Audi CEO arrested over diesel probe

Andrew Cummings
June 18, 2018

Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler has been arrested by Munich prosecutors in relation to the ongoing Dieselgate investigations.

Rupert Stadler, CEO of German auto producer Audi, briefs the media during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Audi's parent company, the Volkswagen Group, has confirmed via a spokesperson that Stadler was arrested this morning.

Stadler's arrest is the latest blow to the Volkswagen group, which has struggled to shake off the dieselgate crisis and continues to face a litany of investigations at home and overseas.

In the Reuters report, Stadler had his contract extended in 2017 and was named as a suspect alongside another unnamed member of Audi's board of management.

Just last week, VW agreed to pay a €1bn fine imposed by German prosecutors for cheating to get around diesel-emissions regulations.

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.

Volkswagen first admitted in 2015 of using software to cheat on US emissions tests.

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

The Volkswagen emissions scandal began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group.

The probe, however, focuses only on cars sold in Europe which were believed to have emission manipulation devices installed which turned emissions control off during regular driving. They are also investigating Winterkorn and 48 others.

VW has set aside around US$30 billion to cover fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits since its "dieselgate" scandal broke, and has announced plans to spend billions more on a shift to electric vehicles as it seeks to rebuild its reputation.

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