Ex-Audi chief Rupert Stadler admits role in diesel scandal – DW – 05/16/2023

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Former Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler admitted his involvement in the diesel emissions scandal in court on Tuesday, in exchange for a suspended sentence. 

Stadler agreed to a deal put forth earlier this month by the district court in Munich for a suspended sentence and a €1.1 million ($1.21 million) fine.

If Stadler chose to not admit his role, he was looking at a one to two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Stadler’s lawyer told the court her client “neglected” telling business partners that cars with “defeat devices” or software to rig emissions tests were being knowingly sold after the scandal surfaced in 2015.

In doing so, Stadler was “accepting that vehicles equipped with the illegal software would go on sale,” lawyer Ulrike Thole-Groll said. 

Stalder admitted his role by saying “yes” to the statement read out by his lawyer.

Former Audi boss Stadler charged over Dieselgate

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Stadler was the chief executive of Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen group, until 2018. He was arrested in mid-2018 and spent several months in prison.

He was charged in 2019 by the Munich public prosecutor’s office, along with three others, for selling cars for Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen fitted with the cheat devices.

What is the scandal?

The scandal dates back to 2015, when the US Environmental Protection Agency found the German automaker selling vehicles with a defeat device to cheat emissions between 2014 and 2015.

The scandal has since cost Volkswagen billions of dollars in settlements and forced it to recall millions of vehicles.

The European Commission in a statement in 2021 said Volkswagen had sold 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union that were fitted with cheat devices.

Volkswagen had marketed its diesel vehicles as clean when they were in fact massive polluters. The European Court of Justice ruled Volkswagen’s actions as illegal in December 2020. 

rm/wd (AFP, dpa)

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