Stadler was arrested earlier today after prosecutors in Munich suggested there was a risk he might try to suppress evidence and hinder their investigation.
“As part of an investigation into diesel affairs and Audi engines, the Munich prosecutor’s office executed an arrest warrant against Mr Professor Rupert Stadler on June 18, 2018,” the Munich prosecutor’s office confirmed.
A German judge has ordered that Stadler be remanded in custody.
Both Audi and VW confirmed the arrest and said that Stadler must still be presumed to be innocent despite being taken into custody. So far, Stadler is the most senior executive from the Volkswagen Group to be arrested in relation to the diesel scandal.
Just last month, Audi said that 60,000 A6 and A7 diesel models have software issues that cheat emissions testing. In 2017, the German marque recalled 850,000 vehicles.
In 2016, an internal investigation commissioned by the Volkswagen Group found no evidence that Stadler had prior knowledge of dieselgate. At the time, it was reported that the Audi chief knew of the company’s emissions cheating when he became chairman in 2007. He was later on appointed to VW Group’s nine-member executive board in 2010.