Suspended Top Audi Engineer Quits After 30 Years With German Automaker
Ulrich Hackenberg, who was Audi’s chief engineer and among the first to be rumored to catch heat for Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, resigned Thursday according to the automaker.
Audi’s new chairman of its supervisory board, Matthias Müller, said Hackenberg was responsible for implementing designs such as the automaker’s current MQB global architecture and cars such as the A3, A4, A6, A8 and TT.
“Above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi. Today, the entire Group profits from it,” Müller said in a statement.
Hackenberg’s decision also adds pressure to Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler to show that the longtime CEO was unaware that the group’s 3-liter diesel, which U.S. regulators targeted last month, was cheating emissions as well. Audi built the diesel engine that was installed in many of its models, including the A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 as well as the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
Reuters reported that Stadler was questioned by Audi’s supervisory board Thursday and will have to answer again next week when Volkswagen’s supervisory council meets again.
“We pushed for action in the interest of workers and that’s exactly what’s happening now,” Peter Mosch, chairman of Audi’s general works council and a member of the supervisory board said according to Reuters ( via Automotive News). “Further consequences need to be drawn now to ensure that this won’t happen again.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, initial investigations into the cheating scandal focused on Hackenberg and suspended Volkswagen engineer Wolfgang Hatz.
Audi announced that Stefan Knirsch will replace Hackenberg as head of technical development for Audi.
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