U.S. Drops Criminal Probe Into Ford’s Emission-Testing Flaws

The U.S. Justice Department has called off a criminal investigation into Ford Motor Co. over pollution-testing flaws the automaker self-reported in 2019.

The Justice Department and the California Air Resources Board each dropped probes into the emission-testing problems “and do not intend to take any further action,” Ford said Friday in a regulatory filing. The investigations began after the automaker revealed its workers discovered issues with on-road testing to determine how aerodynamic drag and tire friction affect fuel economy in its vehicles.

“We are pleased that both the Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board have closed their investigations into Ford’s U.S. emissions-certification process,” the company said in an emailed statement Friday. “This is consistent with the company’s own investigation.”

The irregularities emerged after Volkswagen AG’s dieselgate scandal, in which the German automaker used so-called defeat devices to evade pollution regulations on its diesel-powered models worldwide. The scandal led to criminal indictments of VW executives in the U.S. and has cost the company more than $33 billion.

Ford’s regulatory filing came after it posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Thursday.

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