According to the SEC, Winterkorn and others in the company deliberately deceived investors and draftsmen about the quality and environmental compatibility of Volkswagen vehicles. While Volkswagen raised money, the company participated in a program to stop emissions testing. By using software that was activated during the tests, Volkswagen could give the impression that its diesel vehicles were producing significantly less emissions than they actually were. The test beat system was used from 2009 to 201
SEC accusations against Winterkorn and Volkswagen are just the latest legal consequences of the scandal. Previously, Winterkorn had been charged with conspiracy and cable fraud at a US court, and a former company engineer pleaded for conspiracy for his role in developing the shutdown facility used in emissions testing. Volkswagen's former chief compliance officer, Oliver Schmidt, also pleaded conspiracy allegations. While the company can sell some diesel cars back in the US, due to ongoing legal cases, it is difficult to completely abandon Dieselgate in the past.