Dieselgate: A belated confession saves the former boss of Audi from prison

It’s resounding news that has shaken the automotive world. Rupert Stadler, the former CEO of Audi, has managed to avoid a prison sentence for his role in the now infamous Dieselgate scandal. The scandal not only tarnished the reputation of the German car industry, but also exposed the questionable practices of several other manufacturers.
Stadler, who was head of Audi from 2007 to 2018, was given a 21-month suspended prison sentence and fined €1.1 million for his involvement in the affair. At the heart of the scandal, Audi’s parent company Volkswagen admitted in 2015 that it had fitted 11 million of its diesel vehicles with software capable of making them appear less polluting during laboratory tests. In 2013, researchers at West Virginia University, commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation, detected additional NOx emissions in two road-tested vehicles, both manufactured by Volkswagen. This finding led to an in-depth investigation by the EPA, the US Environmental Protection Agency, which eventually resulted in the revelation of Dieselgate in September 2015.Due to the seriousness of the situation, many senior figures at Volkswagen resigned or were suspended, including Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. In 2017, a $2.8 billion criminal fine was imposed on Volkswagen in the US for “rigging diesel vehicles to cheat government emissions tests”.To date, Dieselgate has cost Volkswagen $33.3 billion in fines, penalties, financial settlements and buyout costs. The scandal has also led to increased awareness of the higher levels of pollution emitted by all diesel vehicles from various manufacturers, which exceed legal emission limits under real driving conditions.As for Stadler, despite the seriousness of the charges against him, he was able to avoid a prison sentence of up to ten years by making a full confession to the offence of fraud by omission with which he was charged. Stadler had always denied the charges against him before deciding, in May, to agree to make a full confession

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