Rupert Stadler given suspended sentence and €1.1 million fine by German court following plea deal and admission of guilt
Former Audi chairman Rupert Stadler has been handed a suspended sentence of one year and nine months by a German court for fraud by negligence in the diesel emission manipulation scandal.
Stadler, who headed Audi from 2007 until 2018, has also been fined €1.1 million (£950,000) in the ruling handed down on Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, Audi manipulated diesel engines with software that allowed them to comply with EU-mandated exhaust emission values on the test bench but not in real-world driving conditions.
Stadler was accused of harbouring knowledge of the diesel manipulation methods used and failing to stop the sale of the diesel models after the diesel emission manipulation scandal became known in 2015.
Stadler’s sentencing comes after he entered into a plea deal under an agreement with the judge and prosecutors in May. It provided for a suspended sentence instead of jail time in addition to a monetary fine in return for a thorough admission of guilt.
By entering into the plea deal, Stadler became the first former Volkswagen Group board member to admit knowledge of the diesel manipulation measures through the use of illegal software, admitting regret and failure to stop manipulated cars from going on sale.
Stadler’s co-defendants in the case – former Audi board member responsible for drivetrain development Wolfgang Hatz and former Audi drivetrain development engineer Giovanni Pamio – have been similarly charged with fraud by negligence in matters relating to the diesel emission manipulation scandal.
Hatz was handed a two-year suspended sentence and a fine of €400,000 (£344,000), while Pamio has received a suspended sentence of nine months and a €50,000 (£43,000) fine.
In plea deals similar to that sort by Stadler, both Hatz and Pamio admitted to guilt in the manipulation of diesel emissions in engines developed and produced by Audi.
The public prosecutor’s office in Munich reacted positively to the sentencing of Stadler.
According to spokesperson Andreas Grape, the court acted within the parameters of the plea deal reached between Stadler and prosecutors involved in the case in May.
She said the prosecutors had already consented to the suspended sentence and fines for Stadler and Pamio.
However, in Hatz’s case, the prosecutors say they will review the sentencing before a possible revision, having sought a prison sentence of three years and two months.