Audi's Rupert Stadler Could be The Fall Guy in Dieselgate Scandal

If the not-exactly-unsubstantiated rumors turn out to be true, Audi boss Rupert Stadler might be soon questioned by U.S. law firm Jones Day regarding an internal investigation into Volkswagen Group's dreaded Dieselgate scandal.
Rupert Stadler 1 photo
Stadler is not at its first media burn this year, as last month he had to pay for a somewhat decadent company party that was supposed to be endorsed by the Volkswagen Group, or so he and the party-goers had originally believed.

This time, it's a bit more serious since there are some voices in German media that are pointing their fingers at Stadler regarding the Dieselgate fiasco. This could be mainly because he is pretty much the last Volkswagen big shot from the old guard that is still in the same position, running Audi.

Apparently, Stadler will be brought before Jones Day officials to counteract claims that he first gained knowledge of the “emission defeat devices” long before he initially said he did.

According to Handelsblatt, as quoted by Forbes, Audi engineers were behind the original ideas for an emission cheating software as early as 1999, in order to circumvent the increasingly strict emission regulations both in Europe and the United States.

While Volkswagen allegedly rejected to use the ideas fronted by Audi engineers, it eventually came around and started using them in 2009 on more than one brand from under the VW Group umbrella, including Porsche and Audi.

Speaking of which, Rupert Stadler has been the chairman of the board and CEO of Audi AG since 2010 and the head of product planning at Volkswagen from 2002. In other words, it wouldn't be a massive surprise if he indeed knew about the emission cheating devices early on.

Following the still ongoing Dieselgate scandal, Audi's 3.0 TDI engines are the last one not to have an EPA-approved fix yet.

No matter what the hearing will conclude, Rupert Stadler's latest scandal comes at a pretty bad time for both him and the Volkswagen Group, who is yet to give a high-ranking name associated with the emission trickery.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories