A long-time Volkswagen engineer has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with Volkswagen’s diesel emissions test cheating scandal, and 62-year-old James Robert Liang now plans to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation.
Liang, who is a German native but also has a house in Newberry Park, California, spent 25 years working in the VW Diesel Development Department. During his assignment, the automaker found itself unable to deliver on a goal of boosting fuel economy and performance while driving down emissions, so Liang and his colleagues came up with software meant to temporarily cut pollutants during emissions tests.
“Mr. Liang came to Detroit today to accept responsibility for his actions,” one of his attorneys said outside the U.S. District Court in Detroit where Liang entered his guilty plea. “He is one of many people at Volkswagen who got caught up in this emissions scandal and he’s very remorseful for what occurred.”