Ford Motor Company admitted in a financial filing on Friday that it’s under investigation by the US Department of Justice over its internal emissions testing practices. The investigation is still in the preliminary stages according to the automaker.
Notably, Ford says the investigation has nothing to do with the use of defeat devices, or software meant to deceive regulators, which was the issue at the center of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal.
Ford announced in February that it had launched an investigation into its own emissions testing practices after employees raised red flags over potential consistency problems.
Those employees discovered Ford may have been miscalculating road load, which is a measurement of the forces like aerodynamic drag or tire resistance on a car when it’s traveling at a constant speed on smooth, flat ground. (Coming up with a lower road load figure in the lab versus in the real world, for example, could lead an automaker to believe its cars were getting better fuel economy and therefore emitting less pollution.)
The company said it hired law firm Sidley Austin to perform the investigation, and alerted the Environmental Protection Agency. Ford said Friday that it’s also now working with the California Air Resources Board to fix whatever problems might exist.