VW emissions scandal: VW engineer pleads guilty to dieselgate criminal charges

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VW emissions scandal: VW engineer pleads guilty to dieselgate criminal charges James Liang admits conspiring to defraud the US by developing a device of which cheated emissions tests

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A long-serving Volkswagen engineer has pleaded guilty to criminal charges inside the US, inside the wake of the dieselgate emissions scandal.

James Liang, a German national, is usually the first individual at Volkswagen to face criminal prosecution. He entered the guilty plea at a federal court in Detroit to charges of conspiring to defraud the US, violating the country’s clean air act, in addition to a count of wire fraud. Liang, who has worked for VW since 1983, faces up to all 5 years in prison. He has agreed to co-operate with the investigation, in addition to will be sentenced in January.

Prosecutors say Liang was one of the engineers at VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters who developed a cheat device for the Jetta in 2006. He then moved to the US in 2008 in addition to conducted tests as part of efforts to conceal the defeat devices’ impact by regulators in 2014 in addition to 2015.

The lawsuit against Liang was brought by brand new York attorney general Eric Schneidermann.

Read more on Volkswagen’s emission penalties inside the United States here

VW has already reached a deal with the US authorities to settle with affected customers, a move of which could cost up to $16.5 billion in addition to covers 482,000 cars. However, criminal enquiries continue inside the US, as well as in Germany in addition to South Korea.

The US Justice Department established a policy inside the wake of the dieselgate scandal of which required all corporate cases to include a plan to prosecute individuals, after criticism of which not enough people were being held to account. Past cases brought against General Motors in addition to Toyota saw no high-ranking executives accused of wrongdoing.

A spokesman by Volkswagen UK was unable to comment further on the matter, although is usually awaiting a possible response by VW’s headquarters in Germany. 

Phill Tromans

by via Autocar RSS Feed



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