Audi chief Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emissions probe

18 June, 2018, 16:48 | Author: Sally Reid

"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 head of Volkswagen's luxury arm Audi was arrested on Monday, the most senior company official so far to be taken into custody over the German vehicle maker's emissions test cheating scandal.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States.

Rupert Stadler has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the diesel emissions scandal.

The Munich prosecutor's office is reportedly working towards the investigation of 19 other suspects, identities of whom haven't been disclosed, yet.

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Prosecutors said the arrest was justified because of the "risk of concealment of evidence".

Investors have accused the company of informing investors too late about the probe, a view the carmaker has contested, saying it couldn't have known the issue would balloon as it did. Herbert Diess was given the top job in April and he said that besides focusing on new technologies, like electric cars, he wanted to build a more open, values-based culture to avoid the cheating that led to the emissions scandal.

Volkswagen declined 2.2% to €157.88 and traded 2% lower at 11.50am in local trading, extending losses this year to 5.2%. Before becoming Audi CEO in 2007, Stadler worked as chief of staff to VW's former chairman Ferdinand Piech. "The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing".

In the Reuters report, Stadler had his contract extended in 2017 and was named as a suspect alongside another unnamed member of Audi's board of management. Two managers are serving prison terms in the US. According to reports, the entire scandal has taken a heavy toll on the German auto manufacturers as it has cost it about 25 billion euros in buybacks, compensation and regulatory fines.

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