Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Update: Ex-VW Official Arrested On Conspiracy Charges; German Automaker To Pay $3B To Settle DOJ Lawsuit

Jan 09, 2017 10:37 AM EST | Ed Saludes

Oliver Schmidt, a former Volkswagen executive, has been arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Florida as part of an investigation into the German car manufacturer's diesel emissions cheating scandal. Schmidt is facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen for cheating on diesel-emission tests. The automaker installed emissions software to meet the parameters set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This was exposed by a team of researchers from West Virginia University in 2014.

Schmidt was head of Volkswagen's regulatory compliance office in the U.S. from 2014 to March 2015. He played a central role in submitting fabricated data to the California Air Resources Board. He initially denied the deliberate cheating and attributed the excess emissions to technical problems.

In September 2016, Schmidt admitted that Volkswagen duped regulators by programming cars to cheat emission tests. He was invited by the British Parliament where he insisted that VW's cheating software is allowed in Europe.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen might pay a penalty of more than three billion dollars to settle the DOJ's criminal and civil investigations. VW is conducting talks with authorities to resolve the scandal. It previously paid $1.75 billion to address the claims made by vehicle owners and dealers.

At least 19 U.S. states filed lawsuits against Volkswagen in relation to the emissions scandal. A California court recently received investor lawsuits. The Volkswagen emissions scandal has become a pricey affair for the company. It has affected VW's reputation on a global scale. The U.S. barred the German brand from selling any diesel vehicles since the scandal of 2015.

The video below presents Fox News' report on Volkswagen's settlement to close the emissions scandal investigations. Share your thoughts on the articles in the comment section.

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