For the Volkswagen engineer in the Detroit jail, life became easier once he was transferred to a low-security unit. Away from violent criminals, and with his reading glasses, he could read the reams of documents relating to Dieselgate – along with his favorite magazine from home, Auto Motor und Sport.
Beyond reading, the German national who loved cars and America has had plenty of time to reflect on his journey, to regret his last vacation to Florida where he was arrested, to reconsider his love for all things automotive – so passionate that he married in a VW showroom. After a lot of thinking, he has decided to cooperate with prosecutors in the case against Volkswagen about its systematic emissions cheating.
When Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt pleads guilty for lying to California’s environmental regulators in a hearing scheduled for August 4, lawmakers around the world will listen closely to whether he answers questions at the heart of the Dieselgate investigation, which was first revealed in Sept 2015. Was the scandal the work of a bunch of rogue engineers or a plan from the top?