Dieselgate has resulted in VW already paying north of US $30 billion as fines and penalties.
Oliver Schmidt, VW’s emissions compliance manager for the United States from 2012 - 2015, has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined US $400,000 by a US Court for his role in the infamous dieselgate scandal.
Schmidt is the second VW executive to be sentenced to prison in the USA in relation to dieselgate. In August this year, James Liang, the German carmaker’s former head of diesel competence, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and fined US $200,000.
Media reports claim that Schmidt learned of the cheating plan only in 2015. His attorney had urged the Court to deliver a lesser punishment, claiming that he only played a minor role in the scandal as compared to other senior people at Volkswagen. However, the US District Judge sentenced Schmidt to maximum sentence proposed by prosecutors, who had already dropped some charges against him in exchange for his guilty plea.
The dieselgate scandal first came to light in 2015, and in September same year, Volkswagen first admitted that it indeed had used illegal defeat devices to cheat US emissions tests.