Rupert Stadler’s arrest Monday morning adds to the list of German and U.S.-based executives at Volkswagen AG that have been held, charged, or both over their alleged involvement in the emissions-testing scandal at the carmaker known as Dieselgate.
The CEO of VW’s luxury Audi unit is being detained because of the risk he may tamper with evidence, Munich prosecutors said. Stadler’s is the highest-profile executive to face arrest in probes targeting the company’s diesel cheating.
Here is a rundown of the other high-profile executives arrested or charged by prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic.
- May 2018: U.S. prosecutors charged former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn as they unsealed his March indictment. Winterkorn, who stepped down from his role as CEO days after the scandal erupted in 2015, is accused of conspiring to defraud the U.S. and violate the Clean Air Act.
- April 2018: Joerg Kerner, head of engine development at Porsche, was arrested in Germany by Stuttgart prosecutors as the sprawling probe ensnared Volkswagen’s sport-car unit.
- December 2017: Oliver Schmidt, VW’s U.S. compliance chief, was sentenced to seven years in prison in December and fined $400,000 after pleading guilty. He was arrested in Miami while on vacation and denied bail as he was deemed a flight risk.
- September 2017: Porsche development head Wolfgang Hatz arrested in Munich probe. Hatz, who was head of engine development at VW for 10 years, is still in custody.
- August 2017: James Liang, a veteran company engineer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy was sentenced in the U.S. to 40 months in prison.
- July 2017: Former Audi AG manager Giovanni Pamio was charged with fraud, accused of conspiring to defraud U.S. regulators and consumers through software designed to cheat emissions tests in thousands of Audi vehicles marketed as "clean diesel," the Justice Department said at the time. He was arrested in Munich as part of a Herman probe days before his U.S. indictment. He was later released.
- January 2017: Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Richard Dorenkamp, Bernd Gottweis, Jens Hadler and Juergen Peter were indicted in a Michigan court. Neusser, VW’s engine development chief, and the four were all charged for their role in helping the company cheat the tests.