Wednesday , June 16 2021

Four Audi German managers charged in the US for diesel cheating

Stefan Knirsch, among those indicted, featuring the then new Audi SQ7 TDI
Image: AP Images

Audi authorities, Richard Bauder, Axel Eisner, Stefan Knirsch and Carsten Nagel were indicted and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in the United States, conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and violation of the Clean Air Act. Charges made by the grand jury in Detroit about the alleged quartet's role in Audi AG's plot to circumvent emissions standards were announced on Thursday. If convicted, each charge is punishable by up to 20 years in US federal prison, according to this Detroit News report.

Bauder was the head of Audi's diesel engine development, says The Detroit News, while Eisner was its head in charge of engine development in Ingolstadt. Knirsch, however, was the equivalent of Eisner in Neckarsulm. Nagel was the head of Audi's engine registration and testing department.

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Considering the access that these four masters had to Audi, especially with regard to the development of the so-called Clean Diesel program, the charges are hardly surprising.

Volkswagen and Audi have already accepted the emissions test, which has led to some cars emitting up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than legally allowed. As a result, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche ceased diesel sales in the US market. The diesel theft scandal has triggered initiatives for the three automakers to delve into the world of zero-emission electric vehicles in an effort to clean up their collective image.

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Six other Volkswagen AG executives were also indicted in 2017, and the company itself was forced to pay $ 2.8 billion in criminal fines as well as $ 1.5 billion in civil penalties. Fiat Chrysler recently agreed to a $ 800 million settlement for similar allegations of deception in diesel.

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