An ex Volkswagen engineer has admitted he had known about the existence of the illegal software.
James Robert Liang has worked for Volkswagen for about 30 years, first in Germany and then in the USA. The accusation against him is referred for the 2006 – 2015 period during his working years in America. In Wolfsburg, Liang has his part, among others, in the design and development of the EA189 engine, the center of the dieselgate scandal. He also took part in management of the illegal software, also during 2014 when the company claimed ignorance about it.
According to accusation Liang had an important role in the process of hiding the software. He admitted that he was aware from the beginning that the Volkswagen cars were not able to observe the limits imposed by US law and also being aware of the fact that Volkswagen had not communicated to the American authorities the use of fraudulent software.
According to US law, for these kind of crimes Liang risks 5 years of prison penalty and 250.000 of the financial one. However, the law provides the possibility of reducing the penalty if he cooperates with the investigators. In this way he could also keep his residence in America since he is only a resident and not an American citizen.
Liang has been put on trial in June. He signed his confession on August 31st, which remained secret until Friday, September 9th. The judgment is expected on 11 January 2017 when we should also find out who is he going to accuse of complicity.