German authorities no longer treat Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal as a gentlemen’s offense, like they have done so since after the scandal erupted nearly two years ago. Earlier in the week, suspended Audi diesel engine engineer Giovanni Pamio was arrested by Munich’s prosecutors.
PAMIO led a team of engineers responsible for designing emissions control systems to meet emissions standards, including for nitrogen oxides ("NOx"), for diesel vehicles in the United States. PAMIO and his co-conspirators, however, realized they could not calibrate a diesel engine that would meet NOx emissions standards within the design constraints imposed by other departments at the company. In order to nevertheless market and sell vehicles with the Audi diesel engine in the United States, PAMIO and his co-conspirators directed Audi employees to design and implement software functions to cheat the standard U.S. emissions tests, and then deliberately failed to disclose the software functions, and misrepresented, and caused to be misrepresented, to the regulators and U.S. customers, that the vehicles complied with U.S. NOx emissions standards, when they knew the vehicles did not.