5864 Former Audi CEO Stadler to make diesel scandal confession

Former Audi CEO Stadler to make diesel scandal confession

Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is ready to make a confession about his role in Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal in exchange for a suspended sentence and a payment of 1.1 million euros ($1.21 million), his defense team said on Wednesday.

Stadler was charged in 2020 over his role in the scandal after Audi parent VW Group admitted in 2015 to having used illegal software to cheat on emissions tests.

According to prosecutors, 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 affected diesel cars in Europe even after U.S. authorities uncovered the engine-rigging. He had maintained his innocence, blaming engineers for his failure to uncover the widespread cheating.

Stadler was Audi CEO from 2007 to 2018. The premium brand is regarded as the originator of the emissions manipulation software.

Stadler’s defense team said a statement would be made in two weeks, after which the judge will decide whether the statement amounts to a complete confession.

Prosecutors have agreed to the deal. A judge had said Stadler faced a prison sentence of 1.5 to 2 years, which would be suspended if he agreed to make a confession.

Stadler has been on trial along with Wolfgang Hatz, Audi’s former head engine development who later became VW Group’s top engineer, ex-diesel engine manager Giovanni Pamio and another former engineer who turned state witness named only as Henning L.

Reuters contributed to this report

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