Audi Boss Rupert Stadler Arrested During Diesel Probe

19 June, 2018, 20:24 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Image AFP  Christof Stache

The devices were initially found in VW's cars, but its Audi subsidiary has also been embroiled in the scandal.

Volkswagen Group has announced that German authorities have detained Rupert Stadler, CEO, Audi, on Monday June 18, 2018.

According to Munich-based public prosecutors, Stadler was being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising, and for his alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software to the European market.

However, as Winterkorn remains in Germany U.S. authorities haven't arrested him.

Audi used a statement to confirm its CEO has been "provisionally arrested", and highlighted the fact he's innocent until proven guilty - which he hasn't been, at this point.

Some of Volkswagen's diesel engines had a "defeat device" that made it possible for them to pass emissions tests, even though the vehicles were releasing more than 10 times the permitted amounts of nitrogen oxide, a gas that is harmful to human health and the environment.

A manager at Porsche was also detained in April. They were good days for VW, leading to the highest-ranking diesel vehicle sales for both Audi and WV brands with turbo direct injection (TDI) engines.

Auto industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of the vehicle research centre called the allegations against Stadler "very serious".

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Audi had no immediate comment. VW's supervisory board is meeting on Monday, where Stadler's future will be among the topics of discussion.

Volkswagen Group's woes are far from over as the emissions scandal gets uglier.

Two former VW chief executives - Martin Winterkorn and his successor Matthias Mueller - have both landed in the sights of German prosecutors. Investors have accused the company of informing investors too late about the probe, a view the auto maker has contested.

Present boss Herbert Diess has been accused of knowing about diesel cheating before it became public - an allegation rejected by the firm last month.

US authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn in May, but it's unlikely that he will face trial in the USA, as Germany doesn't extradite suspects to countries outside the European Union.

The arrest comes one week after Germany imposed a €1 billion ($1.2 billion) penalty on Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, for rigging diesel engine emissions worldwide.

In doing so, VW said it admitted its "responsibility for the diesel crisis".

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