MUNICH – German police have detained the chief executive of carmaker Audi as part of the diesel emission cheating scandal that has rocked the Volkswagen group for the past two years.
Rupert Stadler was arrested by Munich police on Monday in relation to knowledge of Audi vehicles being fitted with a cheat device that altered the engine’s output when a vehicle was being tested in a laboratory as compared to the everyday use, the CNBC reported.
A judge has ordered him to remain in detention on suspicion that he may supress evidence or collude with fellow executives that are due to meet at a Volkswagen Group Supervisory Board meeting later this week, where lawyers were expected to present information in defence of 20 senior VW Group employees currently under investigation.
“As part of an investigation into diesel affairs and Audi engines, the Munich prosecutor’s office executed an arrest warrant against Professor Rupert Stadler on June 18,” the Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
A spokesman for Volkswagen, which owns Audi, confirmed he was being held.
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.
The scandal erupted three years ago, when it emerged that cars had been fitted with devices designed to cheat emissions tests.
The devices were initially found in VW’s cars, but its Audi subsidiary has also been embroiled in the scandal.
Last month, it admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines have emission software issues.
That is on top of the 850,000 recalled last year by Audi, of which only some have been found to require modification.