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Audi CEO arrested in Germany over VW emissions scandal

19 June 2018

Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE) will name later on Monday an interim leader for its premium Audi (NSUG.DE) brand after the unit's Chief Executive Rupert Stadler was arrested, a person familiar with the matter said. The spokesperson added that the "presumption of innocence" should continue to apply to Stadler.

Representatives for Volkswagen and Audi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to Munich-based public prosecutors, Stadler was being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising, and for his alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software to the European market.

Just last month, Audi acknowledged that an additional 60,000 cars had been discovered to have "emissions-related problems", Reuters reported.

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Prosecutors in the Bavarian state said the arrest was justified because of the "risk of concealment of evidence".

Stadler is the most senior company official so far to be taken into custody over the German carmaker's part in the emissions cheating actions first highlighted in 2015.

Volkswagen has admitted using special software to cheat on emissions tests, with almost 11 million vehicles affected.

German authorities have arrested Rupert Stadler, Audi's CEO, Reuters reports.

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The diesel investigation, conducted by prosecutors in Munich and Braunschweig and coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice, has shifted to Audi and Porsche in the last two years.

But Dudenhoeffer said that may change, given the "very serious" allegations against him. Shortly after accusations were waged, former chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned.

Both are suspected of knowing earlier than they have so far admitted about the cheating, meaning they may have failed in their duty to inform investors in the auto giant about the financial risks.

Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive officer of Volkswagen, was indicted in May by U.S. prosecutors. However, according to multiple reports, the VW board has already made a decision to replace Stadler with its sales chief Abraham Schot.

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Last week, German prosecutors fined Volkswagen one billion euros for not supervising the employees who designed the testing software.

Audi CEO arrested in Germany over VW emissions scandal