to do with the use of "deactivation devices" or software intended to deceive the regulators, which was the problem at the center of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal.
Ford announced in February that it had initiated an investigation into its own emissions testing practices after employees put up warning signs about possible consistency issues. Those employees discovered that Ford may have miscalculated the "load on the road," which is a measure of the forces, such as aerodynamic drag or tire strength, in a car when traveling at a constant speed on a smooth terrain. and flat. (Going up with a lower road load figure in the lab compared to the real world, for example, could make a car manufacturer believe that their cars are getting better fuel economy and, therefore, emit less pollution ).
The company said it hired the law The firm Sidley Austin conducted the investigation and alerted the Environmental Protection Agency. Ford said Friday that it is also working with the California Air Resources Board to solve any problems.
"The Department of Justice contacted us earlier this month to inform us that they opened a criminal investigation," the company said. Friday in a statement to The Verge . "Ford is cooperating fully with the government, and we will keep them informed about what we are discovering through our research and technical review."
Both Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are also reportedly under criminal investigation into emissions, although like Volkswagen, they allegedly used deactivation devices to make some cars diesel would look cleaner for regulators. Daimler and Fiat Chrysler have also faced civil charges. In January, Fiat Chrysler settled a civil case with the Department of Justice of the United States for $ 800 million. The company also withdrew 862,000 cars in March. Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit against Daimler in the US UU He recently got the green light to move forward in a New Jersey court.