Prosecutors charge former Audi boss in emissions scandal

German prosecutors have charged the former head of Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury division, with fraud in connection with sales of cars with software that enabled cheating on emissions tests, adding another chapter to VW’s diesel scandal that has seen its former CEO charged in the U.S. and two executives go to prison there.

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Prosecutors in Munich said Wednesday in a news release that they had charged Rupert Stadler and three other individuals. The three unnamed individuals were charged with having developed engines used in Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche models that had software that made the emissions controls work better on the test stand than in real-life driving.

Stadler was charged with having known about the manipulation in Audi and Volkswagen cars and with continuing to sell the models despite that knowledge. Prosecutors said he found out about the impermissible software at the end of September 2015, at the latest, when the Volkswagen scandal broke, but continued permitting rigged cars to be sold.

In Stadler’s case, the accusations related to 251,000 Audi vehicles, 71,500 Volkswagen vehicles, and 112,000 Porsche cars, sold in the U.S. and Europe.

Volkswagen was caught by U.S. authorities in September, 2015, and paid more than 30 billion euros ($33.5 billion) in fines and civil settlements. Former VW group CEO Martin Winterkorn is facing criminal charges in the U.S. but cannot be extradited, while two other executives have been sentenced to prison terms.

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