Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and three other former executives, including Giovanni P., must answer in court on allegations of fraud. Volkswagen, Audi’s parent company, has always said that only a few lower-tier employees had knowledge of the cheating software, which came to light in 2015. Their executives would not have been informed, according to the Volkswagen Group.
Giovanni P. is accused of adapting the software so that emission values were more favorable during test conditions than during normal use. He has now admitted most of these charges against him.
The development engineer added that he only executed orders that reached Audi from above and that in some cases he was not in a position to disagree with those decisions. “Nobody could say: I don’t know about anything,” argued Giovanni P. before the court in Munich.
Rupert Stadler, who headed VW subsidiary Audi for eleven years, was the first automotive executive to be remanded in custody in the scandal in June 2018. He was released in October 2018. He denies the charges against his address.
Volkswagen confessed in September 2015 that it was cheating with software, so that emissions from diesel cars under test conditions were more favorable than with normal use on the road. About 2.5 million cars had to be recalled. Victims in the Netherlands are still waiting for compensation.