BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has ordered its road transport watchdog to look at whether Ford's (F.N) mid-sized Mondeo model contains an illegal emissions cheating device, business weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported on Thursday, citing the transport ministry.
The transport ministry was not immediately available for comment.
WirtschaftsWoche said the inspections were prompted by emission test data that could indicate the use of such devices.
An unnamed institute has been commissioned to carry out the tests which are already underway, Wirtschaftswoche said.
Ford Europe had no immediate comment. Spokespeople at Ford's operations in Germany did not immediately return Reuters' calls seeking comment.
WirtschaftsWoche cited Ford Germany chief Gunnar Herrmann as denying any wrongdoing. "No illegal shut-off devices were used in our diesel exhaust after-treatment systems," he told the magazine. He said that Ford had "neither cheated, nor used tricks".
The auto industry came under scrutiny almost two years ago after U.S. regulators exposed emissions test cheating by VW. This led to wider revelations that diesel vehicles from most manufacturers release far more toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the road than in tests.
Ford and Germany's three main carmakers - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) - this week announced incentives to drivers who trade in older diesel models for new, cleaner models. [nL5N1KO3X9]
Reporting by Markus Wacket and Andreas Cremer; Writing by Joseph Nasr. Editing by Jane Merriman