Volkswagen’s Audi head of development will be suspended this week, the latest head to roll in the Dieselgate emissions scandal which broke last year.
The suspension of Stefan Knirsch follows revelations by law firm Jones Day, which is investigating the scandal and discovered documents which implicate the development chief, according to sources close to the affair.
Volkswagen is involved in ongoing investigations into the scandal which affects 11.5 million cars worldwide, reducing emissions data in its VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat car brands.
While Volkswagen negotiates settlements with the authorities, these are complicated by ongoing revelations about who knew what when.
Now, information has emerged during investigations by Jones Day, the law firm investigating the scandal, that massively implicates Mr. Knirsch.
The news comes unexpectedly for the development chief who had a job most engineers dream of. He had worked at Audi, then at Porsche, then back to Audi. But in fall 2015, he hit a setback. Mr. Knirsch was promised a job on the board at rival Daimler but the carmaker then decided not to award him the post although he was highly qualified. News of Dieselgate had just emerged and Daimler didn’t want to risk that he had been involved.