Audi chief Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emissions probe

Devin Lawrence
June 18, 2018

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested.

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 auto maker's emissions test cheating scandal.

The arrest of the Audi CEO comes just weeks after Volkswagen tapped a new CEO to move the company past the scandal.

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

Audi, who has been caught up in the emissions scandal that afflicted Volkswagen, had no immediate comment.

"The suspect has been seen by a judge, who has ordered him to be remanded in custody".

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"We confirm that Mr. Stadler was arrested this morning".

Audi confirmed the arrest to AFP, declining to give further details.

Standler's home was raided last week where Munich prosecutors based the arrest warrant on concealment of evidence. Until now, backing of the Porsche and Piech families, who control the world's biggest vehicle maker, ensured him continuing in the role he's held since 2007.

Volkswagen declined 2.2% to €157.88 and traded 2% lower at 11.50am in local trading, extending losses this year to 5.2%.

Stadler's arrest will raise tensions on VW's supervisory board, putting at risk a fragile truce between management, labour representatives and board members from the carmaker's home region of Lower Saxony.

Munich prosecutors had conducted searches at Stadler's private residence as a part of the probe concerning alleged fraud and indirect improprieties with documents. The major auto group had admitted to equipping roughly 11 million vehicles worldwide with a "cheating software" that was created to illegally pass pollution tests. The company has earmarked more than €27bn in fines, buybacks and costs.

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