Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany

The CEO of luxury automaker Audi has been arrested in Germany as part of an investigation into emissions cheating....

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 12:48 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 12:48 PM

The CEO of luxury automaker Audi has been arrested in Germany as part of an investigation into emissions cheating.

Munich prosecutors said Monday that Rupert Stadler, who has worked for Audi parent company Volkswagen since 1990, had been detained because of concerns he could influence witnesses in an ongoing fraud investigation.

Stadler, 55, is the highest ranking Volkswagen executive to be arrested in connection to a costly diesel emissions scandal that burst into public view in 2015.

Prosecutors said they have opened a criminal investigation into potential fraud by 20 current or former Audi employees including Stadler. The case is related to suspected emissions cheating in 240,000 diesel cars sold in the United States and Europe.

Volkswagen spokesman Nicolai Laude confirmed that Stadler had been arrested, but declined to comment on the investigation. He said the company's supervisory board would discuss the matter on Monday.

"The principle of the presumption of innocence continues to apply to Mr. Stadler," Laude added in a statement.

Shares in Volkswagen dropped by 3% in Frankfurt.

Munich prosecutors said last week they had searched Stadler's home for evidence as part of an investigation that has been underway for over a year.

Stadler was appointed to Volkswagen's management board in 2010. Prosecutors said Stadler could be released next week if he cooperates with investigators.

The arrest comes just days after Germany imposed a -1 billion ($1.2 billion) penalty on Volkswagen for rigging diesel engine emissions worldwide.

Volkswagen has admitted that it rigged millions of diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests.

Diesel cars from Volkswagen and its Audi subsidiary cheated on clean air rules with software that made emissions look less toxic than they actually were.

The scandal sent its share price plunging, and trashed confidence among consumer and regulators in diesel technology. The episode has already cost Volkswagen over $30 billion in recalls, legal penalties and settlements.

Related: Tesla Autopilot update aims to keep drivers' hands on the wheel

Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive officer of Volkswagen, was indicted last month by US prosecutors. He was charged with wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud American customers and violate the Clean Air Act.

Matthias Mueller, who was brought in to replace Winterkorn, stepped down earlier this year and was replaced by BMW veteran Herbert Diess.

Diess acknowledged at a press conference in April that Volkswagen had "lost a great deal of trust," and that it would take years to restore public confidence in the automaker.

-- Ivana Kottasova, Chris Liakos and Stephanie Halasz contributed reporting.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 131258

Reported Deaths: 1758
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28030454
Washington18386166
Marion15972233
Clackamas11499135
Lane8127107
Jackson680682
Umatilla664167
Deschutes484633
Yamhill313945
Malheur311851
Linn306542
Polk238938
Klamath236634
Josephine168931
Jefferson167525
Benton165913
Douglas165043
Union109516
Wasco105123
Columbia101518
Lincoln97317
Hood River93521
Coos92614
Morrow91910
Clatsop6614
Crook5859
Baker5515
Tillamook3572
Curry3175
Lake2285
Grant2131
Harney1684
Wallowa943
Gilliam471
Sherman470
Wheeler191
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Corvallis
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Roseburg
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 46°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events