Hitler’s favourite car company got rather a lot of people cross when it fudged the results of its emissions testing meaning that VW cars pumped 40 times too much toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
Schmidt headed VW’s regulatory compliance office in the US from 2014 to March 2015. The FBI’s official Criminal Complaint states that during that time VW employees — Schmidt included — knowingly installed secret “defeat device” software in 475,000 diesel cars in the US, hiding during emissions testing the fact that those cars emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels when on the road. On the plus side it improved the car’s performance.
The complaint asserts that by knowingly installing this secret cheat software, Schmidt and VW conspired to defraud the US by impairing and impeding the Environmental Protection Agency and violating the Clean Air Act, leading to the arrest on Saturday.
Schmidt is due to appear before a Federal Court in Miami next week.