19 June 2018Hot off the Press
The chief executive of luxury auto manufacturer, Audi, was arrested on Monday morning on the suspicion of fraud in relation to the German car maker’s emissions cheating scandal.
Rupert Stadler, 55, was detained a week after his residence was searched.
German prosecutors have stated that Mr Stadler was a focus of their probe into any manipulation of Audi emission controls.
The arrest has thrown parent company Volkswagen (VW) into further turmoil since it has attempted to recover from cheating revelations, which emerged when regulators blew the whistle on the company in September 2015 for its illegal use of software.
Mark Clothier, a spokesman for Audi, confirmed the arrest and declined to comment further, because the investigation is ongoing.
He added that the “presumption of innocence continues to apply” for Stadler.
Munich prosecutors have released statements that explain detaining Mr Stadler was necessary, due to the concern that he would suppress evidence needed for their investigation.
Diesel emission regulations have been considerably enforced lately by German officials.
Last week, German prosecutors fined Volkswagen one billion euros for not supervising the employees who designed the testing software.
Last year, the German Government accused Audi of cheating on its emissions tests for its high-end models.
It was the first time Audi had faced charges of this kind in its home country, according to Reuters.
Audi has been asked to recall about 24,000 A7 and A8 models that it produced and distributed between 2009 and 2013.
Mr Stadler is now the most senior official to be arrested for the scandal concerning Audi and Volkswagen.