Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over emissions scandal

Ivan Schwartz
June 18, 2018

Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory board has nominated Bram Schot as interim chief executive at its luxury brand Audi following the arrest of Rupert Stadler, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on Monday, without citing sources.

The 55-year-old German is being held due to the risk that he could prevent evidence from being found, the prosecutor's office has said.

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. Audi confirms CEO has been arrested but can not comment further on ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors pushed for Stadler's arrest over fears that he might try to evade justice, dpa reported.

Munich prosecutors are investigating whether Stadler acted swiftly enough to stop deliveries of manipulated Audi models in Europe once emissions problems had emerged, a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters.

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

Even if he wasn't directly involved in the diesel-engine manipulation, there has been an obvious lack of oversight at Audi that stretched over years, Pieper said.

Stadler's arrest is the most high-profile yet in the diesel gate crisis, which started when the Volkswagen group admitted in 2015 to equipping some 11 million diesels worldwide with "defeat devices" created to dupe pollution tests. That has cost it $20 billion in fines and civil settlements.

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.

Shares in Volkswagen dropped by 2 per cent in Frankfurt.

Other reports by GizPress

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