Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over diesel emission cheating scandal

Adjust Comment Print

The investigation into Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating scandal rages on with the arrest of Audi's current chief executive officer Rupert Stadler, according to Munich prosecutors. Munich prosecutors told the state-owned broadcaster that they swooped on Stadler over fears he might try to suppress evidence in the ongoing Dieselgate investigation.

German prosecutors named Stadler and one other Audi executive as suspects for fraud and false advertisement in the vehicle maker's continuing emissions scandal, Efe news reported.

The dpa news agency said Volkswagen confirmed reports that Stadler was detained Monday. "The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing".

Audi CEO detained in diesel emissions case
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over diesel emission cheating scandal

A spokesman for Porsche SE, the company that controls VW and Audi, said Stadler's arrest would be discussed at supervisory board meetings of both VW and Audi on Monday.

Stadler is the most senior executive yet to be detained in the dieselgate crisis, which started when the Volkswagen group admitted in 2015 to installing so-called "defeat devices" in some 11 million diesels worldwide that made them seem less polluting in lab tests than they actually were on the road.

VW has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States.

Volkswagen Group's woes are far from over as the emissions scandal gets uglier. Stadler has been with Volkswagen-Audi since 1994 and has held the top managerial spot at Audi since 2007, two years prior to the alleged emissions-cheating activities.

Stadler has been Audi CEO since January 2010.

The prosecutors' office last week widened its emissions-cheating probe against Audi to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

Stadler has been under fire since Audi admitted in November 2015 - two months after parent VW - that it also installed illegal "defeat device" software to cheat US emissions tests.

The Munich prosecutor's office is reportedly working towards the investigation of 19 other suspects, identities of whom haven't been disclosed, yet. Last week, German prosecutors fined VW 1 billion euros (905.3 million pounds) over the scandal.