German authorities have taken Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler into custody in connection with the automaker’s role in the 2015 emissions scandal involving its parent company Volkswagen, Reuters reported.
“We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning,” Volkswagen’s spokesperson said. “The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing.”
Munich prosecutors said they had arrested the Audi chief on suspicion that he might tamper with evidence, Bloomberg reported.
In 2017, German automaker Audi had recalled 850,000 cars in connection with the emissions scandal. In May, it had admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines had emission software problems, BBC reported.
In 2016, multinational automotive manufacturer Volkswagen had admitted that it had cheated on diesel diesel emission tests in the United States. By fitting as many as six lakh cars in the US with a software to fool emissions tests with “defeat device” software that masked the level of emission. Investigators said the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.
The company is being investigated in Germany as well as abroad. Volkswagen had settled criminal charges with the US Justice Department in 2017 and agreed to a $4.3 billion (more than Rs 29,255 crore) payment. Last week, the company agreed to pay a fine of €1 billion (approximately Rs 7,894 crore) imposed by German prosecutors.