Audi chief Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emissions probe

Munich prosecutors who have been investigating Audi’s role in the 2015 scandal confirmed they arrested Rupert Stadler in the Bavarian capital

Between 2007 and 2015, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche diesel vehicles were sold in the United States and internationally with illegal software that allowed the cars to turn on functions of the emissions control system when the cars were being tested in a lab.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been arrested on suspicion of fraud in relation to an emission scandal, which had marred its parent company Volkswagen's image. "Therefore we issued an immediate arrest warrant", Stephan Necknig, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor's office, told German tabloid Bild, explaining the reasons for Stadler's arrest.

A judge in Germany has ordered that Stadler be remanded in custody, it said, to prevent him from obstructing or hindering the diesel investigation.

As of 2015, Audi has admitted to having utilized illegal cheat devices which manipulate their car's emissions with Stadler at the helm since 2007.

Munich prosecutors and Stadler himself were not immediately available for comment.

CEO Rupert Stadler arrives at Audi's annual general meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany, on May 18, 2017.

Volkswagen admitted that almost 600,000 cars sold in the U.S. were fitted with "defeat devices" created to circumvent emissions tests.

The scandal erupted three years ago, when it emerged that cars had been fitted with devices created to cheat emissions tests.

Confirming the development, a spokesperson said: "We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning".

Volkswagen declined 2.2 percent to 157.88 euros and traded 2 percent lower at 11:50 a.m.in local trading, extending losses this year to 5.2 percent.

As NPR has reported, six Volkswagen executives were indicted on May on charges of conspiracy and fraud in connection with the years-long emissions scheme, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn. Munich's authorities last week slapped VW with a €1B (roughly $1.2B) fine stemming from the scandal.

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