Volkswagen engineer from Southern California pleads guilty in US in emissions scandal – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016

A longtime Volkswagen engineer has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in a U.S. court for his role in the German automaker’s global emissions cheating scandal.

James Robert Liang, 62, a Newbury Park, Calif. resident, entered his plea Friday. As part of the plea agreement, Liang will cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The plea agreement describes a conspiracy that spans nearly 10 years.

Liang had worked in Volkswagen AG’s diesel development department in Wolfsburg, Germany, starting in 1983. In 2006, he and his “co-conspirators” started work on a new diesel engine for U.S. vehicles, the plea agreement says. When they realized they could not design one that would adhere to the strict U.S. emissions standards, they then created and implemented so-called “defeat devices” — software that could recognize when cars were being tested “in order to cheat” the tests, according to the plea agreement.

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