Porsche's Powertrain Development Boss Arrested Over Dieselgate

Porsche's Powertrain Development Boss Arrested Over Dieselgate

HAMBURG, April 20 (Reuters) - German police arrested the head of powertrain development at Volkswagen's Porsche sportscar brand and are holding him on remand on concerns he could try to destroy evidence or flee, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Stuttgart prosecutors said Wednesday's raids, in the southern states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria, are part of an investigation into suspicions of fraud and misleading advertising. Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to charges of fraud by concealing emission test rigging software from U.S. regulators.

Kerner is considered a confidant of former Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller, who was Porsche CEO before becoming CEO of the whole VW Group in the wake of the emissions scandal.

The prosecutor has also accused Porsche research and development boss Michael Steiner and an unnamed former employee of wrongdoing, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

He said that "Audi AG and Porsche AG are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities".


Porsche has largely managed to escape involvement until now because it does not make diesel engines of its own, but uses those of its sister company Audi.

However, it is the first time Porsche's offices have been searched over the diesel cheating controversy, while Audi has already been raided three times over the past year, most recently in February.

Prosecutors confirmed that a Porsche employee was held in the course of investigations. Two searches were also carried out this week at Audi's facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

Mr Mueller, who led Porsche between 2010 and 2015, took the helm of the VW group in the turbulent days after the scandal broke.

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