The Dieselgate Plot Thickens as Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is Suspected of Fraud and False Advertising
The fallout from Dieselgate continuesby Kirby Garlitos, on
On the heels of accusations being made against Daimler, Audi has also found itself on the crosshairs of German investigators after its CEO, Rupert Stadler, was included in the list of suspects that are being accused of fraud and false advertising. The new investigation comes three years after Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, admitted to using cheat devices to falsify U.S. diesel emissions tests.
A lot of automakers have gotten caught up in the mess, including Audi, which admitted in November 2015 that it also used illegal defeat devices to manipulate its cars’ emissions
There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for all the emissions scandals that have been brought to the surface since Volkswagen was caught with its pants down three years ago. A lot of automakers have gotten caught up in the mess, including Audi, which admitted in November 2015 that it also used illegal defeat devices to manipulate its cars’ emissions. Now it looks like the German automaker could find itself in bigger trouble after its CEO, Rudolph Stadler, was identified as one of 20 suspects who are being accused of fraud and false advertising.
"Since May 30, 2018, the chairman of the board of Audi AG Prof. Rupert Stadler, as well as a further member of the management board are now named suspects," the Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The identity of the other suspect has yet to be revealed, but their roles in helping bring cars equipped with illegal software into the European market could end up being their downfall.
As part of the probe by German prosecutors, Stadler was summoned to a court hearing in Stuttgart alongside former Volkswagen Group chief Martin Winterkorn, former Audi technical director Ulrich Hackenberg, and a number of prominent current and former executives from the Volkswagen Group.
To make things worse, the embattled Audi CEO also had his home raided by German authorities. It’s the latest episode in a string of embarrassing incidents that have put Stadler under fire since he fessed up about Audi’s cheating ways three years ago.
Somewhat ironically, Stadler actually had his contract extended earlier this year as Audi CEO. It remains to be seen if that contract’s going to hold if prosecutors find him guilty of fraud and false advertising. Don’t bet on it happening, though, because the chances of him remaining as CEO would be little to none.
Read more on the Dieselgate scandal.
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