Ford Latest Automaker to Face Probe Into Emissions Compliance

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A Justice Department criminal investigation is pending. Fiat Chrysler paid an $800 million civil settlement to the Justice Department and State of California earlier this year after it was accused of overstating fuel efficiency of its diesel light-truck engines, and regulators now are investigating Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler over similar issues.

This would be different than the emissions violations committed by Volkswagen, which had devices specifically created to cheat on diesel emissions tests by providing false data. The company said that because the matter is still at a preliminary stage, it can't predict the outcome or assure investors it won't have a material impact on the company. Ford emphasized in the filing that the DOJ's probe does not involve so-called defeat devices such as the ones Volkswagen used to cheat on emissions tests in 11 million of its vehicles.

Ford actually self-reported its concerns to agencies including the EPA. Volkswagen paid $14.7 billion in civil penalties and $3 billion in criminal fines to settle its cheating scandal with EPA.

Separately, Ford's shares gained more than 10% on Friday after reporting $1.1 billion in net income in the first quarter of the year.

Ford has been embarrassed in the past by errors in fuel economy claims. The company said it may have taken a flawed approach to calculating the effect of aerodynamic drag and tire friction on the fuel economy of its vehicles outside of testing labs.

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An internal inquiry, prompted by employee concerns raised through ford's Speak Up program, found that the company may have been using incorrect mathematical models to establish fuel consumption and mpg estimates.

It's unclear whether the problems Ford discovered led to inaccurate mileage ratings. The first vehicle Ford is reviewing is the 2019 Ranger pickup truck.

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment.

The investigation involves "overstated" fuel mileage on a "large number" of models, according to published reports.

Ford Motor Co.'s world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

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