Falko Rudolph, who was VW's head of diesel engine development at the firm's Kassel plant between 2006 and 2010, has reportedly been suspended following the results of an internal investigation, according to news agency Reuters.
Volkswagen is holding an internal investigation into the source of the emissions scandal which has engulfed the company. This latest news comes after German prosecutors announced they would be opening a formal investigation into former Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn.
The prosecutor’s office in Germany said that Winterkorn is being investigated over “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data.”
In Germany, anyone can file a complaint with the prosecutors, and several were filed as a result of the emissions scandal last week. The prosecutors then decide whether to open a formal investigation, which has now happened.
Executives on leave
Several VW executives are also reported to be on official leave from the company, with Audi R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg, VW R&D chief Heinz Jakob Neusser and Porsche board member Wolfgang Hatz all said to be suspended - although this has yet to be confirmed.
Hackenberg is a long-time board member of the VW Group, and has had responsiblity for development for the Group as a whole and, more recently, Audi. Hatz is the VW Group's head of engines and transmissions, as well as being the research and development boss of Porsche. None of the three has been formally connected with an active role in the scandal, however.