Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ex-Official with Volkswagen Admits to Role in Emissions Scandal

Ex-Official with Volkswagen Admits to Role in Emissions Scandal

Federal prosecutors filed charges against Schmidt of conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Clean Air Act and wire fraud. Prosecutors also leveled a second stand-alone charge of violating the Clean Air Act.

"You knew these representations made to USA consumers were false", Cox told Schmidt.

In exchange for Schmidt's plea, prosecutor's agreed to recommend a prison sentence of seven years or fewer and a fine of between $40,000 and $400,000.

In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve US charges it installed software in vehicles to evade emissions tests.

The carmaker reiterated it will install a software upgrade on around 4 million Euro-5 and Euro-6 models in Germany as part of a deal agreed with German top-level politicians on Wednesday to help prevent diesel cars being banned from driving into city centres.

Schmidt participated in a fraudulent VW scam that prioritized corporate sales at the expense of the honesty of emissions tests and trust of the American purchasers.Schmidt along with each and every official involved in this emissions scandal will be held fully accountable for their actions by the Department of Justice as this investigation continues.

VW reached a $15 billion civil settlement in the US with environmental authorities and auto owners. Moreover, Schmidt knew that VW was falsely marketing diesel vehicles to the USA public as being environmentally friendly and compliant with US environmental regulations, including by promoting increased fuel economy, he admitted. Schmidt admitted following VW management's instructions. He had pleaded not guilty before his change of mind.

Schmidt, who lived in Germany, was arrested in Florida last January while he was making a weekend trip to the U.S. He will remain imprisoned while he awaits sentencing.

The US also charged a former manager at Audi - which is part of Volkswagen - in July. An estimated 500,000 to 600,000 vehicles were impacted, according to the indictment. It has done after he admitted to conspiring to mislead the regulators of U.S and violating clean air laws. He also could face deportation.

Oliver Schmidt, a former head of VW's engineering and environmental office in the United States, admitted to participating in an attempted cover-up after regulators raised questions the "defeat devices". One engineer has pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced later this month.

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