VW executive pleads guilty in emissions scandal

VW executive pleads guilty in emissions scandal

VW executive pleads guilty in emissions scandal

Earlier this year, Schmidt was charged with 11 felony counts and federal prosecutors said he could have faced a maximum of up to 169 years in prison.

Under the terms of this plea agreement between federal prosecutors and attorneys representing Schmidt, the former VW executive faces as many as seven years behind bars and a fine of $40,000 to $400,000. He will be sentenced on December 6, Reuters reported.

The German national was arrested in January at a Florida airport as he was about to travel back to Germany after a vacation. Schmidt agreed to be deported after he has completed his sentence, Cox said.

USA prosecutors say Volkswagen installed special software in certain diesel vehicles that allowed them to perform better during emissions tests than they did under normal driving conditions.

In a deal with prosecutors, Schmidt agreed to enter a guilty plea in federal court in Detroit in exchange for a lesser sentence.

VW reached a $15 billion civil settlement in the US with environmental authorities and auto owners. During two meetings in August 2015, Schmidt attempted to obtain approval for the sale of additional VW diesel vehicles by responding to questions from CARB without revealing what he knew was the truth - that the real cause for the vehicles' substantially higher emissions on the road was that VW had intentionally installed software created to cheat and evade emissions testing, he admitted.

Mr. Schmidt, dressed in a red prison jumpsuit and shackles, admitted to the judge during Friday's hearing that he knew about Volkswagen's use of the illegal software to mislead environmental regulators. He had pleaded not guilty before his change of mind.

While heading Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, he liaised with US and California regulators on compliance matters, according to prosecutors.

A former engine-development manager at Volkswagen luxury-unit Audi was charged in July. Mr. Schmidt learned of cheating software on Volkswagen vehicles during the summer of 2015, according to his plea agreement.

Schmidt's plea also involved him admitting knowledge of two reports sent from VW to the Environmental Protection Agency that were "fraudulent and misleading", and he professed that he was aware that VW's "Clean Diesel" marketing campaign was all a bunch of bogus.

Mr. Schmidt is one of eight individuals charged in the U.S.in Volkswagen's emissions cheating.

James Liang, a VW employee who pleaded guilty to misleading regulators, is cooperating with prosecutors and will be sentenced on August 25.

Schmidt admitted that he participated in discussions with other VW employees in the summer of 2015 to determine how to respond to questions from USA regulators about VW's diesel vehicles without revealing the defeat device.

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