Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) was holding crisis talks on Monday to find a stand-in boss for its Audi brand, a source familiar with the discussions said, after German authorities arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler as part of a probe into emissions test cheating.
Munich prosecutors reportedly arrested Stadler due to a potential risk that he might seek to suppress or tamper with evidence related to the scandal.
Rupert Stadler, CEO of German auto producer Audi, briefs the media during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany.
"Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning", Audi said in a statement. "The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing".
The Dieselgate scandal dates back to 2015, when Volkswagen was caught out by us authorities for installing emissions cheating defeat device software in millions of diesel vehicles sold worldwide.
While it has been confirmed that he has been arrested, no other details about his prosecution are available at the moment.
In May, a federal grand jury in Detroit indicted Winterkorn on charges stemming from the diesel emissions cheating scandal in a plot that prosecutors allege reached the top of the world's largest automaker.
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It named Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.
Audi has not yet commented on the matter.
The Audi probe: Audi has been accused of having sold at least 210,000 diesel-engine cars fitted with cheat software in the United States and Europe, starting in 2009.
The executive was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt in the early hours on Monday, they said.
The scandal erupted three years ago, when it emerged that cars had been fitted with devices created to cheat emissions tests.
It comes just a week after Volkswagen said it is being fined one billion euro (£880 million) by German authorities in connection with dieselgate.