Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested Over Diesel Emissions Scandal

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Arrested Over Diesel Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory board has nominated Bram Schot as interim chief executive at its luxury brand Audi following the arrest of Rupert Stadler, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on Monday, without citing sources. In spite of continuous denials and public backing from the Volkswagen Group, Stadler has seemed like a man waving a crude torch in the dark, trying to fend off the hunters.

The 55-year-old German is being held due to the risk that he could prevent evidence from being found, the prosecutor's office has said.

Stadler has been under fire since Audi admitted in November 2015 - two months after parent VW - that it also installed illegal "defeat device" software to cheat US emissions tests. The drastic step was reportedly taken because prosecutors feared Stadler might suppress evidence in the investigation, Reuters reports.

Munich prosecutors, who have been investigating Audi's role in the 2015 scandal, confirmed they arrested Rupert Stadler in the Bavarian capital.

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

Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive officer of Volkswagen, was indicted in May by United States prosecutors.

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It remains to be seen how long Stadler remains in police custody and whether he's able to remain in his post during his detention.

The prosecutors' office recently widened its emissions cheating probe to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

Just last week, VW agreed to pay a €1bn fine imposed by German prosecutors for cheating to get around diesel-emissions regulations.

Most of VW's emissions problems have been in the United States, where a total of nine people have been charged and two former VW executives have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison terms.

It later admitted so-called defeat devices were fitted to more than 11 million cars worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK.

The scandal has so far cost the VW group more than 25 billion euros ($29 billion) in buybacks, fines and compensation, and the company remains mired in legal woes at home and overseas.

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