Dieselgate Will Dog Audi for Years after Settlement, Says CEO
Audi will deal with fallout from the emissions scandal for years to come despite the agreement reached with 3.0-liter diesel owners in the United States on Thursday, the automaker’s chief executive told Handelsblatt.
“It would be fatal to believe that it’s in the past,” Rupert Stadler said in an exclusive interview. “It will certainly follow us for several years,” he said.
The Volkswagen subsidiary has reached an agreement in principle to compensate the U.S. owners of 80,000 3-liter diesel vehicles, which have software installed to cheat emissions tests.
Though the amount of the settlement hasn’t been disclosed, Audi will likely be on the hook for nearly €2 billion ($2.08 billion), according to information obtained by Handelsblatt.
Mr. Stadler said the settlement is a major step forward for Audi, though the automaker still has to hammer out the details with U.S. authorities about how exactly it will repair the affected vehicles.
“Some things still have to be resolved,” Mr. Stadler said, “but in general it’s liberating for our brand and the entire VW group.”
Mr. Stadler has come under growing criticism for failing to uncover Audi’s involvement in the emission scandal earlier.
Audi’s engineering department developed the software used by Volkswagen to manipulate emissions values. Mr. Stadler has dismissed speculation that he might resign in the wake of the revelations.
“My leadership team and I have shaped the company and we want to continue doing that,” he said.