Tuesday, September 14, 2021
statement in emissions scam
Former VW manager lies to US officials
When VW was up to its neck in the emissions scandal, a manager had to appease American officials. His command from above is clearly not to address illegal defeat devices – even if he himself is aware of it. For him, the strategy turns upside down.
Before the VW fraud process began before the Braunschweig Regional Court, one of the people involved in the scandal spoke about the carmaker’s handling of fraudulent software. “I didn’t tell US officials everything I knew,” former VW manager Oliver Schmidt told NDR. “He was my undoing.”
According to the report, Schmidt was sent to the United States for damage control in the summer of 2015, when it was discovered that the nitrogen oxide emissions of vehicles on the road were far higher than permitted. It was suspected that officials would further investigate whether an illegal test was detected in a so-called “defeat device” in VW diesel cars. “There were conversations where I was told what to say,” Schmidt told NDR. “There was a script of what to say and what not to say. Among other things, I shouldn’t have said that word ‘lost device.'”
The station quoted a former VW manager as saying that the instructions were discussed in a round with senior managers and the legal department. The diesel scandal at VW went public in mid-September 2015; The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that VW had manipulated exhaust gas prices. The carmaker admitted that it had installed software in some diesel engines that reduced nitrogen oxide emissions only on test benches, but not in road traffic.
Manager sentenced to prison and released
In December 2017, Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 fine for conspiracy to commit fraud and violate environmental laws. Volkswagen fired him that same month. After several years in US custody, Schmidt was eventually transferred to Germany and released on parole.
In Braunschweig, the commercial and gang fraud proceedings against four other VW executives begin Thursday — the process against former owner Martin Winterkorn was spun off from the process. The men are accused of deliberately defrauding buyers to varying degrees in relation to necklace devices illegally installed in Volkswagen vehicles from 2006 to 2015.
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