Porsche Powertrain Boss Arrested in Germany: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
porsche powertrain boss arrested in germany report

Jörg Kerner, Porsche’s head of powertrain development, has reportedly been arrested by German authorities for playing an alleged role in Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal.

Kerner, who sources say is being held on remand due to the potential of being a flight risk, was appointed director of Porsche’s powertrain development division in October 2011. Before that, Kerner worked for supplier Robert Bosch GmbH from 1986 to 2004, after which he oversaw development of engine electronics and software for Audi.

German prosecutors searched 10 locations in Germany this week, Automotive News Europe reports, seeking information on three suspects: a management board member, a higher-up member of Porsche management, and an employee who’s no longer with the automaker.

The German newspaper Sueddeutsche claims the raids drew on information provided to authorities by former Audi engine developer Giovanni Pamio, who was arrested, then released, last year. Michael Steiner, Audi’s research and development chief, is one of the men under investigation, the newspaper states.

Kerner’s tenure at Audi overlaps with the development of “defeat devices” designed to mask illegal levels of emissions from the company’s diesel engines. The scandal, which broke in September 2015, ultimately involved 11 million vehicles worldwide, including half a million in the United States. Kerner also worked closely with Wolfgang Hatz, a top VW Group engineer the company’s new CEO.

The list of VW Group executives and managers implicated in the diesel affair is a long one. Kerner’s predecessor at Audi, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, was one of six current or former employees indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice last year. Neusser left his post in 2011 to head up powertrain development for the Volkswagen brand.

In a letter to staff, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume wrote, “We reject these allegations and will do our utmost to clear up the matter.”

A Porsche spokesperson told Agence France-Press, “Blume informed the workforce that the prosecutor of Stuttgart has taken a manager into custody.” While Porsche did not name the arrested manager, German media outlets have reported the suspect’s identity as that of Kerner.

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  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.