U.S.-Based VW Executive Reportedly Faces Loss of Job in Addition to Prison

German automaker said to be readying to terminate Oliver Schmidt, days after his sentencing to seven years in jail for part in emissions case.

byKate Gibson|
Volkswagen News photo

Volkswagen is reportedly readying to ax U.S.-based executive Oliver Schmidt days after he was sentenced to the maximum of seven years behind bars for his part in a company-wide diesel-emissions scandal.  

The German automaker plans to terminate Schmidt's employment on the legal grounds that the executive committed a crime, according to Automotive News, which cited the German newspaper Bild for its account, published Friday.

The company's intended move means Schmidt would not get his VW pension, the story said.

Schmidt, 48, faced a  judge in Detroit on Wednesday who also fined the German national $400,000. He apologized in court and broke down while detailing what his family had been through since his arrest in January.

The executive previously had acknowledged his guilt in a conspiracy to outfit some 600,000 vehicles with illegal devices to skirt U.S. environmental laws. In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts to settle claims it installed software to produce fake emission results.

The reputation of VW, Germany's biggest automaker, was battered by the emission scandal that broke in 2015. However, its chief executive in November projected record deliveries of vehicles for VW in 2017 and the leader of its U.S. operations proclaimed "we're back" at December's Los Angeles Auto Show.