Luxury carmaker Audi has fired four engineers that held leading positions in its diesel technology divisions, Handelsblatt has learned.
Those fired include the former head of engine development Ulrich Weiss, who had already been placed on paid leave for the last year and a half.
The move comes just days after Mr. Weiss implicated Audi CEO Rupert Stadler in a court in Stuttgart over the Dieselgate scandal that has engulfed Audi and its parent company Volkswagen.
Another one of the four engineers fired is Giovanni P., a former head of emissions in the United States.
Mr. Weiss’s lawyer this week called his client a “pawn” in the Dieselgate scandal and presented evidence that reportedly shows Mr. Stadler was made aware of the illegal software being installed in cars as early as 2012. The Audi CEO has long maintained he was not aware until U.S. authorities revealed the scandal in September 2015.
The firing also marks a reversal for Audi which just this week told the court it could not yet determine exactly who may be to blame for its role in the Dieselgate scandal. An investigation by the U.S. law firm Jones Day is ongoing.
Audi would not comment on the firings or why it chose to make the move now.