Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler should not lose his job after being arrested over the emissions scandal, according to Hiltrud Werner, the Volkswagen Group's head of integrity and legal affairs.
Stadler is being held in Ausberg and is in pre-trial detention. A Munich court is currently reviewing his appeal to be released.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Werner said: “I can only talk for myself, if someone is humiliated in this way, I think there is no need for a supervisory board to humiliate him further.”
Werner said prosecutors have not yet charged Stadler or presented any evidence of wrongdoing.
Despite this, Werner said Stadler “had offered many, many times to step down in the last two years”.
Stadler was arrested on June 18 this year after a judge in Germany ordered that he be remanded in custody, it said, to prevent him from obstructing or hindering the diesel investigation.
Abraham Schot stepped in as interim chief executive at Audi two days after the arrest.
His arrest follows on from Volkswagen Group being fined one billion Euros after accepting responsibility for the “diesel crisis” before public prosecutors in Germany.
The fine - equivalent to £880 million - was imposed by the Braunschweig public prosecutor on June 13 and is one of the highest ever imposed by German authorities against a company.
VW does not plan to appeal the ruling, which came after prosecutors established that the brand had sold more than 10.7 million cars between mid-2007 and 2015 which were fitted with an emissions test defeat device.