A German investigative media group has reported that former Volkswagen Group engine development boss Wolfgang Hatz has been taken into custody for questioning on his involvement in VW’s diesel emission manipulation scandal.
The media group consists of the Süddeutscher Zeitung newspaper and German government-funded Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk broadcasters.
News of Hatz’s detention on Thursday follows confirmation from the public prosecutor’s office in Munich that it has arrested a VW employee following a search of various offices and houses by the German police.
Hatz’s rumoured arrest is seen as a turning point in the so-called Dieselgate scandal due to his close association with former VW Group chairman Martin Winterkorn.
Under Winterkorn’s leadership, Hatz was the head of engine development at Audi between 2001 and 2007 – a crucial stage in the development of software solutions to enable diesel engines to pass emissions standards in the US. In 2007, Hatz followed Winterkorn to VW, where he acted as engine boss for the entire group until 2011.