Dieselgate Investigation

Turning Up the Heat on Audi

ARCHIV - Matthias Müller (l), damaliger Vorstandsvorsitzender der Porsche AG, und Rupert Stadler, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Audi AG, sitzen am 05.05.2015 bei der Hauptversammlung der Volkswagen AG auf dem Messegelände in Hannover (Niedersachsen). Foto: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa (zu dpa "Matthias Müller übernimmt Vorsitz des Audi-Aufsichtsrats" vom 04.12.2015) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Audi boss Rupert Stadler (right) is stealing some of the limelight from VW CEO Matthias Müller.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    VW’s subsidiaries have so far been mostly protected from Dieselgate fallout; that could change with this new line of inquiry.

  • Facts


    • VW last year admitted it had manipulated software in about 11.5 million diesel cars worldwide, including in its VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat car brands, to cheat emissions tests.
    • Audi’s development head, Stefan Knirsch, was suspended earlier this week after it emerged that he may have been heavily involved in the scandal.
    • Witnesses have now accused Audi boss Rupert Stadler of being made aware of emissions troubles as early as 2010.
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Ever since the scandal known as “Dieselgate” broke a year ago, it’s been the Volkswagen brand that has suffered around the world. VW’s seven other car brands have up until now escaped most of the negative scrutiny.

This is about to change. Investigators in recent days have started focusing on Audi, one of Volkswagen’s luxury subsidiaries. They questioned its chief executive, Rupert Stadler, according to reports that were confirmed Tuesday by VW’s chief executive, Matthias Müller.

The inquiry is part of an ongoing investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day into the scandal, which affects 11.5 million VW-group cars worldwide. VW last year admitted it had manipulated software in its VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat car brands, so that the vehicles appeared to conform to pollution limits. The carmaker commissioned Jones Day to uncover the scandal.

The Jones Day interview with Audi’s boss, revealed by the magazine Der Spiegel, comes just days after Audi unexpectedly suspended its head of development, Stefan Knirsch, over alleged links to the emissions scandal.

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