Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

Dwayne Harmon
June 18, 2018

Audi has also been embroiled in the emissions scandal that has plagued Volkswagen.

Munich prosecutors investigating Audi's role in the 2015 scandal confirmed they arrested Stadler in the Bavarian capital because of risk that he may tamper with evidence, according to an e-mailed statement Monday.

The move is an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen since 2015 and led to billions in fines, the arrest of executives and the indictment in the USA of its former CEO.

Investors have accused the company of informing investors too late about the probe, a view the carmaker has contested, saying it couldn't have known the issue would balloon as it did.

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News of the arrest comes as Volkswagen's (VW) new group CEO Herbert Diess is trying to introduce a new leadership structure, which includes Stadler, to speed up a shift toward electric vehicles in the wake of its "dieselgate" troubles.

VW admitted in September, 2015, to using illegal software to cheat US emissions tests on diesel engines, sparking the biggest crisis in the company's history and leading to a regulatory crackdown across the auto industry. It said shortly afterward that a judge had ordered him kept in custody pending possible charges at prosecutors' request.

"We confirm that Mr. Stadler was arrested this morning". The executive was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt in the early hours on Monday, they said.

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. The major auto group had admitted to equipping roughly 11 million vehicles worldwide with a "cheating software" that was created to illegally pass pollution tests. Two are serving prison terms; Winterkorn and the others remained in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited. Last week, German prosecutors fined VW 1 billion euros over the scandal.

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