Dieselgate Resurgence: Ex-Audi CEO Faces Conviction in German Regulation Scandal

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Reports have emerged in Germany that former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is about to become the upper-echelon automotive executive convicted in the diesel emissions fiasco perpetrated by Volkswagen Group. A Munich court issued a preliminary assessment on Tuesday, stating that an accusation of fraud had been substantiated.


With the corporate scandal first emerging in 2015, Stadler and a handful of German engineers weren’t formally charged until 2020. Though Audi had almost immediately confessed to cheating on emissions tests when news of the situation ( often referenced as “Dieselgate”) went global. 


According to Reuters, Judge Stefan Weickert had indicated that Stadler, former Audi executive Wolfgang Hatz, and engineer Giovanni Pamio could even face prison sentences which he would only consider suspending if they offered a full confession. There is also a fourth defendant in the case. However, the court had said it did not see any substantial evidence indicating a crime had been committed.


Under German law, the maximum sentence for fraud would be 10 years in prison. But that presumes the defendants would be proven guilty of egregious levels of corporate malice. 


From Reuters


The trial is one of the most prominent court proceedings in the aftermath of the diesel scandal at Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi. Revelations that millions of emissions tests had been manipulated emerged in September 2015.
According to prosecutors, the three engineers manipulated engines in such a way that they complied with legal exhaust emission values on the test bench but not on the road. Stadler is accused of failing to stop the sale of the manipulated cars after the scandal became known.
The court said it saw no evidence substantiating the other charges against the defendants - indirect involvement in falsification of documents and false advertising tied to illegal pollution levels in its cars.


A verdict is expected in the coming months, with the court then having to decide the appropriate punishment.


[Image: ANAID studio/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
  • Kat Laneaux I get the point that Musk is making. I wouldn't want everyone to know my secrets. If they did, they could or would shout it out to the world. But then, if Musk certified certain folks and had them sign Confidentiality agreements, which would allow them to work on cars that Musk had made, that could allow others to work on his cars and not confine vehicle owners to be charged an arm and a leg for the service. It's a catch 22. People are greedy little buggers. If they can find a way to make money, they will even if it wrong. People...sad.
Next