Audi CEO Arrested in Germany Over Dieselgate Scandal
【Summary】The fallout from the diesel emission scandal continues to rock the Volkswagen and Audi brands. German police arrested the CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler on Monday in connection with the ongoing investigation into Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal.
The fallout from the diesel emission scandal continues to rock the Volkswagen and Audi brands. German police arrested the CEO of Audi AG, Rupert Stadler on Monday in connection with the ongoing investigation into Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal.
Munich prosecutors ordered a search of Stadler's home last week, and officials told the BBC that "they had acted because of a risk that Mr Stadler might seek to suppress evidence."
"We confirm that Rupert Stadler was taken into custody pending trial this morning at the request of the Munich II Public Prosecutor's Office," an Audi spokesman told NPR. "In view of the ongoing investigations, we have no further comment to make on this matter. The presumption of innocence continues to apply for Mr. Stadler."
Stadler, who joined Audi in 1990, is under investigation for "fraud and indirect improprieties with documents." Prosecutors are investigating whether Stadler "acted quickly enough to stop deliveries of manipulated Audi vehicles within Europe."
The arrest comes just a week after German prosecutors fined Volkswagen, Audi's parent company $1.2 billion. VW has admitted that it cheated emissions testing by equipping diesel vehicles with software that falsified emissions in order to pass stringent pollution tests. In addition, emission control devices were turned off at other times to increase engine power. The cheats to increase power resulted in emissions up to 40 times higher than the permitted levels.
Thousands of VW & Audi vehicles stored in the desert near Victorville, California
So far, the diesel recalls extended to nearly 900,000 Audi vehicles. In the U.S., VW bought back 350,000 diesel vehicles from customers. Unable to sell them, the cars are being stored in over 30 locations around the U.S.
As NPR has reported, six Volkswagen executives were indicted on May on charges of conspiracy and fraud in connection with the years-long emissions scheme, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Just last month, Audi acknowledged that an additional 60,000 cars had been discovered to have "emissions-related problems," Reuters reported. At the time, Stadler told shareholders that the company was in "close consultation with the authorities."
According to prosecutors, Stadler could be released as early as next week if he cooperates with investigators.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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