The head of powertrain development at Volkswagen’s Porsche business, Joerg Kerner, has been arrested by authorities in Germany in relation to the Stuttgart public prosecutor office’s investigation of the ongoing Volkswagen diesel vehicle emissions cheating scandal, unnamed sources quoted by Bild am Sonntag have revealed.
Kerner is reportedly being held on remand since he’s considered a flight risk, interestingly — perhaps authorities in Germany are serious about this investigation after all?
While Porsche has as of yet declined to issue a public statement on the matter, it is known that Kerner is 1 of 3 employees at Porsche (current and former) who prosecutors are reportedly focused on. Earlier searches of Porsche and Audi offices by the police have confirmed this.
Reuters provides some more details: “Those 3, as well as Porsche itself, were suspected of having known that engines developed by Audi had been manipulated, Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume told staff in a memo, excerpts of which were seen by Reuters on Friday.
“‘We reject these allegations and will do our utmost to clear up the matter,’ Blume said in the memo, which was first reported by the newspaper Bild am Sonntag earlier on Friday. The arrest occurred on Thursday, he said.
“Earlier this year, prosecutors widened an investigation of Audi, which developed a 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine that was used in about 80,000 VW, Audi and Porsche models found to have been equipped with illicit software.”
Good to see prosecutors finally moving on at least one (of the very likely great many) Volkswagen execs involved in the diesel emissions cheating scandal.