Saturday August 26, 2017

VW Engineer Sentenced to 40-Month Prison Term in Diesel Case

Former engineer James Liang has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for being involved in Volkswagen’s multiyear scheme to sell diesel cars that generated more pollution than US clean air rules allowed. He has also been ordered to pay a $200,000 fine, 10 times the amount sought by federal prosecutors. The judge is hoping that these punishments will deter other auto industry engineers and executives from similar schemes to deceive regulators and consumers.

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Volkswagen pleaded guilty in March to three felony charges under an agreement with prosecutors to resolve the U.S. criminal probe of the company itself. It agreed to spend as much as $25 billion in the United States to resolve claims from owners and regulators and offered to buy back about 500,000 vehicles. Volkswagen has admitted that it used software to deceive regulators in the United States and Europe from 2006 to 2015. The ruse allowed the automaker to sell diesel-equipped cars and sport utilities without installing emissions control systems that could have compromised performance or posed an inconvenience to customers, prosecutors charged.