Ford hires outside firm to investigate US fuel economy and emissions compliance after employees raise concern

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Ford announced Thursday the motor company is hiring an outside firm to conduct an investigation into its internal process for complying with U.S. fuel economy and emissions standards.

In September, some of the company’s employees raised concerns about the analytical modeling that is part of Ford’s U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance process.

In response to the concerns, the company hired independent industry technical experts to investigate the “vehicle road load” specifications used in its testing.

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Ford has shared its concerns with Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board officials. The investigation does not involve the use of defeat devices in Ford’s products, the company said.

Kim Pittle, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, described vehicle road load testing in a statement:

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.