Volkswagen is still dealing with the far-reaching impact of “Dieselgate.” On Friday, one of the engineers behind the emissions cheating scandal pleaded guilty in court.
James Robert Liang admitted in court on Friday that he was a member of the engineering team that installed “defeat devices” in Volkswagen vehicles. The devices ensured that the vehicles would pass emissions inspection tests.
Despite passing the tests in lab conditions, the vehicles would turn out to spew emissions well above what lawmakers allow in their efforts to combat the global pollution caused by transportation vehicles.
Liang, 62, stood in a Michigan court and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act. The plea was a part of a plea agreement.
Liang was employed by the German automaker between 1983 to May 2008. In 2006, Liang and members of the team began working on the new “EA 189” diesel engine. It quickly became apparent that the new engine would not meet U.S. environmental standards.
To get around the problem, the engineering team came up with the defeat devices and software, which would fool emissions testing.
Liang would later be moved to the U.S. to launch the new engines here. He would continue to insist that the engines met U.S. standards for pollution.
Liang is facing up to five years of imprisonment for his part in the scandal. However, because he is cooperating with the U.S. law enforcement agencies, his term may be reduced.
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