I guess it should surprise no one that VW Engineer and apparent mastermind of EVERY DECISION VW MADE will probably not face any prison time. Seeing as how the effects of Clean Air Act violations haven’t killed anyone I am glad for this potential outcome.
Ever since we’ve learned of VW’s transgressions I have not called for jail time for any VW employee, at least not in the US as the DOJ was perfectly okay with GM going, “Oops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.” And the result of the “mistake” was the death of innocent people. The DOJ was also okay with Takata’s falsifying of test records which led them to manufacture tens of millions of faulty airbags which have also resulted in the deaths of innocent people, and many millions of dollars in costs to automakers.
It would be assinine for the DOJ to then turn around and throw a couple of low-level VW engineers in prison for life when their actions did not cause any deaths. And I know there are commenters on the front page that have pointed out “studies” that have said the increased NOx emissions could be contributed to premature deaths of a number of people. But by the “logic” every single automaker that produces a car which emits pollution should be held accountable for respiratory related deaths. And any person in the US that removes their catalytic converter, or modifies their emissions system to pollute more should automatically spend the rest of their lives in prison. But that doesn’t happen, and that’s because you can not prove a polluting car caused the death of a specific person.
Now, having said all of that, if German prosecutors want to hold their citizens accountable for breaking their emission laws, or the EU’s, or the US’s I’m all for that. I am not advocating those that have been proven to advance the cheating should get away with it. They should be punished, but the DOJ looks like hypocritical assholes throwing the book at foreign engineers when they let their own citizens get away with murder.