Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany diesel scandal

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany diesel scandal

The investigation into Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating scandal rages on with the arrest of Audi's current chief executive officer Rupert Stadler, according to Munich prosecutors.

Munich prosecutors said Rupert Stadler was being detained due to fears he might hinder an ongoing investigation into the scandal, plunging VW into a leadership crisis.

Rupert Stadler, CEO of German vehicle producer Audi, briefs the media during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany.

In November 2015 Audi admitted installing emissions defeat devices in its cars, and Audi's been pegged in several reports as the source of the initial defeat software responsible for Dieselgate.

As part of the investigation, Stadler's home has been raided, while authorities are now investigating 19 other suspects, the identities of whom have not been disclosed.

Two former VW chief executives - Martin Winterkorn and his successor Matthias Mueller - have both landed in the sights of German prosecutors.

Stadler, 55, who joined Audi in 1990 and has been its CEO since 2007, has enjoyed the full backing of VW's top brass so far.

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The prosecutors' office recently widened its emissions cheating probe to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

The Munich prosecutors said the move against Stadler was not made at the behest of US authorities.

But Dudenhoeffer said VW's supervisory board may want to reconsider its stance when it meets today.

The emissions scandal first emerged in 2015.

Just last week, VW agreed to pay a one-billion-euro fine to settle a probe by German prosecutors.

Volkswagen admitted that almost 600,000 cars sold in the United States were fitted with "defeat devices" created to circumvent emissions tests. According to reports, the entire scandal has taken a heavy toll on the German auto manufacturers as it has cost it about 25 billion euros in buybacks, compensation and regulatory fines.

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