VW Group delays decision on jailed Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, report says
Stadler was arrested for his alleged role in VW Group's Dieselgate scandal.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Update, 4:15 p.m. ET: This story and its headline have been updated with new information.
In June, German authorities arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler for his alleged role in VW Group's diesel scandal, and Audi subsequently named a new interim CEO. While an earlier report made it appears the company was ready to part ways with Stadler entirely, the decision for his fate has been reportedly delayed
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Friday that the board of directors for
Group was preparing to terminate Rupert Stadler's contract, citing sources familiar with the matter. WSJ's source said an official announcement to this end could occur as soon as today, following a board meeting in Wolfsburg, Germany, but it appears that will not happen. According to Automotive News Europe, VW's board has postponed the decision on Stadler.
A spokesperson for Volkswagen Group did not immediately return a request for comment.
"It is out of the question that Rupert Stadler can come back from this," one of the sources told The Wall Street Journal. "The discussion now is just about how to terminate his contract, it's up to the lawyers." It appears the lawyers aren't quite ready to cut that contract up.
Stadler was arrested back in June over concerns that he might obstruct the German government's investigation into Audi's diesel malfeasance. The automaker admitted in 2015 to having illegal "defeat devices" in its vehicles that would allow a vehicle to emit legal amounts of pollution in testing situations, only to pollute beyond legal limits once the vehicle was on the road.
The automaker has since paid out tens of billions of dollars in buybacks, repairs and fines, and officially releasing Stadler will be yet another step by Volkswagen as it attempts to move past its prior misdeeds. Volkswagen has spent upwards of $30 billion in the US alone as a result of the Dieselgate scandal, including creating Electrify America, a brand-agnostic company focused on increasing EV awareness with consumers.