Porsche Powertrain Chief Arrested By German Police

Andrew Cummings
April 21, 2018

German police have arrested Porsche's powertrain development chief, Joerg Kerner, in connection with parent Volkswagen Group's sweeping diesel emissions violations, sources said.

Jörg Kerner, who took up the role in 2011, was arrested this week according to a Reuters source, with German prosecutors confirming that somebody had been remanded in custody because of the flight risk.

Earlier this week German prosecutors searched around 10 premises in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg as part of inquiries into emissions manipulations.

He came to the VAG group from Robert Bosch GmbH in 2004 and worked for Audi for several years as the architect and head of Audi's engine and transmission electronics design, software and functional development division. Beyond that engine, investigators think Audi developed the "cheating" software that let VW hide high emissions in millions of diesel passenger cars.

Kerner is viewed as a close confidant of Matthias Mueller, the former Volkswagen CEO who was ousted about a week ago who was also the CEO of Porsche before that.

State prosecutors have listed their accusations against Porsche in a 36-page dossier which claims that the carmaker was aware of the fact that diesel-motors used in models such as the Porsche "Cayenne" and "Macan " produced by its sister company Audi were illegally-tampered with.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office declined to name the person, but said it was not a Porsche management board member.

The arrest of Joerg Kerner on Thursday was related to ongoing inquiries into emissions manipulation at Volkswagen, more than two years after the German carmaker admitted cheating on US exhaust tests, the person said.

Porsche declined to comment on the investigation, saying it was an ongoing matter, and declined to make Steiner available for comment.

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