Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emission case

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The Volkswagen emissions scandal began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group.

German authorities have taken Rupert Stadler, chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG's Audi unit, into custody, making him the highest-profile arrest in the group's diesel-cheating probes.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler attends company's annual news conference in Ingolstadt, Germany March 15, 2018. "The arrest warrant is based on concealment of evidence", Munich prosecutors, who raided Stadler's home last week, said in a statement.

The Munich prosecutor's office is reportedly working towards the investigation of 19 other suspects, identities of whom haven't been disclosed, yet. "The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing".

Audi and Volkswagen confirmed that Stadler was detained on Monday and said he still had a presumption of innocence.

VW admitted in September 2015 to using illegal software to cheat USA emissions tests on diesel engines, sparking the biggest crisis in the company's history and leading to a regulatory crackdown across the auto industry.

Stadler himself was not immediately available for comment.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to the criminal charges pressed against the company where two managers are serving prison time in US.

The Munich prosecutors said Stadler's arrest was not made at the behest of US authorities.