Volkswagen has terminated Audi CEO Rupert Stadler’s contract against the backdrop of a criminal probe into whether he participated in emissions cheating by the German group.
Munich prosecutors are probing Stadler and another member of Audi’s senior management for alleged fraud and misleading advertising associated to illegal emissions by its cars and manipulation of automobile tests.
The departure of Stadler came as the German government rolled out a plan to cut pollution from diesel vehicles in the nation’s on-going efforts to negotiate the aftermath of the VW emissions scandal that occurred three years ago.
Stadler is set to quit his posts as management board member of the Volkswagen group and as CEO of Audi with immediate effect, VW stated.
He had been suspended after he was taken into custody in mid-June on suspicion of interruption with an emissions probe. Sales executive Bram Schot is acting as interim replacement.
Both VW and premium brand Audi have stated that Stadler is presumed innocent unless convicted.
“Mr. Stadler is (leaving) because of his ongoing pre-trial detention, he is unable to fulfill his duties as a member of the management board and wishes to concentrate on his defense,” Volkswagen stated on Tuesday.