Audi CEO Arrested As Diesel-Emissions Scandal Spreads

Munich prosecutors have arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, also a member of parent company Volkswagen's board, on concerns he might try to suppress evidence, in what is the highest-profile arrest of a Volkswagen executive since the diesel emissions scandal exploded into public view nearly three years ago.

The arrest comes a month after Audi admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines could have "software emissions issues," and more than two months after Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller stepped down and was replaced by Herbert Diess, formerly the CEO of the company's core VW unit, according to the BBC.

While former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged by US authorities, Stadler is the first executive to be taken into custody, and perhaps it's about time: the emissions scandal provided ample evidence that Volkswagen had probably the worst executive oversight in Europe, and that a real criminal conspiracy had unfolded in the highest ranks of the company. The only real surprise is that it's taken this long: US authorities blew the lid off the company's emissions test-defeating software in September 2015 - nearly three years ago. Since then, the scandal has spread from the VW unit to other Volkswagen subsidiaries, and beyond: BMW and Daimler have also faced allegations of emissions cheating, as has American car maker General Motors.

Stadler
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler

More surprising still has been Volkswagen's steadfast support of Stadler, who retained the backing of his fellow board members, including the influential Porsche-Piech families that own majority voting rights in Volkswagen, according to the Financial Times. The arrest was first reported in Germany's Der Spiegel

The company issued a statement on Stadler's arrest to Reuters.

"We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning. The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing," the spokesman said, adding that the presumption of innocence applied to Stadler’s case.

The CEO has previously survived calls by minority shareholders to step down, and yet in the face of threats the company not only defended Stadler, it extended his contract and promoted him to the head of a new "premium" cars division. The new role gave him sales responsibilities group-wide. The company will likely continue to stand by him as lawyers haggle for his release.

The company maintains that there's no evidence to suggest Stadler knew of the cheating, though after Munich prosecutors raided Stadler's apartment (and one other Audi boardmember) they named Stadler as a suspect. They've also said they're investigating 20 suspects whom prosecutors believe were aware of Audi's diesel engine scheme.

In light of today's development, expect more imminent arrests as it is unlikely, given the number of Audi employees currently under investigation, that this will be the last shoe to drop.

Comments

Heros curbjob Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:50 Permalink

"after Munich prosecutors raided Stadler's apartment"

This has more to do with Seehofer, the invasion, and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) than emissions.  It is a shot across the bow of Bavaria by Merkel.  Bavaria has always been conservative (catholic) and has been opposed to Merkels invasion from the beginning.

In reply to by curbjob

prymythirdeye RedBaron616 Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:47 Permalink

Wow, just wow.  Speaking about a topic you clearly know NOTHING about helps no one.  Do you know banks create money out of thin air when they make a loan?  Do you know most if not all foreclosures are illegal because banks bundle mortgages and then sell them on Wall Street, thereby not retaining the original paperwork, thereby making the foreclosure illegal.  Sometimes it's just better to shut your mouth and learn rather than opening it and confirming how dumb you are. 

In reply to by RedBaron616

JelloBeyonce Looney Mon, 06/18/2018 - 11:19 Permalink

What's truly sad is the vast & mass ignorance about the global market.....and its relationship to politics.

The mindless masses are convinced to blame the damn "liberals" and "treehuggers" for emissions laws/rules/regulations......yet the truth is so much more obfuscated...

Do a little digging, a little research, a little acquisition of knowledge.  Learn to properly employ logic, reasoning, etc.  in order to discern fact from fiction.
 

You'll find that the same largest institutional shareholders of the largest automakers across the world are the same largest institutional shareholders of the largest makers of automotive emissions systems.

These are the same groups that are lobbying politicians to enforce stricter emissions regulations....so that they can sell more emissions equipment, and more expensive cars.

They profit from both sides.
Any loss of profits on the automaker side (of which there are really none, as they simply pass the costs along), are made up as profit gained on the manufacturing side of this equipment.

 

Ever worked in politics?
Regulations are mostly a product of the industries, and the owners of those industries, that look to profit from special interest legislation.

It's not the citizens of the "liberal class" not the "left", nor even the "conservatives" nor the "right" that are lobbying the hardest for this legislation/regulation....it's the people/groups with the most to gain.....the largest institutional shareholders.

America, and the world in general, are continually being hijacked by special interests......those large ultra-wealthy groups that can afford the most expensive Lobbyists.

 

Don't believe it?  Simply look it up.  Break free of your cognitive biases & prejudices and search for the truth.
Pull your head out of your ass.

The largest institutional shareholders of the largest emissions equipment makers include:
Vanguard
State Street
BlackRock
Capital World
Fidelity
Northern Trust
JP Morgan Chase
Norges
And others of the largest money management firms, whom act cooperatively with one another to create virtual monopolies via largest stock holdings.

Now do a similar search for the largest institutional shareholders of the largest automakers.
You'll see the same groups.
 

In reply to by Looney

snblitz JelloBeyonce Mon, 06/18/2018 - 14:54 Permalink

"Regulatory Capture" used by industry to line their pockets,  block innovation, and reduce competition.

Consider the electric cars driving around Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay area).

They use twice as much fossil fuel per mile driven and they pollute more than light duty (non-VW) diesels.

The oil industries, foreign and domestic, and foreign countries are laughing all the way to the bank.

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/02/14/electric-cars-use-twice-as-much-oil-as-diesel-vehicles/

 

In reply to by JelloBeyonce

Dorado Mon, 06/18/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

War on diesel continues.  True that these corps have been part of the crony system fueling the corrupt political system and it is turning on some of them now.  It is a catch 22 or seen that way by most C level and BOD's so it will keep haplening regardless of how bad things get.  The citizenry gets screwed by suffocating regulatory atmosphere driving costs up (eg mandatory use of Honeywell's "green" refrigerant in EU produced vehicles)

iadr new game Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:25 Permalink

Haha, a couple diesel fan-boi's arrive.

Anyone who can't see the massive inferiority of the diesel is so technically inept as to be beyond help or reason.

I work with automotives in sales and technically, with hobby work in macro-marketing issues and separately, in engine performance. Probably adds up to close to 100hrs/week for 22years.

So, trust me when I say: diesel light cars= failure.

 

In reply to by new game