Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany over Volkswagen diesel scandal

Daniel Fowler
June 18, 2018

A spokesperson for Porsche SE, which controls VW and Audi, said Stadler's arrest would be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Monday.

Stadler's detention follows a search last week of his private residence, ordered by Munich prosecutors investigating the manager on suspicion of fraud and indirect improprieties with documents.

Stadler is the most high-profile Volkswagen Automotive Group executive to actually be arrested in the diesel investigation so far.

Prosecutors in Munich, Stuttgart and Braunschweig are continuing their investigations of the carmaker and its units.

Audi and VW confirmed the arrest and reiterated Stadler was presumed innocent unless proved otherwise.

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

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The Dieselgate scandal dates back to 2015, when Volkswagen was caught out by USA authorities for installing emissions cheating defeat device software in millions of diesel vehicles sold worldwide.

The fallout has cost VW more than $30bn to date - the bulk of that sum in the USA where, in May, prosecutors filed criminal charges against former VW boss Martin Winterkorn.

A total of 20 people are under suspicion in the probe. He was identified by German media as Joerg Kerner, an engineer in charge of Porsche's engine division who was working at Audi when the diesel scandal broke.

U.S. prosecutors also indicted Winterkorn last month, saying he knew of the company's emissions cheating as early as May 2014 but made a decision to continue.

Winterkorn was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one of conspiring with other senior VW executives and employees to violate the Clean Air Act.

Volkswagen declined 2.2 percent to 157.88 euros and traded 2 percent lower at 11:50 local trading, extending losses this year to 5.2 percent.

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