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Audi CEO Arrested after Emissions Test Cheating Scandal
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Photo courtesy of Car and Driver.

Summary: The head of Audi has been arrested in Germany. 

On Monday, the CEO of Audi was arrested because authorities believed he would tamper with an emissions investigation. Authorities stated that they were worried the company leader would contact witnesses in an attempt to sway their testimony.

  
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Volkswagen was embroiled in an emissions scandal starting in 2015 when it was discovered they had lied about the toxicity of the emissions of their diesel engines. On Monday, German authorities arrested the head of VW’s luxury arm, Audi, on obstruction of justice charges.

“As part of an investigation into diesel affairs and Audi engines, the Munich prosecutor’s office executed an arrest warrant against Mr. Professor Rupert Stadler on June 18, 2018,” the Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The arrest of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has left the company without leadership as it faces a case from the German government. A spokesperson for Porsche SE, which controls VW and Audi, said that the company would discuss Stadler’s arrest at a company meeting on Monday.

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In September of 2015, VW admitted that it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests. The US government filed charges against VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, but Business Insider stated, “He is unlikely to face US authorities because Germany does not extradite its nationals to countries outside the European Union.”

Winterkorn was charged with fraud and violating the Clean Air Act.



Stadler, 55, worked at Volkswagen since 1990 and became Audi CEO in 2010. According to CNN, he is “the highest-ranking Volkswagen executive to be arrested in connection to a costly diesel emissions scandal that burst into public view in 2015.” That year, the company disclosed that it had cheated on the diesel tests of almost 240,000 cars sold in the US and that it had rigged the tests of millions of engines of Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi vehicles.

Prosecutors said they are looking into 19 other current or former Audi employees and are considering criminal charges.

Volkswagen spokesperson Nicolai Laude said that Stadler’s arrest did not mean he was guilty.

“The principle of the presumption of innocence continues to apply to Mr. Stadler,” Laude said.

Stadler’s arrest resulted in VW shares falling by 3% in Germany. The emissions scandal cost VW over $30 billion in recalls, settlements, and legal fees.

Volkswagen is now led by Herbert Diess who has acknowledged the company has”lost a great deal of trust,” and it stated that it could take years to win public goodwill again.

What do you think of Audi and Volkswagen? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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