Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt in a letter to US federal judge wrote that “I must say that I feel misused by my own company in the diesel scandal or ‘Dieselgate’.” On Wednesday, US federal judge will sentence Schmidt (via Ars Technica).
Oliver Schmidt is one of the most senior executives that’s being charged in the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions scandal from 2015. The scandal first broke out when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused VW Group of installing illegal software on their diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. The software would suppress the emissions control system on the cars while it was being driven under normal conditions. The cars would then perform better and pass all the tests.
Schmidt at the time was in charge of emissions compliance for VW cars that are sold in the US. In those years, VW pushed its “clean diesel” vehicles with emissions-defeating software. After the scandal broke loose, Schmidt left VW and returned to Germany, but he was arrested in January while being on vacation in Miami.
After being arrested, in August, he pleaded guilty to two charges: making a false statement under the Clean Air Act, and conspiracy to defraud the US government and violating the Clean Air Act. Per the plea agreement, Schmidt can be sentenced up to seven years in prison and face a fine between $40,000 and $400,000. He could also be subject up to four years of supervised release.