Former Audi chief on trial in VW diesel emissions scandal

The former head of Volkswagen’s Audi division is going on trial in connection with Volkswagen’s diesel emission scandal

Rupert Stadler and the three co-defendants are charged with fraud, false certification and criminal false advertising before a court in Munich in a trial that is scheduled to include 176 sessions lasting until Dec. 20, 2022. The dpa news agency reported Stadler made no statement arriving at the courtroom where the trial was to take place under anti-coronavirus measures including attendance limits and social distancing.

Former development executive Wolfgang Hatz and two other engineers are charged with developing 3.0 liter diesel engines for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche that used the illegal software. Stadler is not charged with involvement in developing the engines, but rather with permitting the vehicles to be sold despite knowing about the deception at the latest in September 2015. The case involves 250,700 Audi vehicles, 71,600 Volkswagen vehicles, and 112,100 Porsche vehicles mostly sold on the U.S. and European markets.

The opening session was to be taken up by the prosecution reading the 90-page indictment. The defendants face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.