Jörg Kerner, who was promoted to the head of powertrains at Porsche in 2011, was arrested in relation to the Volkswagen Group’s diesel scandal, a person familiar with the matter told on Friday.
German prosecutors confirmed that a person was remanded because of flight risk and that a probe was opened against the person last July.
The arrest comes just days after German police raided offices of Porsche as well as Audi as part of a wider probe into suspected fraud and false advertising stemming from the diesel scandal. A diesel engine offered in the Porsche Cayenne was found to contain the emissions cheating software at the heart of the scandal.
Last September, Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz was arrested for his own alleged involvement in the scandal. He is still in jail as the investigation into his alleged involvement continues. An Audi executive, believed to be Giovanni Pamio, was also arrested last July.
The various German investigations have gone to the very top, with even former Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller, who previously led Porsche, investigated over potential market manipulation regarding the speed in which information concerning the scandal was shared with shareholders. Müller last week was replaced by Herbert Diess, a former BMW exec and relative outsider since he only joined the VW Group a few months prior to the scandal becoming public in September of 2015.
Here in the United States two Volkswagen executives have been sentenced and sent to jail for their involvement in the scandal. The first was James Liang who last August was sentenced to 40 months in jail. The second was Oliver Schmidt who last December was sentenced to seven years in jail.