Audi CEO arrested in connection to the Volkswagen emissions scandal

Audi CEO arrested in connection to the Volkswagen emissions scandal

Audi CEO arrested in connection to the Volkswagen emissions scandal

Stadler's arrest follows numerous others across the globe and comes just a week after German authorities fined the Volkswagen Group more than $1.6billion over the scandal.

Audi's parent, the Volkswagen Group, confirmed that Stadler was detained this morning but that the "hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing". "Therefore we issued an immediate arrest warrant", Stephan Necknig, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor's office, told German tabloid Bild, explaining the reasons for Stadler's arrest.

Volkswagen first admitted in 2015 of using software to cheat on US emissions tests.

The prosecutors' office last week widened its emissions-cheating probe against Audi to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

Until now German prosecutors have only questioned former VW CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn.

Stadler, 55, who joined Audi in 1990 and has been its CEO since 2007, has enjoyed the full backing of VW's top brass so far.

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Stadler is being held because the police are concerned that he might obstruct the investigation into Audi's diesel vehicles. In 2015, it was discovered that when certain Volkswagen models undergo testing, a sophisticated software algorithm would kick in and full emissions controls would be turned on.

Despite the controversy, the VW group past year reported global sales of 10.7 million vehicles - a new record. Leading companies have been rocked by the self-inflicted diesel emissions scandal.

News agency, Reuters suggests that Stadler was being detained 'due to fears he might hinder an ongoing investigation into the scandal'.

Stadler is the most high-profile Volkswagen Automotive Group executive to actually be arrested in the diesel investigation so far.

The vehicle manufacturer pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States and nine managers, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn, were charged.

At 1325 GMT, VW shares were down 3.6 per cent at 155.30 euros, one of the biggest falls by a European blue-chip stock. The probe is aimed at an unidentified Porsche board member, another member of its management and a third person who is no longer employed by Porsche. Two managers are serving prison terms in the US.

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