Audi CEO arrested in Dieselgate probe

18 June, 2018, 20:29 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Audi A8

German carmaker Audi's chief executive, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested, parent company Volkswagen has said.

Stadler was arrested after a warrant was issued by a Munich prosecutor, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported, adding that his personal flat had been searched by fraud investigators last week.

The group also said that an investigation is now ongoing and it is yet to be determined whether Stadler would be remanded following the arrest. 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. Before becoming Audi CEO in 2007, Stadler worked as chief of staff to VW's former chairman Ferdinand Piech.

Munich prosecutors and Stadler himself were not immediately available for comment. Stadler, 55, has been placed on leave after Munich prosecutors took him into custody in the early hours at his home in Ingolstadt, Germany, they said.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to the criminal charges pressed against the company where two managers are serving prison time in US.

At 1040 GMT, VW shares were down 2.7 per cent at 156.70 euros, one of the biggest falls by a European blue-chip stock.

Audi CEO detained in diesel emissions case

Stadler has been Audi CEO since January 2010.

The Audi probe: Audi has been accused of having sold at least 210,000 diesel-engine cars fitted with cheat software in the U.S. and Europe, starting in 2009. The 56-year-old executive was named to Audi's management board last year, long after the scandal erupted.

Stadler has held onto his post mainly thanks to the backing of members of VW's controlling Porsche-Piech families.

The infamous Dieselgate scandal surfaced in 2015 and has cost the Volkwagen Group billions of dollars.

The arrest comes just a week after German prosecutors fined Volkswagen $1.2 billion, Esme Nicholson reports for NPR from Berlin.

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