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Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested

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MUMBAI: German automobile company Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. The arrest has been made in connection with Audi’s parent company Volkswagen’s role in emissionsgate (dieselgate).

The Volkswagen emissions scandal began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group. 

The prosecutors' office recently widened its emissions cheating probe to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising. The prosecutors also said that the arrest of Stadler was essential as the investigators saw the risk of him trying to suppress evidence in the diesel emissions probe.

The agency found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing which caused the vehicles' NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) output to meet US standards during regulatory testing, but emit up to 40 times more NOx in real-world driving.

Volkswagen deployed this programming software in about eleven million cars worldwide, and 500,000 in the United States, in model years 2009 through 2015.

Standler’s home was raided last week where Munich prosecutors based the arrest warrant on concealment of evidence.

Audi confirmed the news in a statement: “We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning. The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing.”

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to the criminal charges pressed against the company where two managers are serving prison time in US.

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