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VW exec arrested by FBI over “Dieselgate”

A top executive at Volkswagen was arrested in Florida by the FBI, due to a suspected connection with the Dieselgate scandal that emerged in recent years.

Over Schmidt, the former top emissions compliance manager for VW in the States, was arrested by the FBI and accused of being key figure in a conspiracy to prevent regulators from finding out that VW’s diesel vehicles were designed to cheat emission tests, according to the New York Times.

Over 11 million cars were designed to cheat the system

California began an investigation into Volkwagen’s emissions in 2014, with air quality officials investigating an apparent discrepancy between high emissions levels and internal software.

It was eventually discovered that VW had installed software which could detect when the vehicles were undergoing emissions tests and turn on systems which would reduce emissions. However, while the cars were on the road, these systems were not implemented, spewing 40 times the levels of nitrogen oxide allowed by the Clean Air Act.

According to the Times, Mr. Schmidt was a key figure in the cover-up, repeatedly pushing the narrative that the excess emissions were due to technical problems rather than by design.

Volkswagen later admitted that it had fitted some 11 million diesel cars with the illegal software.

The company has agreed to a $2 billion deal with the Justice Department to end the criminal investigation, and has already agreed to pay nearly $16 billion in civil suits.

Owners of the diesel vehicles have the option of selling them back to VW or getting them fixed.

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