Audi CEO arrested over diesel probe

Munich prosecutors, who have been investigating Audi's role in the 2015 scandal, confirmed they arrested Rupert Stadler in the Bavarian capital.

Munich prosecutors had conducted searches at Stadler's private residence as a part of the probe concerning alleged fraud and indirect improprieties with documents.

The company said that it couldn't comment further due to the ongoing investigation, but stressed that "the presumption of innocence remains in place for Mr. Stadler".

"The suspect has been seen by a judge, who has ordered him to be remanded in custody".

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

Stadler has been under fire since Audi admitted in November 2015 - two months after parent VW - that it also installed illegal "defeat device" software to cheat US emissions tests.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler attends company's annual news conference in Ingolstadt, Germany March 15, 2018.

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.

Former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down soon after the scandal broke in September 2015, while successor Matthias Mueller was hastily replaced earlier this year.

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. Around 11 million vehicles from Audi are allegedly fitted with the emission manipulation devices. The same goes for Munich prosecutors and Stadler.

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. The company has earmarked more than €27bn in fines, buybacks and costs.

Related Articles