“VW bosses live dangerously,” was the headline in Germany’s BILD tabloid (German – paywall) after the FBI arrested Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt over the weekend during a trip to Florida. The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling an array of witnesses against Volkswagen while the company is trying to close a deal to make a criminal case go away before Donald Trump comes in.
In the complaint against Schmidt, it is alleged that Volkswagen orchestrated a massive cover-up of its use of illegal defeat devices to cheat on vehicle emissions tests. Sure, this has been insinuated before, but now, the FBI is saying it. Dangerously for VW bosses, the FBI’s writ officially implicates other Volkswagen managers in the cover-up, which should impact their travel plans.