Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested in Munich
and Dieselgate continuesby Safet Satara, on
Rupert Stadler, Audi CEO since 2010, has been arrested in his home in Munich following a diesel emission probe which links him to the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. His arrest was instructed by prosecutors who had reason to suspect that Stadler might try to destroy or suppress evidence pending the investigation.
“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,” Munich prosecutor’s office reported.
Rupert Stadler is currently in custody, but Volkswagen and Audi spokesman refused to give any comment. Nicolai Laude, Volkswagen spokesman, confirmed the arrest and stated that "the principle of the presumption of innocence continues to apply to Mr. Stadler."
In an effort to find any evidence, prosecutors searched Mr. Stadlers home last week. Authorities will question Mr. Stadler on Wednesday. As a result of the arrest, Volkswagen shares immediately plummeted by 2.6 percent on the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Following the arrest, the company’s supervisory board is due to discuss the issue today.
The arrest comes only days after German authorities imposed a €1 billion fine on Volkswagen for tampering with diesel emissions on cars sold worldwide.
The so-called Dieselgate scandal started all the way back in September 2015. Since then, Volkswagen has admitted to installing a “defeat device” on diesel-powered cars (not only VW cars) - more than 11 million of them. “Defeat device” was designed to recognize when cars were being tested and it would activate systems to reduce harmful particle emissions on the occasion. However, after the testing was completed, the car would automatically reverse the process and increase the level of emissions of harmful particles by up to 40 times.
CNN reports that the scandal has “already cost Volkswagen over $30 billion in recalls, legal penalties, and settlements.”
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Read more on the Dieselgate scandal.