The emissions fixing scandal that has had Volkswagen embroiled in controversy and legal battles is finally getting some results. “Dieselgate” is the on-going legal scandal that has been occurring since the company admitted to installing software and hardware on its vehicles that read in emissions testing that the cars were emitting fewer emissions than they actually were. CNBC reported on the recent admission of one of the U.S. Volkswagen executives.
Oliver Schmidt, a Volkswagen executive for the United States arm of the car manufacturer pleaded guilty in U.S. District court in Detroit on Friday. After he was informed of the existence of the emissions cheating software during the summer of 2015, Schmidt and several other executives conspired to avoid disclosing the obvious cheating.
For his efforts, Schmidt was arrested when he traveled to the United States in January. Initially, he was facing 11 federal counts and 169 years in prison. By pleading guilty, federal prosecutors agreed to drop the majority of the charges.
Schmidt is facing a fine between $40,000 and $400,000 and up to seven years in prison. He has also agreed to be deported at the end of his prison sentence.
United States prosecutors have charged a total of eight former and current VW executives. Most of the executives facing charges in the emissions-cheating scandal are in Germany. They likely will not face charges since Germany typically does not extradite its citizens.
As part of the plea agreement, VW has agreed to spend as much as $25 billion in the United States to resolve claims from vehicle owners and regulators over pollution causing vehicles. They have offered to buy back around half a million vehicles.
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