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posted by martyb on Monday June 18 2018, @06:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the "rogue-engineer" dept.

Head of VW's Audi arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

German authorities arrested the head of Volkswagen's luxury arm Audi on Monday, the most senior company official so far to be detained over the carmaker's emissions test cheating scandal.

Munich prosecutors, who earlier this month widened their probe into Audi, said Rupert Stadler was being held due to fears he might hinder their investigation into the scandal, plunging Volkswagen into a leadership crisis.

News of the arrest comes as Volkswagen's (VW) new group CEO Herbert Diess is trying to introduce a new leadership structure, which includes Stadler, to speed up a shift toward electric vehicles in the wake of its "dieselgate" troubles.

Also at BBC, DW, The Register, and CNN.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Monday June 18 2018, @07:18PM

    by frojack (1554) on Monday June 18 2018, @07:18PM (#694659) Journal

    Audi/VW sheds another expendable part.

    No sign of pain:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-vw-sales-20170110-story.html [latimes.com]

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:28PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:28PM (#694669)

    Who believes that the Munich prosecutor is really going after Audi? European car makers co-opted the whole EU government so they could peddle their Diesels with favorable emissions rules and no enforcement. Germans are good at hiding corruption, but don't forget that Helmut Kohl, the current Chancellor's mentor, orchestrated slush funds and suitcases of cash.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday June 18 2018, @08:27PM

      by frojack (1554) on Monday June 18 2018, @08:27PM (#694691) Journal

      Suitcases of cash are preferable to entire planeloads of dollars or Euros.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday June 19 2018, @04:56PM (1 child)

      by quietus (6328) on Tuesday June 19 2018, @04:56PM (#695123) Journal

      First off, there's no such thing as an EU government. There's the Council of Ministers [the European Council](where the real power lies), the Commission (the administrative & study arm) and the Parliament. The main body of law making happens through so-called Directives, which are (more or less strict) guidelines for local [nation-level] law making, often with sunset terms added to them.

      Secondly, the root cause of the diesel emissions scandal traces back to 1999 when Audi engineers eliminated a noise problem in 3.0 litre engines by injecting extra fuel into the engine on ignition. This caused excess emissions that needed to be hidden during laboratory tests -- hence the software 'fix'. Whether that has much of an impact on the general level of emissions during driving, I can't tell, but I could see an engineer thinking that it wouldn't matter much.

      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday June 19 2018, @05:01PM

        by quietus (6328) on Tuesday June 19 2018, @05:01PM (#695125) Journal

        And thirdly, if European carmakers co-opted any government, than it was for making emission levels ever more strict -- so as to force consumers to buy a new car regularly.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Monday June 18 2018, @08:07PM (10 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Monday June 18 2018, @08:07PM (#694680)

    Head of Wells Fargo. Head of HSC. Head of Lehman brothers. Head of Bain Capitol. Head of Cerberus Capitol. The list goes on and on with the names of 1%'ers who are fucking the entire country for an extra percentage point in their bonus.

    --
    Why shouldn't we judge a book by it's cover? It's got the author, title, and a summary of what the book's about.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @08:33PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @08:33PM (#694696)

      Why ?

      Because those who have the gold make the rules.

      If you don't already understand that, you're either very young or very stupid, or both.

      • (Score: 2) by Kilo110 on Monday June 18 2018, @08:38PM (3 children)

        by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @08:38PM (#694698)

        Does this not hold true in Germany?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @08:51PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @08:51PM (#694703)

          I think you will find the Germans are much more likely to adhere to the rule of law, but I am not German, so it would be helpful if a German person weighed in with some "boots on the ground" experience.

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:21PM (#694715)

            History would say that you really don't want German "boots on the ground."

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday June 19 2018, @09:44AM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday June 19 2018, @09:44AM (#694891) Homepage
          The only banking that Audi's involved in is on the longer corners round their test track.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:17PM (#694739)

      It's not like this guy is so powerful either if he can be carted off to jail as a political football, in a country that really tries to avoid jailing people pre-trial.
      If he were not politically vulnerable, flight risk would not have been held, since "where could somebody that powerful hide at?"

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:23PM (#694741)

      Elizabeth Holmes

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday June 19 2018, @12:12AM

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday June 19 2018, @12:12AM (#694756) Journal

      Yeah, and don't forget Angelo Mozilo, former head of Countrywide. There's taking risks, and gambling with huge uncertainties, and then there's outright lying and fraud, and bullying and threatening underlings, putting them in the impossible situation of having to cheat and commit crimes to meet their performance targets and keep their jobs, while pretending that they weren't being asked to do any such thing. The line can get blurry, but there's no question many crossed the line and should have gone to jail.

      The only big fish who was actually imprisoned is Madoff, largely because his fraud was exceptionally obvious and there was nothing anyone could point to as an even remotely plausible excuse and defense. But that was nowhere near enough to deter the rest of the scoundrels.

      If the referees aren't doing their jobs, the cheating quickly descends into a vicious cycle. Soon even the honest players see that they have no choice but to cheat, in order to stay competitive and survive.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pD-brane on Tuesday June 19 2018, @10:55AM (1 child)

      by pD-brane (6728) on Tuesday June 19 2018, @10:55AM (#694913)

      the names of 1%'ers who are fucking the entire country

      (emphasis mine)

      What the fuck is wrong with Americans? This is not an issue just for your country, it is an issue for all the world citizens. Stop pretending you're more important than the rest.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @02:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @02:33PM (#695009)

        You're a fucking idiot along with everybody else in this thread.

        If senior management knew about the fake accounts and did nothing or worse, covered it up, they should go to jail. But we have no evidence of that. In fact, senior management had incentives to boost revenue and profit. Fake accounts don't increase revenue. Even before fines, they decrease profits. And we have no evidence of unusual insider sales or exercises while Wall Street was being duped.

        Management instituted bad incentives and went up and down with everyone else. Lots of them were fired as the company faced civil consequences. It would be absurd to jail people for something they (a) did not know about and (b) had incentives to know about.

        I think there are a few reasons that no one from senior management of a major bank went to jail related to RMBS. One reason is that the Justice department lost its first big case which was brought against two hedge fund managers from Bear Sterns. Typically prosecutors only bring cases they think they can win and this may have shown that prosecuting a lot of these cases was going to be hard.

        The second reason is a bit of informed speculation on my part. Our banks have a very symbiotic relationship with Washington, especially when it comes to RMBS. The role of the GSEs is especially important here since they in large part determine lending standards. And once you are there eventually there will be politicians involved. While I would have love to seen Barney Frank being called to testify at a trial it was never going to happen. Trying to cleanly slice off the prosecution of a few bank CEOs was always going to be impossible because of where it would lead.

        RenTec is hardly the first people to have a dispute with the IRS. Berkshire Hathaway won a $500M dispute with them last year.

        Also several high-profile executives such as Angelo Mozillo settled for high fines and bars from financial services as a result of SEC enforcement. You can find some of the relevant SEC enforcement actions and their outcomes here https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/enf-actions-fc.shtml [sec.gov] although that page appears a little out of date.

        There were to my knowledge prosecutions also for mortgage fraud etc but just in and of themselves ill-conceived securitizations constitute a fraud.

        TURN OFF THE SOCIAL MEDIA MORON AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING

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