Oliver Schmidt, a former Emissions Compliance Manager in Volkswagen USA was arrested for cover up of information about the VW emissions defeat device before its existence came to light.
In what would be deemed fit for a Hollywood movie scene, a Volkswagen Executive was arrested last Saturday at Miami International Airport as he was on the verge of catching a flight back home to Germany. The VW Executive in question is Oliver Schmidt, who is a former top Emissions Compliance Manager in Volkswagen USA.
The F.B.I. arrested Oliver Schmidt accusing him of deceiving American regulators “by offering reasons for the discrepancy other than the fact that VW was intentionally cheating on U.S. emissions tests, in order to allow VW to continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States,” an affidavit read.
Mr. Schmidt played a crucial role in trying to convince US regulators that excessive emissions were caused by technical problems rather than by deliberate cheating, Ian Dinsmore, an F.B.I. agent, said in a sworn affidavit used as the basis for Mr. Schmidt’s arrest.
It is reported that for more than a year Volkswagen officials gave false technical explanations for high emissions from certain diesel VW cars until September 2015 when VW officials including Oliver Schmidt formally stated that they were aware of a defeat device fitted to VW cars. This device was programmed to cheat during emissions tests as it could detect when they were in such a test and cut down engine performance to reduce tail pipe emissions.
Currently Volkswagen is under the liability to pay $16 billion in fines to owners of diesel Volkswagen vehicles in USA but it is said that the fines will increase by several billion dollars.
The arrest of Oliver Schmidt comes as a move after the Justice Department and Volkswagen neared a deal in which VW would pay over 2 billion in fines to resolve this criminal investigation along with the company or one of its corporate entities is expected to plead guilty as part of the deal.
The settlement to this could come next week as Volkswagen is eager to put this Justice Department investigation behind it before Donald Trump is sworn in as President of the United States of America on the 20th of January.