FBI Arrest Volkswagen Exec Over Dieselgate Scandal
Jan 09, 2017 12:14 PM EST
The FBI arrested an important Volkswagen executive as part of the criminal investigation into the company's emissions scandal, also known as Dieselgate, The New York Times reports. OOliver Schmidt, the executive who ran Volkswagen's US regulatory compliance issues between 2014 and 2015, was arrested. He will be charged with conspiracy against the U.S.
Volkswagen did not confirm the arrest, and a spokesperson told the New York Times that Volkswagen keeps cooperating with the Department of Justice. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department has commented about it, but legal actionsagainsts Volkswagen name Oliver Schmidt as an important figure in Volkswagen's emissions scandal, Dieselgate.
Millions of vehicles have been fitted with devices to pass emissions tests
Apart from Volkswagen, the Group is also the owner of German carmakers Audi and Porsche. The Group allegedly hid the fact that their diesel vehicles had been equipped with "defeat devices" to pass emissions tests, while concealing the actual amounts of harmful emissions. This is seen as lack of honesty and conspiracy against consumers.
In September of 2015, the Volkswagen Group acknowledged that the "defeat device" is real and admitted that it had fitted some 475,000 vehicles in the United States and up to 11 million vehicles worldwide. This scandal has damaged the image and reputation of the vehicle company.
Schmidt is not the first person to face criminal charges because of fraud, it has happened before. James Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty to defraud the American consumers last September. The car company has already committed to paying $14.7 billion over the vehicle scandal, but Schmidt, would be the biggest name yet in the criminal investigation. The executive said that discrepancies between emissions recorded in normal driving sessions and tests were the result of technical problems, instead of evidence of cheating.