The main defendant in the first criminal case opened in Germany to judge the international “dieselgate” scandal, former Audi boss Rupert Stadler admitted, on Tuesday, May 16, to having “accepted” that vehicles are offered for sale by unauthorized programs and have “abandoned” inform partners of Volkswagen, Audi’s parent company.
Mr. Stadler proved to a “yeah” a brief statement read by lawyer Ulrike Thole-Groll before the court in Munich. The training sponsor has “regretted” not to be “can resolve the conflict” inside a Volkswagen fitted with stolen engines and therefore accepts criminal responsibility, according to his lawyer.
Having been sentenced to two and a half years along with other former Volkswagen executives, Mr. Stadler, 60, had so far resisted the charges: he had knowledge of the illegal software and did nothing to stop it, continuing to support the sale of fake cars. But negotiations with the court changed his defense a few weeks ago: Mr Stadler agreed to plead guilty rather than plead guilty to the charges in order to be sentenced to less than ten years in prison. The court is expected to give its decision in June. The former CEO should receive a suspended sentence of up to two years and pay a fine of 1.1 million euros, if the court’s recommendation is accepted.
11 million vehicles are affected, according to Volkswagen
It was following an experiment that began in 2013 and was jointly implemented by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a non-governmental organization specializing in clean transportation, and West Virginia University, that “dieselgate” was born. The results are published in May 2014. In reality, the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx), one of the main pollutants of the atmosphere – released by the Volkswagen Jetta is 15 to 35 times more than the US standards, and 5 to 20 times more for the Passat.
In September 2015, the scandal erupted when the United States and the State of California accused German automaker Volkswagen of circumventing air pollution laws by installing software on Volkswagen and Audi diesel models between 2009 and 2015. The car group admitted having installed in 11 million vehicles of the group’s brand equipment and making them appear, during laboratory tests, less polluted than they were in reality.
Inside of report published March 2023, the ICCT estimates that more than 19 million cars in Europe emit nitrogen oxide levels above the anti-pollution standards, including 3.3 million in France. Like Volkswagen, Renault and Stellantis (PSA and the Fiat group) are accused of “fraud” in the French legal aspect of “dieselgate”. Justice suspects them of developing and using software to reduce actual NOx emissions during pollution control.