On Tuesday, former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was found guilty of fraud in connection with the automaker’s diesel emissions crisis. Stadler is the highest-ranking CEO ever convicted of employing unlawful software to evade emissions tests.
A German court condemned Stadler to 21 months in prison suspended and ordered him to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros, with a portion of the proceeds going to charitable organizations. Following his guilty plea last month, Stadler’s lawyers, the judge, and prosecutors reached an accord.
A former Audi engineer by the name of Giovanni P. and former head of engine development Wolfgang Hatz were also given suspended prison sentences and fines by the Munich regional court. In order to save money on construction, they were accused of altering diesel engines to match pollution regulations during testing but not on the road.
This is Germany’s first criminal trial relating to the diesel emissions issue. Stadler was accused of fraud and fraudulent certification for permitting the sale of cars equipped with unlawful software, despite the fact that the U.S.
The diesel crisis cost Volkswagen more than $30 billion in penalties and settlements, prompting a shift away from diesel engines and an acceleration of the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles.