Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emission case

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emission case

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. The arrest has been made in connection with Audi's parent company Volkswagen's role in emissionsgate (dieselgate). Stadler has denied any involvement.

VW has admitted that it cheated emissions testing by equipping diesel vehicles with software that turned on pollution controls during the tests and then turned them off at other times. The luxury carmaker is also being investigated for allegations of fraud and illegal product promotion.

Rupert Stadler was arrested by Munich police on Monday in relation to knowledge of Audi vehicles being fitted with a cheat device that altered the engine's output when a vehicle was being tested in a laboratory as compared to the everyday use.

Audi had no immediate comment. The executive was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt.

The Munich prosecutors said Stadler's arrest was not made at the behest of USA authorities.

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

And The Associated Press reports that Stadler, who has spent almost 30 years working for Audi, is under investigation for "fraud and indirect improprieties with documents".

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Seehofer, who also created a new Heimat (homeland) ministry , has been a thorn in Merkel's side for years. The political deadlock ended in with the CDU and CSU agreeing to govern with the Social Democrats (SPD).

Audi and VW said Stadler was presumed innocent unless proved otherwise.

VW has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States.

A German judge has ordered that Stadler be remanded in custody.

The second suspect is Bernd Martens, Audi's head of purchasing, according to a person familiar with the investigation who declined to be identified because prosecutors hadn't disclosed the name, Reuters reported.

The emissions scandal first emerged in 2015.

But investigations are continuing elsewhere. Last week, German prosecutors fined VW 1 billion euros over the scandal.

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