Monday, 11 December, 2017

Volkswagen Senior Manager Oliver Schmidt Sentenced To Seven Years

VW Executive Gets 7 Years In Prison In Emissions Cheating Scandal Former Volkwagen executive sentenced to 7 years in jail for emissions scandal
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2017, 07:17

A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in jail and given a $400,000 (£300,000) fine after pleading guilty to helping the German carmaker cheat on diesel emissions tests.

In August, Oliver Schmidt pled guilty to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the US and violating the Clean Air Act in connection with Volkswagen's "clean diesel" emissions cheating scandal.

But at the sentencing in Detroit judge Sean Cox sided with the prosecution.

To view the full article, register now. He said he considered Schmidt a "key conspirator", who viewed the cover up as an opportunity to "shine" and "climb the corporate ladder".

Last week, Schmidt's attorneys made a last-minute bid requesting a lighter sentence for Schmidt: 40 months of supervised release and a $100,000 fine.

He is one of eight people charged by US authorities in the emissions scandal, which involved installing software in some 500,000 VW 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the USA from 2009 through 2015 to make USA authorities believe that the vehicles met US emissions standards. Five other executives were indicted by the United States and remain in Germany, avoiding arrest. Six of those remain at large.

The scandal has cost Volkswagen billions of dollars in fines and settlements.

Volkswagen rebounded from the scandal during the past year.

Schmidt said he had only himself to blame and that his loyalty to Volkswagen allowed him to be "misused" by the company.

At the Los Angeles auto show last week, the head of Volkswagen's USA operations declared, "we're back", citing improved USA vehicle sales.

Alongside the sentence Schmidt was fined $400,000. As part of his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop most of the counts and Schmidt consented to be deported at the end of his prison sentence.

Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in MI from 2012 to early 2015.

He returned to Germany the same month where he was told about the existence of the software. Schmidt said he first learned about the company's scheme in the summer of 2015, at the tail-end of the conspiracy.

Regulators in the United States and Europe are investigating other automakers for potential violations of diesel emissions rules. He admitted knowing about and agreeing with engineers to carry out a scheme to install a device on certain VW diesel vehicles that would switch on for emissions tests, but switch off during normal driving.