There is so much false information on Diselgate that it's embarrassing
For the record, the trivial excess exhaust emissions from VW Diesels is 147th of the annual legal Diesel exhaust emissions from clean Diesel class 8 trucks in the U.S. which are damn clean Diesels. The U.S. EPA is a politically driven entity that needs to justify it's existence and it's chair persons' platinum lifestyle that tax payers end up paying for. The EPA did NOT discover the minute excess exhaust emissions from the VW/Audi Diesels. Independent researchers found the trivial excess exhaust emissions. A simple software upgrade makes these Diesels fully compliant with U.S. Diesel emissions laws which were designed to eliminate ALL Diesel powered vehicles in favor of EVs. The absurd U.S. emissions standards (the lowest NOx in the world), established by the EPA was a ruse perpetuated by former president Obama and the EPA. It's a scam and a plot against the populace and common sense as clean Diesels are used by the majority of countries for their excellent mpg.
I'm all for prosecuting all involved in the VW Dieselgate crime. The real crime is fraud not significant exhaust emissions. You would not know this from media reports however. If Winterkorn was part of the small group of approximately <50 people involved then he should pay a high price for his crime. Understand however that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPS), is NOT accountable to anyone. They do what they please and are extremely political. They have destroyed entire industries with absurd and unreasonable mandates that do not benefit mankind. The EPA has never proved it's claims regarding Dieselgate emissions. Instead it has blackmailed VW into making false statements or the EPA would increase the "costs" associated with Dieselgate by many BILLIONS more in fines.
In VW's case between fines, auto buy-backs (still ongoing), mandated repairs, financial payments to VW customers, etc. the cost to VW has been in excess of $20 BILLION and counting. When you learn that the EPA forced VW to buy back 150,000 Diesel cars that meet ALL U.S emissions and to publicly state that the Audi V6 Diesel doesn't meet U.S. emissions specs when it actually DOES meet and actually is superior to other Diesel emissions, you'll start to understand the gang rape the EPA has imposed on VW over trivial exhaust emissions that have harmed no one. It's worth noting that not only has the EPA damaged the value of VW vehicles, it's caused the loss of jobs in the U.S. and Europe as a result of the excessive and unreasonable costs to VW over this matter. Some folks refer to the U.S. EPA as the Evil Predatory Agency for their unconscionable and destructive actions against mankind.
If you do the research and obtain the facts, you'll find that the EPA ignores the thousands of methane gas line leaks in the U.S. that in fact are causing harm to society. Apparently these leaks which emit hundreds of times the toxic gases compared to all of the excess Diesel exhaust emissions, is unimportant to the EPA. The EPA has so blatantly misrepresented the facts in Dieselgate as to be criminal IMNHO. Unfortunately these chair persons are immune from prosecution for their fraud and violations of law. This is a clear case of abuse of power IME.