March 19, 2018

Volkswagen executive sentenced to seven years in jail over 'dieselgate'

07 December 2017, 01:06 | Hattie Nash

Volkswagen executive sentenced to seven years in jail over 'dieselgate'

Volkswagen executive sentenced to seven years in jail over 'dieselgate'

One of Volkswagen's most senior executives has been sentenced to 7 years in a U.S. prison over his role in the company's diesel emissions scandal.

Oliver Schmidt, a German national who was the general manager in charge of VW's environmental and engineering office in MI, had pleaded guilty to his part in the cover-up and argued he was "misused" by VW in its attempts to circumvent USA emissions tests.

A plea agreement means the German national faces up to seven years in prison and a fine of as much as $400,000 after he admitted plotting to deceive USA regulators and violate clean-air laws.

VW admitted in 2015 to equipping about 11 million cars worldwide with defeat devices, including about 600,000 vehicles in the United States, which allowed them to deceive emissions tests but emit up to 40 times the permissible levels of harmful nitrogen oxide during actual driving. He said he considered Schmidt a "key conspirator", who viewed the cover up as an opportunity to "shine" and "climb the corporate ladder".

"He could have made a lot of different choices", Singer said.

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Schmidt traveled to the the scandal was breaking on a mission to lie to US and Californian authorities so Volkswagen could obtain regulatory approvals to sell 2016 model year diesel vehicles in the United States, according to prosecutors.

Five other VW employees remain at large.

Chief executive Matthias Mueller last month predicted record deliveries of vehicles for the company this year, and the Volkswagen auto brand has said it expects record deliveries for 2017, and raised its midterm profitability outlook.

In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors dropped multiple counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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

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A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 (£298,778) fine, after admitting he helped the firm evade clean-air laws.

He returned to Germany the same month, where he was told about the existence of the software.

Schmidt was arrested in January while traveling in the United States.

Mr Schmidt, a German national, is one of eight current and former VW officials charged in the U.S. in the diesel emissions scandal.

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