Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Volkswagen pleads guilty to cheating emissions tests

Volkswagen pleads guilty to cheating emissions tests

Volkswagen pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a brazen scheme to get around USA pollution rules on almost 600,000 diesel vehicles by using software to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests.

The sentence won't be handed down until April. Volkswagen initially denied the use of the so-called defeat device, but the automaker admitted it in September 2015.

Summing up the scandal, Assistant U.S. Atty. The company still faces investor lawsuits in the USA and in Germany, as well as consumer lawsuits and a criminal probe in Germany.

Doess said at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Detroit that he was authorized by the board of directors of VW to enter a guilty plea on its behalf. And that's in the United States alone - these cars were shipped worldwide, so the automaker must deal with governments and customers around the world. The automaker resolved those cases before the criminal settlement and it directed the law firm investigating the matter to share findings with the government "essentially in real time", allowing for swift prosecution of individual employees, he said.

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After admitting to its malfeasance, Volkswagen promised a mixture of reforms and audits, which included independent oversight for three years.

"Volkswagen deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to the diesel crisis", the company said in an emailed statement after the hearing.

They include Oliver Schmidt, who was in charge of Volkswagen's environmental and engineering office in MI.

US regulators confronted VW about the software after West Virginia University researchers discovered differences in testing and real-world emissions.

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