Lawyers spent roughly 90 minutes, on Wednesday in federal court in Detroit, giving different views about Oliver Schmidt's culpability in the scandal.
A USA court on Wednesday sentenced former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt to seven years in prison for his role in the German automaker's "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal. He cited a meeting in 2015 with a senior official at the California Air Resources Board at which he concealed the existence of software that allowed Volkswagen to cheat on emission tests.
VW used sophisticated software to cheat emissions rules on almost 600,000 US vehicles and 100,000 in Canada. The government says he later misled US investigators and destroyed documents. "Your goal was to impress senior management".
Mr. Schmidt, a fluent English speaker, had been a Volkswagen employee since 1997 and was named general manager of the company's engineering and environmental office in Auburn Hills, Mich., in 2013.
The diesel vehicles were programmed to trigger certain pollution results only during testing, not during regular road use.
A study published in May found that excess nitrogen oxide from improperly configured diesel vehicles had contributed to about 38,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2015. Justice Department prosecutor Ben Singer called it the "height of irony".
Schmidt was arrested in January while traveling in the United States. He's been in custody without bond.
Engineer James Liang cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was sentenced to 40 months in prison last summer.
USA prosecutors have charged eight current and former Volkswagen executives.
VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March and agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines.
"In the summer of 2015, Schmidt participated in discussions with other VW employees about how they could answer questions posed by U.S. regulators. without revealing the defeat device", the plea agreement said. But Singer noted that Schmidt still was a major player at key events and purposely "lied and deceived".
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