Audi CEO Rupert Stadler under arrest during emissions scandal investigation

Published: 21 June 2018

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler under arrest during emissions scandal investigation
Rupert Stalder, Audi CEO was taken under arrest early on Monday morning while in Germany. This is following concerns that he was hiding evidence on the firm’s emissions test cheating controversy. Audi are a manufacturing wing of Volkswagen and have been cautiously involved in a case regarding their vehicles’ emission levels, which are significantly higher levels being emitted from their vehicles rather than other models.

As the recent concerns regarding their vehicle emissions have been brought forward, Audi have recalled their newest A6 and A7 models once some irregularities were found in the vehicles’ emissions. This is due to the fact that the V6 engine relies on a reagent named AdBlue, which supports the vehicle in reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from the exhaust, meaning the vehicle appeared to be under the maximum emissions level. The issue is that the tank had a design flaw, being far smaller than required while holding the reagent, users would need to visit service stations constantly filling it up.

To combat the inconvenience, engineers at Audi tweaked with the flow of Adblue making sure the reagent supply is reduced before servicing time, meaning the emissions from the engine were going unchecked. Identified as “Dieselgate” officials are convinced that members of Audi such as the CEO were very aware of this information and chose to conceal it attempting to avoid clashing with authorities.

With some applied pressure, Volkswagen confessed in 2015 to using illegal software which restricted the flow of Adblue, cheating emissions tests. Following this, other German manufacturers came under fire from authorities and were now on their radar.

Updated reports on Audi’s data have been expected by officials since the Volkswagen incident in 2015 but no one expected Mr Stadler to be implicated in the controversy as the company CEO. The controversy has gone too far to be reversed. In 2017, Zaccheo Giovanni Pamio, who is the head of thermodynamics for diesel engine development at Audi was revealed to be lying to the US Environmental Protection Agency and charged with flouting, the authorities implied that this ran deep into both Volkswagen and Audi’s infrastructure.

Many other automakers are now under investigation by the EU to see if they have applied similar practices to pass air pollution standards illegally.

Audi has continuously denied any involvement in the on-goings while members of management were somehow connected to the controversy – which certainly isn’t helping their case. Following the arrest of Mr Stadler, 20 ex-executives at the company are now being questioned regarding the matter.

Herbert Diess, the CEO of parent firm Volkswagen, who only became CEO a few months ago is now under fire for controversies caused by his peers. Diess is trying to steer the company in the right direction but following the arrest of Mr Stadler, he’ll have to answer some questions on his behalf. With an attempt to regroup which saw many employees caught in the controversy fired, Volkswagen finds itself at the centre of the emissions discussion and the implications it has on manufacturers. Reports say Stadler fired one employee back in 2010 who accused him of being implicated in the controversy, which has now come to light.

Mr Stadler is set to face questioning by German officials this Wednesday, while Volkswagen tries to fill his shoes and move forward with future plans to give officials their trust once more.
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