The Justice Department has reportedly opened an antitrust investigation into four major automakers that struck a deal with California on vehicle-emissions standards in July, sidestepping opposition from the White House.

The automakers ― Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, Volkswagen AG and Honda Motor Co. ― had said they would voluntarily agree to recognize the state’s authority to set vehicle emissions rules. This clashed with the Trump administration, which argued that federal law should prevent California from setting its own emissions rules.

The Justice Department is now looking into whether the automakers violated federal competition law by making the agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

President Donald Trump had wanted to eliminate California's right to set vehicle-emissions standards. Erin Scott / Reuters President Donald Trump had wanted to eliminate California’s right to set vehicle-emissions standards.

A spokesperson for Honda, reached by the Journal, said the company plans to cooperate with the investigation.

“Honda will work cooperatively with the Department of Justice with regard to the recent emissions agreement reached between the State of California and various automotive manufacturers, including Honda,” the company said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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