Ford Motor Co. declined on Thursday as the company made an in-depth investigation into whether their vehicles are performing poorer gas mileage and emit more pollutants than car, truck and SUV labels – up to the models from 2017.

An anonymous "Speak Up" reporting system at Ford raised the issue in September 2018, the company said.

Ford Ranger's next-generation mid-range pickup is likely to form the basis for a pickup Volkswagen will sell in South America, Africa and Europe. (Photo 11: Mark Phelan)

Ford said Thursday it had hired an outside team to assess whether Ford's mathematical model was flawed in determining miles per gallon and emissions.

To begin the review, Ford said it will test the popular new 2019 Ranger midsize pickup, which has just been put up for sale. And then other models would be tested.

The Ranger was recalled on February 6th due to faulty wiring, which could prevent the pickup from shifting properly and being safely shut down.

Ford officials emphasized that the study of fuel and emissions levels in their area is preliminary and there are no signs of a problem at this time.

A Ford spokesman declined to say how many vehicles could be affected in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 model years.

Ford spokesman Said Deep said: "We soon learned. In September, we had an external company to conduct the first review, which ended in December, and in December we launched a comprehensive internal investigation in which We volunteered to be notified this week about our investigation into EPA and CARB The full investigation is expected to take a few more months. "

Ford said in its Thursday press release that the company had alerted California regulators to extremely strict environmental concerns are overseas in one of the largest car markets in the world.

But Dave Clegern, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, told the Free Press on Thursday that "CARB has not received any mileage notification from this point on."

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US diesel emission fraud

More: Why California Fights For Severe Vehicle Emission Standards

Michael Abboud, EPA spokesman, confirmed to the Free Press that Ford had reached a few days before the public announcement on Thursday

"On February 18, 2019, Ford announced told the US EPA that he had discovered potential issues with emissions certification procedures, "Abboud said." On February 20, 2019, Ford informed the agency of the information it had received so far n the investigation had developed. The investigation is ongoing and the information is too incomplete for the EPO to draw any conclusions. We take the potential issues seriously and work with the company to fully understand the circumstances of this disclosure. "

Late on Thursday, Safe Climate Campaign, Public Citizen and the Sierra Club in the Sierra Club released a statement:" It's shameful that Ford has been waiting months to uncover problems with emissions testing.

Karl Brauer, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book, praised Ford for being proactive and informing the public.

"I think it's really wise that Ford is in the face of these circumstances," he said. Obviously, they have discovered something that may cause inaccuracies in defining and determining the fuel economy of their cars. They started to deal with it and wanted to get the problem under control before they said anything, now they let everyone know. "

Ford deserves recognition for a program that gives tips for potential problems, Brauer said.

Kim Pittel, vice president of sustainability, environment and safety, Ford vice president, said in a prepared statement, "In September, a handful of people in our Speak Up reporting channel commented on the analytical models that were part of the report our US fuel economy are emission compliance process. "

Ford representatives said that they believe that trust in the brand is earned" through integrity and transparency. "

Pittel describes the following measures:

  • Hiring an outside company to conduct an investigation of the company Road load is a vehicle-specific resistance value used in vehicle test bench testing, including fuel economy and emission allowances Road load is determined by design models that are validated by vehicle testing, including: • Vehicle Load Specifications physical track tests known as "coastdown testing."
  • Hiring independent technical experts from the industry as part of the Ford Inquiry Team.
  • Recruitment of an Independent Laboratory to Conduct Another Coastline T esten.
  • Evaluate potential changes to the Ford model for road load modeling, including technical, technical, and governance components.
  • This week voluntarily share concerns with the representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Air Resources Board of California (California).

"At this time, there is no indication that this affects Ford's fuel consumption labels or emission certifications," said Pittel. "We plan to work with regulators and the independent laboratory to conduct a technical review. As part of our review, we have identified potential concerns about the calculation of road load. The first vehicle we evaluate is the Ranger 2019; We also check other vehicles.

Labeling Issues in 2014

This last labeling issue is not the first for Ford, which sent checks to 215,000 Ford and Lincoln owners in June 2014 after buying inaccurate fuel-consumption cars. The models included the Ford Fiesta 2014 as well as the hybrid version of the 2013-2013 Ford Fusion, C-Max and Lincoln MKZ and the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

At that time the ratings had dropped by 1 to 7 mpg. The reimbursement depended on whether the vehicles were leased or purchased. The checks varied from $ 124 for a leased Fiesta to $ 1,050 for a purchased Lincoln MKZ.

Raj Nair, Ford's Global Product Development Director at that time, said a discrepancy in testing was noted in October 2013, and subsequent testing attributed the problem to a new method of correlating wind tunnel results. These numbers are used to determine the resistance value set on the dynamometer that tests the mileage of the vehicle.

After the incident, Ford agreed to improve the validation tests for future vehicles under EPA supervision to prevent the error from reoccurring.

News reports In 2014, Ford had to lower mileage on some models for the second time in a year. In 2013, Ford voluntarily dropped its demand for the C-Max hybrid from 47 to 43 mpg after Ford tested the Fusion Hybrid and applied the same numbers to the other vehicle.

FCA emission regulation from the year 2019

The exact marking was one also for other automakers.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles settled a lawsuit with the US Department of Justice in January 2019 to conceal diesel emission irregularities and alleged attempts to deceive regulators. As a result, affected vehicle owners received cash payments in excess of $ 3,000 each.

Including approximately $ 400 million in civil penalties, an extended warranty, a planned class action lawsuit, and other costs, the FCA is expected to spend more than $ 790 million on fraud claims involving approximately 100,000 Eco-Diesel Ram 1500 Pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees from 2014-16 were charged.

While FCA did not want to admit wrongdoing, Volkswagen confessed that it had cheated on the diesel emissions tests in the US. Both companies were accused of installing software known as "defeat devices", which can pollute vehicles on roads more heavily than tests.

Ford has explicitly stated on Thursday that no defeat devices were used.

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard: [email protected] or 313-222-6512. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid

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