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DoJ opens probe into Ford's emissions certification process

29 April 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation over the Ford Motor Company's emissions-certification processes.

The inquiry is focused on Ford's analytical modeling and resistance testing practices, the company said in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ford said on Friday it was fully cooperating with government agencies, as it became the latest vehicle manufacturer to be investigated over emissions.

"Ford is fully cooperating with the government, and we'll keep them posted on what we're finding through our investigation and technical review", the company said.

According to Ford, the probe has nothing to do with so-called "Defeat devices".

Still, the company's disclosure immediately recalls the criminal probes of other automakers over attempts to cheat on their emissions testing, most notably Volkswagen in the well-documented Diesel-gate saga that saw the company pay $14.7 billion in fines, $3 billion in criminal penalties, and its former CEO criminally charged with fraud along with other executives at the company.

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The company also said it can not predict the outcome of the investigation and "cannot provide assurance that it will not have a material adverse effect on us".

In total, Volkswagen has agreed to pay more than $25 billion in the United States over the diesel emissions scandal, for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers, and it offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting USA vehicles.

Ford characterized the Department of Justice investigation as "still in the preliminary stages" but said "we can not predict the outcome, and we can not provide assurance that it will not have a material adverse effect on us". The price of Ford stock jumped almost 10% Friday morning, to about $10.30 a share, after the company reported especially strong North American sales of its F-series pickup trucks. In addition, we have notified a number of other state and federal agencies.

It's unclear whether the problems Ford discovered led to inaccurate mileage ratings. Ford has been investigating incorrect calculations that could have affected mileage and emissions data submitted to regulators.

Ford Motor Co.'s (F.N) blowout earnings have sent the automaker's market capitalization past Tesla Inc.'s for the first time in more than a year.

DoJ opens probe into Ford's emissions certification process