German authorities arrested and jailed Rupert Stadler, the chief of Volkswagen’s Audi luxury car division, on Monday in connection with emissions cheating, a further embarrassment for the carmaker, which has so far refused to dismiss him.
Mr. Stadler, who is also a member of Volkswagen’s management board, was placed in investigative detention, Audi said in a statement, confirming a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Under German law, suspects may be held pending trial if a judge determines that they are a flight risk or that there is a danger they would obstruct the investigation.
The arrest of Mr. Stadler comes a week after Munich prosecutors formally identified him as a suspect in an investigation into Volkswagen’s use of software to deceive regulators about the emissions of its diesel vehicles.
Mr. Stadler is the highest-ranking Volkswagen executive still in his job to have been identified as a suspect in the diesel emissions case, which is the subject of investigations in both Germany and the United States. Yet he remained on the management board and the company said last week that his resignation had not been discussed.
It was not clear whether Volkswagen would reconsider Mr. Stadler’s status in view of his arrest. It would certainly be a first for a major German company if Mr. Stadler retained his position after being incarcerated.