Ford is being investigated by the US Justice Department for possibly lying on its emissions tests.
Emissions regulations are getting tighter around the world. That trend has hit a slight snag with the current administration (which California is bravely pushing past on its own), but that doesn’t mean the United States is completely without regulations governing just how many greenhouse gases can be spewed out from a truck’s tailpipe.
It turns out that Ford might have been skirting the rules a bit with regards to emissions, raising the specter of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal. But in Ford’s case, the issue revolves less around specific technology being used to defeat emissions tests and more about the mathematical modeling used to report their vehicle’s emissions figures.
Jalopnik found an SEC filing last Friday that details just what’s going on. The investigation being performed by the US Department of Justice revolves around "analytical modeling and coastdown testing” and not “defeat devices.” Those devices were used by Volkswagen for years to cheat on emissions tests by detecting when a test was being performed and altering the engine’s performance to produce less pollution.
Ford initially reported the issue voluntarily to the EPA and California Air Resources Board back in February, which prompted the feds to open their own investigation into the issue.
An anonymous source speaking to the Detroit Free Press first reported a possible issue way back in September. The source indicated that the issue would affect all Ford vehicles produced after 2017 due to a flaw in their mathematical modeling. Ford launched their own internal investigation in February to verify both fuel mileage and emissions across its fleet.
We don’t have a lot else to go on in terms of where this investigation is at. As usual, these things proceed at a snail’s pace once the courts are involved, and Ford has a vested interest in keeping their findings a secret for as long as they possibly can. But as with Volkswagen, we expect the truth to eventually come out.