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Ford reports investigation for US emissions certification re: analytical modeling

Ford Motor is investigating possible concerns in its emission testing procedures. Kim Pittel, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, said that in September, employees raised a concern through regarding the analytical modeling that is part of Ford’s US fuel economy and emissions compliance process.

Ford said that as a result of the concern, it has taken a number of actions. Specifically:

  • Ford has hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the vehicle road load specifications used in its testing and applications to certify emissions and fuel economy. Road load is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing, including for fuel economy ratings and emissions certifications. Road load is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing.

  • Ford has retained independent industry technical experts as part of the investigation team.

  • It is also hiring an independent lab to conduct further coastdown testing as part of the investigation.

  • Ford also is evaluating potential changes to its road-load modeling process, including engineering, technical and governance components.

Ford voluntarily shared these potential concerns with Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board officials.

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

Ford said that it will work with regulators and the independent lab to complete a technical review. As part of our review, it has identified potential concerns with how it calculates road load. The first vehicle under evaluation is the 2019 Ranger; Ford is assessing additional vehicles as well.

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