Oct. 3 (UPI) — Volkswagen fired Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, who’s been in jail in Germany since June in connection with a large-scale emissions cheating scandal that enveloped the parent company last year.
Volkswagen AG announced Stadler’s termination Tuesday, which includes his departure from Volkswagen and Audi’s boards of management.
“Mr. Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group,” the company said in a statement. “Mr. Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defense.”
Stadler was arrested June 18 in Munich on suspicion of fraud. He has denied any involvement in the scandal.
Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury car division and a major revenue source, was accused of selling at least 210,000 diesel-engine cars in the United States and Europe fitted with cheating software for emissions.
Audi also was under investigation over allegations of fraud and illegal product promotion.
Volkswagen and Audi admitted in 2015 the companies used illegal software to cheat on emissions tests. The “defeat devices” keep emissions under the legal threshold during testing, but return them to illegal levels after the tests are finished.
Stadler has worked for Audi since 1990 and joined the company’s board of management in 2003. He was made chairman of the board in 2007. He’s served on the Volkswagen board of management since 2010.