Five years after “dieselgate” emissions cheating revelations rocked the car industry, ex-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Wednesday became the first top executive to stand trial in Germany.
Stadler, 57, appeared before the Munich district court to answer charges of fraud, falsifying certifications and false advertising.
He wore a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus as he arrived but then took it off in court.
With him in the dock are former Audi and Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz and two Audi engineers, all charged with fraud.
German car giant Volkswagen — whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda and Seat — admitted in September 2015 that it had installed software to rig emissions in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
The so-called defeat devices made the vehicles appear less polluting