Ford investigating possible issues with fuel economy & emissions tests

Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 16:47:42-05

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Company is investigating its process for meeting United States fuel economy and emissions standards, the company announced on Thursday. According to the company, they investigation do not involve defeat devices.

In a statement, Ford Vice President of Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineer Kim Pittell said the investigation comes after employees raised a concern through the Speak Up program.

According to Pittell, the concerns regarded the analytical modeling that is part of the U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance process.

The company said that as a result of the concern, they have taken a number of actions, including hiring an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the vehicle road load specifications used in testing and applications that helps them certify emmissions and fuel econonomy.

"Road load is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing, including for fuel economy ratings and emissions certifications," the company said. "Road load is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing."

Ford has also retained independent industry experts as part of the investigation team, and will hire an independent lab to conduct further coastdown testing.

While the investigation goes on, Ford said the are looking at potential changes to their road-load modeling process, which includes engineering, technical and governance components.

"The investigation and potential concerns do not involve the use of defeat devices in our products. At this time, there’s been no determination that this affects Ford’s fuel economy labels or emissions certifications," Pittell added in a statement.

Next, they plan to work with regulators and the independent lab to complete a technical review. During the review, they found potential concerns with how they calculate road load, and the first vehicle they will evaluate is the 2019 Ford Ranger pickup. They expect the information to come bck soon.