Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler detained

Mae Love
June 19, 2018

Stadler is the most senior company official so far to be taken into custody over the emissions test cheating scandal.

"Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning", Audi said in a statement.

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.

Munich prosecutors said they had acted because of a risk that Mr Stadler might seek to suppress evidence.

The Chairman of Audi, Rupert Stadler, presents the new Audi concept vehicle Aicon at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show on September 12, 2017 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

And German authorities earlier this month ordered the recall of some 60,000 Audi A6 and A7 cars across Europe to remove illegal emissions control software - using a different technique however than the one at the heart of dieselgate.

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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VW has so far set aside around $30 billion to cover the cost of fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits related to its emissions test cheating.

Shares in Volkswagen dropped by 2 per cent in Frankfurt.

Three years after U.S. authorities uncovered long-standing emissions cheating by Volkswagen, Germany's slow-moving criminal investigation seems to making headway.

The scandal erupted three years ago, when it emerged that cars had been fitted with devices created to cheat emissions tests.

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

Currently, 20 people are under the scanner for their involvement, and nine Volkswagen managers have already been charged in the US. Munich's authorities last week slapped VW with a €1B (roughly $1.2B) fine stemming from the scandal.

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