Rupert Stadler, Ex-Audi Chief, Charged With Fraud in Diesel Scandal

BERLIN — German prosecutors on Wednesday charged Rupert Stadler, the former chief executive of Volkswagen’s luxury car division Audi, with fraud for the company’s role in an diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Mr. Stadler, who was arrested in June 2018 and later released, and three others who were not named were accused of developing illegal emissions software that was used in cars sold under the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands as part of wider effort to cheat diesel emissions tests, Munich prosecutors said in a statement.

The group was also charged with falsifying certificates and illegal advertising.

The charges related to sales of 250,712 Audis, 71,577 Volkswagens and 112,131 Porsches in Europe and the United States, prosecutors said.

Volkswagen was found in 2015 to be using software to artificially lower a vehicle’s emissions levels when it was undergoing tests. In 2017, the Germany carmaker pleaded guilty to a vast emissions deception and agreed to pay $22 billion in penalties and settlements in the United States.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Stadler had known about the manipulation by the end of September 2015 at the latest, but continuing to allow the cars to be sold or had failed to take any action to prevent their sale.