Volkswagen’s (VLKAY - Free Report) troubles continue in regards to its emissions scandal after a secret German site has been uncovered relating to the case. Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors are pursuing a three-year prison sentence for a VW engineer who had a key role in the scandal.
Back in September 2015, Volkswagen admitted to installing secret software in diesel cars to cheat nitrogen oxide emissions tests. As many as 11 million vehicles worldwide had the secret software in place to make them appear cleaner than they were.
It is now uncovered that Volkswagen operated a top-secret site at its Wolfsburg, German headquarters to test the diesel technology. According to Bloomberg, the facility had unusually tight security rules that prevented access to those not involved in the project, demonstrating the lengths the company went to conceal their actions.
Volkswagen has previously maintained that the software manipulations had been isolated to a small group of rogue engineers. This newly uncovered test site, however, and its close proximity to the offices of top executives, shows that senior executives may have known more than they have previously admitted to.
Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday that they will seek a three-year prison sentence for Robert Liang, one of two Volkswagen employees to plead guilty in the scheme. Liang pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in federal court in Detroit.
Prosecutors claim that Liang was aware that Volkswagen was installing software to cheat U.S. emission rules on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. The government said he wasn’t the mastermind but took part in “pivotal events.”
Liang has asked the judge to sentence him to probation and 1,500 hours of community service instead. His lawyer argues that he is not “greedy or immoral” but simply went along in order to keep his job and provide for his family.
Early this year, Volkswagen agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators to resolve the 2015 scandal. However, these two new stories today suggest the scandal won’t die down anytime soon.
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