MUNICH -- Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrived in court in Munich on Wednesday to face fraud charges as part of Volkswagen Group's emissions-cheating scandal that was uncovered by U.S. regulators five years ago.
VW and Audi were caught disguising excessive diesel pollution by using illegal engine management software to falsify emissions readings during anti-pollution tests.
The automaker initially claimed the fraud was the work of a handful of engineers, and that no senior managers were involved, but testimony from employees led prosecutors to remand Stadler in custody for four months in 2018.
Stadler is accused of knowingly selling cars that had manipulated engine software and did not comply with environmental standards. Stadler has denied the charges.
Stadler is one of four former Audi executives to face charges. Also appearing before the court are former Audi's former development chief Wolfgang Hatz, ex-diesel engine manager Giovanni Pamio and another former engineer named only as Henning L.