Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested over diesel emission cheating scandal

Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler detained

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emission case

A statement from the Munich prosecutor's office in Germany said: "As part of an investigation into diesel affairs and Audi engines, the Munich prosecutor's office executed an arrest warrant against Rupert Stadler on 18 June 2018".

Audi and VW confirmed the arrest to Reuters and noted that under German law Stadler is presumed innocent unless proved otherwise. "The presumption of innocence continues to apply for Mr. Stadler", an Audi spokesman told NPR.

Stadler has been with Audi for 28 years, and CNN reports that his arrest was linked to possible "evidence tampering" associated with the investigation. A month later, Audi would announce that it had discovered "engine management irregularities" in about 60,000 V6 diesel versions of the A6 sedan and A7 fastback saloon sold globally.

However, as Winterkorn remains in Germany U.S. authorities haven't arrested him.

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Stadler has maintained his position at Audi through the backing of the Porsche and Piech families, major Volkswagen investors and heirs of the company's founders.

Stadler is the most senior company official to be detained so far since Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to using illegal software to rig US emissions tests on diesel engines. Audi's supervisory board has yet to sign off on the nomination, Sueddeutsche said.

German officials investigating Dieselgate have circled Audi CEO Rupert Stadler like wary wolves for some time now, closing in.

The devices were initially found in VW's cars, but its Audi subsidiary has also been embroiled in the scandal. Investors have accused the company of informing investors too late about the probe, a view the vehicle maker has contested.

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Current boss Herbert Diess has been accused of knowing about the scam before it became public - an allegation rejected by the firm last month.

But the saga has cast a wider pall over Germany's vaunted auto industry, shattering the myth of "clean diesel" and raising suspicions of emissions manipulation among other companies.

Winterkorn was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one of conspiring with other senior VW executives and employees to violate the Clean Air Act.

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