Audi CEO Could Be in the Clear After Emissions Probe Grilling
Despite witnesses claiming Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was involved in the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the law firm investigating the company has reportedly found no evidence to support the claim.
According to company sources, U.S. law firm Jones Day found nothing that suggests the company chairman had any prior knowledge of the brand’s rigged diesel engines, Reuters reports.
Jones Day questioned Stadler earlier this week after shifting its investigation to what executives knew of the emissions-cheating engines, and when. A source close to Volkswagen’s supervisory board told Reuters, “Nothing burdensome against Stadler was found” — a claim backed up by two other sources close to the automaker.
This comes after an earlier report in Germany’s Der Spiegel claimed Stadler knew of the defeat devices as early as 2010. The executive has run the company since 2007.
Audi’s 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines contain the same emissions-cheating software found in Volkswagen Group’s 2.0-liter diesels. A total of 85,000 3.0-liter vehicles, most of them Audis, await a fix or a potential buyback in the U.S.
The investigation into the company’s executives continue. Last week, German media reported the suspension of Audi technical development boss Stefan Knirsch. According to Bild am Sonntag, Audi relieved Knirsch of his duties after investigators received information about his prior knowledge of the defeat devices. Allegedly, he provided a false affidavit to investigators.
Knirsch spent nine months in the position, replacing former tech boss Ulrich Hackenberg last December.
It's not a good look for VW leadership either way. If you knew about the diesel shenanigans, then you are criminally liable. If you didn't know, then you were asleep at the wheel. In the mean time, I'll stare at the engine bay and remember the 3 hours and 2 skinned knuckles it took to change the air filter on my Audi 3.1. It literally take 60 seconds to change the air filters on our Hondas. Truth in Engineering.
Of course not, it was Whilhem the mailboy in zector 32-Zee. Zee wuz alweyz da problem. I KNOW NOTHING! I WAS FOLLOWING ORDERS! NO ONE WAS IN MUNICH FROM 1933-1945 WE WERE ALL ON VACATION AND EVERYONE WAS HAPPY!
Well that was a non story. The company lawyers assure us that this employee of their client has "nothing burdensome" - meaning nothing in writing that can be subpoenaed, which is a far cry from declaring him innocent. Not that I would expect them to announce it even if they found he wrote the software himself.
A lot of people are unclear on what a CEO does. He answers to the Chairman of the Board, whose primary job is to schmooze the other directors. The CEO supplies the Chairman with schmoozing materials obtained from department heads who actually know what's going on. There's an old saying that the people at the top are C students who learned only the basics of systems and processes and how they work together. They spend most of their time networking and with extra-curricular activities that get them in touch with alumni. They hire B students to actually run the systems and processes.