Croation officials have arrested former Audi executive Axel Eiser in connection to conspiracy charges related to the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal in the US.
The New York Times reported that the arrest of Eiser as part of the investigation in into Volkswagen’s alleged conspiracy to evade US clean air laws was a sign that authorities continue to pursue the case almost five years after the dieselgate scandal was initially exposed.
Eiser was held on a United States warrant after being arrested on June 9 at a crossing along the border with Slovenia.
The newspaper said that it was unclear why Eiser had travelled to Croatia, where he was no longer protected by German law.
The former head of engine development at VW’s Audi facility in Ingolstadt, Germany, was part of a team that realised that Audi diesel engines could not meet American emissions regulations back in 2006, according to a US indictment.
To solve the problem, engineers developed software – installed in Audis from 2009 to 2016 – that could recognize when a car was being tested and temporarily reduce emissions to legal levels, the NY Times reported.
Two former VW employees have been successfully prosecured in connection to the US dieselgate scandal to date.
In August 2017 James Liang, a former VW engineer who lived in California, received a 40-month sentence after admitting his involvement in the emissions fraud.
In December that same year Oliver Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to his part in emissions scandal.