Suspended Top Audi Engineer Quits After 30 Years With German Automaker

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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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  • 46and2 46and2 on Dec 04, 2015

    So long Ulrich! I personally want to thank you for all the ultra-reliable cars you engineered over the past 30 years. Good Job, Brownie! Mission accomplished!

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Dec 05, 2015

    In other VW news - the UAW successfully unionized the skilled trade workers at the VW Chattanooga plant tonight.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Dec 07, 2015

      APaGttH - just in time for VW to close up shop in the USA ;)

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
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  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.