Mr. Schmidt is the second to plead guilty after James Liang, an engineer based from 1983 to 2008 in Wolfsburg, the headquarters of VW in Germany, where he worked in the department in charge of diesel development.
Prosecutors and lawyers in the criminal case told a federal judge Tuesday morning that Mr. Schmidt has agreed to plead guilty, a spokesman for the U.S. District Court in Detroit said.
"They set the plea date for 9:30 a.m., August 4", Ashenfelter said. Mr. Schmidt had been awaiting trial while behind bars in MI. Schmidt's lawyer, David DuMouchel, declined comment when asked about his client's decision.
Volkswagen in March pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the USA and has admitted to rigging almost 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles with illegal software that allowed them to pass government emissions tests and then pollute far beyond legal limits on the road.
The manufacturer said 11 million of its vehicles were affected worldwide - including nearly 1.2 million in the UK. In the US alone, legal settlements could cost Volkswagen more than $25 billion depending on how many vehicles the auto maker ends up repurchasing to compensate consumers. One of eight executives charged thus far, Schmidt was picked up as he tried to leave the country in January.
Earlier in July the Justice Department charged Giovanni Pamio, a former manager from Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, with directing employees to design emission-cheating software.
To clarify the reference to "hiding out", the government of Germany typically doesn't extradite its citizens to face charges in other countries. The charges that resulted from VW being caught in the act include conspiring to defraud the United States, violate its customer agreement, and skirt the Clean Air act. The full terms of his plea bargain are not yet known.
Understandably, a Volkswagen spokesperson declined to comment.
Schmidt is accused of knowingly providing the Environmental Protection Agency with false information about engine computers in Volkswagen's diesel vehicles, which investigations found were purposefully programmed to hide unlawful emissions performance. Despite facing the backlash from the emissions scandal, which first broke out in September 2015, and cost a significant amount to the German auto maker, the company's vehicle delivery suggests that Volkswagen is on a successful growth track, signalling that there has been no indelible marks on its reputation.