Stadler, who also is a member of the Volkswagen Group’s management board, is now the highest-ranking executive to be arrested in connection with the company’s diesel-emissions scandal.
Last month, USA prosecutors charged Winterkorn, 70, with conspiracy and wire fraud in relation to the diesel emissions case. When not under the scrutiny of strict tests, select vehicles were found to pump out up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.
It later admitted so-called defeat devices were fitted to more than 11 million cars worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK. Nine of its managers, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn, have been charged.
Q: How did the US investigation affect Volkswagen?
The very same diesel scandal broke out in late 2015, initiated by the United States authorities investigations. However, in April of this year he was elevated to take on a wider sales role.
Q: How did Volkswagen’s scandal play out in Europe?
A spokesman for Porsche SE had said earlier Stadler’s arrest would be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Monday.
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. Jones Day represents Volkswagen Automotive Group in the diesel investigation. The probe will be closed as soon as Volkswagen pays the fine, as it has said it will do.
Q: What does the Audi investigation involve? Last week, prosecutors raided Stadler’s residence in Munich as part of the investigation.
German automobile company Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. With Audi having made the largest contributions to VW’s profits, and with the CEO having stayed out of the criminal fray, Stadler had such strong support from the Porsche and Piech families that he got a new five-year contract in May 2017.
Munich prosecutors and Stadler himself were not immediately available for comment.
Q: Are other investigations going on?
Stadler’s arrest marks yet another harsh reminder for VW and Audi that they have not escaped the damaging cloud of the emissions scandal.
Prosecutors in the Bavarian state said the arrest was justified because of the “risk of concealment of evidence”.