Statements in emissions scandal: Ex-VW chief lies to US authorities

Statements in the emissions scandal
A former director of Volkswagen falls to the US authorities

When Volkswagen was on the brink of an emissions scandal, the then-manager was supposed to please the US authorities. Apparently the order he gave from above was not to address the illegal devices of defeat – even though he knew about them himself. For him, the strategy is counterproductive.

Before the start of the Volkswagen scam before the regional court of Braunschweig, one of those involved in the scandal spoke about the car manufacturer’s handling of the fraudulent program. “I haven’t told the US authorities everything I know,” Oliver Schmidt, a former director of Volkswagen, told NDR. “This was a dip for me.”

According to the report, Schmidt was dispatched to the United States in the summer of 2015 for damage control after it was discovered that nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles on the road were much higher than permitted. It is suspected that the authorities will conduct further investigations into whether there is an illegal test to detect VW diesel cars, the so-called “defeat device”. “There were conversations in which I was told what I was going to say,” Schmidt told the NDR newspaper. “There was a script for what to say and what not to say. Among other things, I shouldn’t say that word ‘defeat device’.”

The station quoted a former Volkswagen director as saying that the instructions were discussed on a tour with senior managers and the legal department. The Volkswagen diesel scandal became public in mid-September 2015; The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that VW has tampered with exhaust gas values. The car manufacturer admitted that it installed software in some diesel engines that only reduced nitrogen oxide emissions on the test stand, but not in road traffic.

A manager was sentenced to prison and released

Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 fine in December 2017 for conspiracy to commit fraud and violating environmental laws. Volkswagen fired him in the same month. After several years in US custody, Schmidt was finally transferred to Germany and released on parole.

In Braunschweig, a commercial fraud and mass fraud operation against four other Volkswagen executives began on Thursday – the operation against former president Martin Winterkorn was dismissed for this operation. The men are accused of deliberately deceiving buyers to varying degrees regarding defeat devices illegally installed in Volkswagen cars from 2006 to 2015.

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