German authorities on Monday arrested current Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler as part of a probe into emissions test cheating. Munich prosecutors said Rupert Stadler was being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising and for his alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software on to the European market.
Following his arrest, Munich prosecutors said Rupert Stadler, the most senior active VW official to be remanded in custody since the scandal broke, was being held on fears he might hinder their investigation.
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 U.S. emissions tests. Munich prosecutors are investigating whether Stadler acted swiftly enough to stop deliveries of manipulated Audi models in Europe once emissions problems had emerged, a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters.
VW has set aside around $30 billion to cover fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits since its “dieselgate” scandal broke, and has announced plans to spend billions more on a shift to electric vehicles as it seeks to rebuild its reputation.