Ex-Audi boss faces verdict in German ‘dieselgate’ case

Ex-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is expected to be convicted and sentenced in the “dieselgate” affair on Tuesday, making him the highest-ranking former executive to face punishment for the emissions-cheating scandal that rocked the auto industry.

He admitted to his role in the saga last month, but as part of a plea deal, he is poised to avoid jail time in exchange for a heavy fine and a suspended sentence.

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The 60-year-old stated that despite being aware of the scam, he permitted vehicles loaded with manipulating software to remain on the market.

Volkswagen, whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda, and Seat, plunged into crisis in September 2015 after admitting that it had installed software to rig emission readings in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

In lab tests, the so-called defeat devices made the vehicles appear less polluting than they were on the road.

Throughout his trial, which began in 2020, Stadler maintained his innocence.

However, his lawyer told a Munich district court last month that Stadler “forgot” to notify business partners that cars containing so-called defeat devices were still on the market.

His defense team earlier stated that under the plea agreement, he will face a suspended sentence of up to two years and pay 1.1 million euros ($1.2 million).

Volkswagen had always maintained that the diesel deception was the product of a small group of lower-level employees acting without the knowledge of their bosses.

Stadler was not charged with starting the scheme.

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