Audi chief Rupert Stadler arrested over 'dieselgate'

Daniel Fowler
June 21, 2018

German authorities on Monday detained the chief executive of Volkswagen's Audi division, Rupert Stadler, as part of a probe into manipulation of emissions controls.

Volkswagen first admitted in 2015 of using software to cheat on USA emissions tests. Last month, Audi said it discovered emissions-related problems in an additional 60,000 cars.

Confirming the development, a spokesperson said: "We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning". 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.

United States 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.

Last week the police raided the apartment Stadler, justifying their actions by the suspect that appeared during the investigation of diesel scandal.

Mercedes-Benz last week was also told to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after the transport ministry reported that they were fitted with emissions-cheating defeat devices.

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Most of its problems have been in the United States, where a total of nine people have been charged and two former VW executives have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison terms.

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

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was previously indicted in the United States on felony charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, but he has eluded arrest because he has not traveled to the US since the Justice Department filed charges. Stadler is one of 20 current or former Audi employees under criminal investigation related to potential fraud.

Three years after USA authorities uncovered long-standing emissions cheating by Volkswagen, Germany's slow-moving criminal investigation seems to making headway. According to the Justice Department, Winterkorn is believed to be in Germany, where it is unlikely that he will be extradited.

A spokesman for Volkswagen, which owns Audi, confirmed he was being held.

VW engineer James Liang, who cooperated with investigators, was handed 40 months in jail previous year.

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