German police arrested the former chief of engine development, Wolfgang Hatz, on Wednesday in connection with the car maker's attempt to rig diesel-powered automobiles to deceive emissions testing.
The 2015 emission cheating scandal revealed VW's engineers and management conspired to install illegal engine software to game emissions tests, making the tailpipe tests appear to meet strict EPA regulations in the U.S. The software was written to turn on emissions controls when the car was being tested, then turn off the controls when the car was back on the road. The software was installed on 2-liter diesel engine VW cars and 3-liter diesel Audi, Porsche, and larger VW vehicles.
Hatz, the most senior of the Volkswagen AG executives to be arrested, was arraigned Thursday in Munich and held in pretrial detention.
No specific charges have been made public as yet and has maintained he knew nothing about the cheating scandal. Hatz join Volkswagen in 2001, ran Audi's engine development program until 2007, then was made a board member at Porsche AG, Volkswagen's sports-car maker, in charge of research and development. Hatz was suspended shortly after the VW scandal, along with at least 10 other senior executives. He formally resigned in May 2016
The Wall Street Journal and Fox Business reported that while German authorities would not identify Hatz by name due to that countries privacy laws, they did say a person arredst in connection with the VW cheating scandal appeared in court on Thursday where the judge read charges of fraud and illegal advertising.