Volkswagen AG ‘Misused’ Me, Accused Official Says
VW pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve US charges it installed secret software in vehicles to evade emissions tests
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Volkswagen AG (VW) executive Oliver Schmidt, who is due to be sentenced this week in connection with the emissions scandal, has written to the judge to say he feels “misused” by the company, a newspaper reported on Sunday. Mr Schmidt pleaded guilty in August in the US District Court in Detroit to wrongdoing connected to a massive diesel emissions scandal that has cost VW as much as $30 billion. He is due to be sentenced on December 6.
“I must say that I feel misused by my own company in the diesel scandal or ‘Dieselgate’,” Mr Schmidt wrote to US judge Sean Cox, according to a letter filed in federal court. The letter was originally published by Bild am Sonntag newspaper. A VW spokesman declined to comment, citing the ongoing proceedings.
Under a plea agreement, Mr Schmidt faces up to seven years in prison and a fine of between $40,000 and $400,000 after admitting to conspiring to mislead the US regulators and violating clean air laws. In March, VW pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve US charges it installed secret software in vehicles to evade emissions tests. US prosecutors have charged eight current and former VW executives.
Mr Schmidt was in charge of the company’s environmental and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, until February 2015, where he oversaw emissions issues. In the letter to the judge, he said he had agreed to follow a script, or talking points, agreed by the VW 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 wrote.