Porsche Head of Powertrain Development Arrested in Connection to Dieselgate

Porsche Head of Powertrain Development Arrested in Connection to Dieselgate 1 photo
Photo: SB-Medien
It's been over two years since the Volkswagen Group was rocked to the core by the Dieselgate, but new evidence has led to the arrest of Joerg Kerner, the head of Porsche's powertrain development team, earlier today.
Why Porsche? Well, it appears that Kerner was key in the development of the cheating software technology. Even though the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine was only used in about 80,000 of the 11 million cars affected by the recall, it's basically Audi's tech that led VW down this path.

Kerner, who was placed into custody because he was viewed as a flight risk, joined Audi in 2004. There, he worked on the company's transmission and engine electronics.

German prosecutors said they were investigating three people, including a management board member, a member of Porsche's higher management and a suspect who is no longer with the company. No names were given.

According to Automotive News, the raids earlier this week and today's arrest are linked to the information given out by whistleblower Giovanni Pamio, who was arrested and released last year. His testimony is viewed as crucial to the investigation.

Kerner is viewed as a close confidant of Matthias Mueller, the former Volkswagen CEO who was ousted about a week ago who was also the CEO of Porsche before that. Despite the unwavering resolve of German prosecutors, the group seems to be backing its management, initially resisting Mueller's departure and issuing an internal letter.

“We reject these allegations and will do our utmost to clear up the matter,” Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume told staff in a memo.

The V6 TDI engine developed by Audi found its way into the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. The defeat device could detect when the car was being hooked up to emissions testing rigs and would temporarily run in a special "clean" setup.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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