Volkswagen ‘misused’ me, Oliver Schmidt tells judge

Oliver Schmidt

Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, who is going to be sentenced this week in relation with the automaker’s emissions scandal, has written to the judge. He wrote that he feels “misused” by the automaker.

Schmidt pleaded guilty in August in the United States District Court in Detroit to misconduct connected to an enormous diesel emissions scandal that has cost Volkswagen about $30 billion. He is due to be sentenced on December 6.

“I need to say that I feel misused by my own company in the diesel scandal or ‘Dieselgate’,” Schmidt wrote to U.S. judge Sean Cox, according to a letter submitted in federal court.

The letter was originally published by Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

A Volkswagen representative refused to comment, citing the ongoing procedures.

Under a plea agreement, Schmidt confronts seven years in prison and a fine of between $40,000 and $400,000 after admitting to conspiring to deceive USA regulators and breaching clean air laws.

In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to solve U.S. charges it set up secret software in vehicles to avert emissions tests.

U.S. prosecutors have charged 8 present and former Volkswagen executives.

Schmidt supervised the company’s environmental and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, till February 2015, where he managed emissions problems.

In the letter to the judge, he stated he had accepted follow a script, or talking points, agreed by Volkswagen management and a high-ranking lawyer, at a meeting with Alberto Ayala, a California Air Resources Board executive.

“In hindsight, I should never have agreed to meet with Dr Ayala on that day,” he added.

“Or better yet, I must have gone to that meeting and ignored the directions given to me and told Dr Ayala that there is a defeat device in the Volkswagen diesel motor automobiles which Volkswagen had been cheating for almost a decade. I did not do that and that is why I discover myself here today.”

After being notified of the presence of the emissions software in 2015, as per his guilty plea, Schmidt conspired with other executives to prevent disclosing deliberate “cheating” by the automaker in a bid to look for regulative approval for its model 2016 Volkswagen 2 liter diesels.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.