Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has told his story in the German court. The CEO, who was arrested and deposed in 2018, states that he ‘could not have seen the tampering with the diesel engines before’.
Rupert Stadler was arrested in 2018, three years after the diesel scandal at Volkswagen Group came to light. The former CEO, who was at the helm of Audi from 2010, had remained out of harm’s way until then. In 2018, when fraud came to light at Audi, the public prosecutor stated that under Stadler, after the start of ‘dieselgate’, diesel engines were still built with his knowledge and sold by Audi with fraudulent software on board. In a nutshell, Stadler would have been confronted with internal investigation results that brought fraudulent practices to light and did not immediately act on them. In 2018, Stadler himself stated that irregularities were still found and that they would ‘be reported immediately’. However, according to the prosecutors, Stadler had known about these matters before and had not acted on them.
On Tuesday, it was Stadler’s turn to answer for the court in Munich. His statement is according to Automobile week in short, he ‘may have missed things’ during that period, due to ‘high time pressure’. He reportedly received up to 200 emails a day, barely had time to be in his office, had a chaotic schedule with constant shifts and new appointments. In his own words, during the same period “at most ten” reports on internal problems came to his table and he cannot remember that even one of them was about the fraud.
Stadler, who was relieved from his position at Audi a few months after his arrest in 2018, is therefore still not aware of any harm. Stadler, incidentally, is the least charged of all the accused. The other three accused Audi employees are Henning Lörch (head of exhaust after-treatment department), Wolfgang Hatz (Head of Engine Development at Audi between 2001 and 2009) and engineer Giovanni Pamio, under whose direction the tampering software was developed. The latter opened a booklet about the state of affairs last fall. According to him, nothing was done from higher up when he warned about the “unreasonable demands of upper management” and the possible consequences of the software.
Audi Volkswagen Dieselgate
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