Initially, VW was the company that installed the software defeat devices in its diesel vehicles in order to meet emissions standards. And VW paid fines of $22 billion in the United States for the falsification of its emissions data. However, over the past year, documents have emerged that indicate Audi’s diesel division was also involved. E-mails include some bon mots that are the stuff of criminal charges.Germany has just charged the former CEO of Audi with fraud, false certification, and illegal advertising. The charges allege that Rupert Stadler knew as early as September 15, 2015 about the emissions falsfications, but took no action.
Audi settled a civil case in Germany, but the criminal charges against Mr. Sadler and three others are new allegations. Mr. Sadler has denied knowledge in the past but had no comment on the charges. According to the charges, the engineers and others “bluntly” discussed their attempts to defeat the emissions testing process with terms such as “defeat devices” and “cycle beating.” Who puts this stuff in e-mail? There has to be some kind of misunderstanding about privacy combined with hubris that fuels the willing documentation of malfeasance.