Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

Rupert Stadler’s is the highest-profile arrest in the Volkswagen group’s diesel-cheating probes

Rupert Stadler’s is the highest-profile arrest in the Volkswagen group’s diesel-cheating probes

Audi admitted in November 2015 that its vehicles also contained the illegal "defeat devices" that allowed parent company Volkswagen to circumvent emissions regulations and sell vehicles that were worse for the environment than promised.

Prosecutors in the Bavarian state said the arrest was justified because of the "risk of concealment of evidence". Stadler, 55, has been placed on leave after Munich prosecutors took him into custody in the early hours at his home in Ingolstadt, Germany, they said. German authorities cited concerns that Stadler could obstruct their ongoing investigation into the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

As part of the investigation, Stadler's home has been raided, while authorities are now investigating 19 other suspects, the identities of whom have not been disclosed.

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Volkswagen's share price fell 2.2 percent in Europe on Monday, more than the 1.4 percent drop in the Deutsche Börse index in Germany.

In context: VW and Audi management have been very protective of their executives thus far.

German automobile company Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. Last week, German prosecutors fined VW 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) over the scandal.

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Audi said in a statement last week that it was "co-operating with the authorities" in the probe.

A Volkswagen spokesman said the carmaker had not yet made a formal decision about a new chief executive for Audi. In 2015, it was discovered that when certain Volkswagen models undergo testing, a sophisticated software algorithm would kick in and full emissions controls would be turned on. Another high profile figure under scrutiny in the diesel scandal is former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was indicted in May on charges of conspiracy and fraud related to the emissions cheating.

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