VW Diesel Cheating Scandal, An engineer pleads guilty


Volkswagen engineer, James Robert Liang, recently appeared in the U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to charges of committing Wire Fraud, plans to defraud the Government and infringing the Clean Air Act. According to reports on the Lawsuit, Liang is accused of allegedly developing a device which he admits cheats the emissions tests as it recognizes when the vehicle is being driven under the normal driving settings and was carrying out standard US emissions testing on a dynamometer. This device was specifically made for the 2.0-liter TDI engine found in the Volkswagen Jetta.

Liang first started working in 1983 at the Volkswagen headquarters in Germany after which he relocated to the United States in 2008 and was entitled to the post of Leader of Diesel Competence. Liang first came into the picture in a lawsuit against Volkswagen by Massachusetts and New York which claimed that the executives had previous knowledge of the cheating device. It is alleged that Liang started developing this cheating device in 2006 and has been testing it at the California automaker’s facility.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Liang and his associates in this matter realized that the Volkswagen diesel engines would not level up to the strict U.S. emissions standards and as such, Liang admits that he developed this cheating device while being knowledgeable to the fact that Volkswagen Diesel vehicles were being marketed as having ‘Clean Diesel’.

Liang also admittedly stated that he assisted others in lying to federal and state regulators and also to customers after some voiced concerns of the Volkswagen Diesel Vehicles.

Liang has been the first employee and only employee thus far to undergo charges regarding the German automaker's emissions scandal. His charges include up to 5 years prison time and a $250,000 charge. According to Detroit News, this charge includes the accusation of violating the Clean Air Act which entails two years of jail time sentence plus a $250,000 charge. However, due to a plea bargain with the U.S., Liang was pardoned from those charges.