James Liang pleaded guilty to charges of violating the clean air act and fraud. He is the first of the company’s employees to be formerly charged, as part of the US justice department’s year long probe into Volkswagen’s air pollution scandal, when it was discovered that some of the car manufacturer’s diesel engines were able to circumvent emission tests. Liang’s trial will begin in January and, if convicted, he could face up to 5 years in jail. He joined the firm in 1983, Ironically, Liang’s title was ‘Leader of Diesel Competence’. It is believed that the trial will be the first of many of its kind.