Ford probing possible problems with fuel economy, emissions tests

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Ford Motor stated on Thursday it has employed outside experts to probe its vehicle fuel economy and testing procedures after employees raised issues, and did not know if it would have to correct data given to regulators or consumers.

The issues concerning Ford’s testing processes do not concern the use of so-called defeat devices – hardware and software designed intended to cheat government emissions tests, Kimberly Pittel, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, informed Reuters.

The automaker since last fall has been probing issues raised by workers that incorrect calculations were used to translate test outcomes into the mileage and emissions data provided to regulators, Pittel stated.

Ford stated it was reviewing changes to the process it utilizes to develop fuel economy and emissions figures, “including engineering, technical and governance components.”

Ford shares fell slightly in after-hours trading after the disclosure.

Ford has hired the law firm Sidley Austin to head an independent investigation into probable discrepancies in calculations used to produce emissions and fuel economy statistics, Pittel stated. The company is using an independent laboratory to carry out testing.

U.S. and California regulators have been investigating on automakers for emissions cheating after revelations in 2015 that Volkswagen AG had used defeat devices to construct models geared up with diesel engines appear to comply with emissions standards when they emitted much more pollution than permitted in real-world driving.

The information has been voluntarily shared with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, Pittel stated. Ford informed the agencies this week, she stated.

The investigation has taken place with testing of the 2019 Ranger pickup truck, and the company expects data back next week, Pittel added.

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