It’s been years since the infamous Audi/Volkswagen diesel scandal, now famously dubbed “Dieselgate“. During said scandal, Audi lost its CEO Rupert Stadler after he was arrested under suspicions for fraud, as he supposedly knew about the falsification of emissions testing for diesel-powered Audi models. Stadler will face trial in Munich on September 30.
During his time as CEO of Audi, he oversaw tens of thousands of diesel engines produced with emissions-cheating software. It’s said that not only was Stadler aware of the cheat but was complicit. Stadler wasn’t the only one who knew of this software, as three other executives knew about it as well, and all who joined him will also face trial together.
Stadler denies all knowledge of such emissions-cheating devices but there seems to be substantial evidence stacked against him.
He’s not the only VW Group CEO that was arrested, either. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was also arrested and he was actually the first CEO to go down. While it initially seemed as if Winterkorn would serve up to ten years in prison, in addition to forfeiting $12 million in bonuses, German judges are not so certain. In fact, he may end up with no charges at all.
This all started when the United States EPA discovered that some Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles were returning inconsistent emissions data. While during contained, controlled testing, the cars’ emissions were perfect. On the road, however, they would return worse emissions ratings. This was due to a bit of software that would switch its engine calibration for cleaner emissions whenever the car recognized it was being tested. Then, on the road, it would switch back to its normal calibration for better power and efficiency but also worse emissions.
Once the EPA figured this out, they approached Volkswagen and Winterkorn stepped down soon after. Now its Rupert Stadler’s turn to face trial and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
[Source: ABC News]