The Volkswagen Group has named Abraham Schot (top left) as interim CEO to replace Rupert Stadler (top right), who has been taken into custody at the request of the Munich public prosecutor’s office on June 18. The long-time Audi CEO was arrested because they saw a risk he could try to suppress evidence in the emissions cheating scandal.

Stadler, who has yet to be charged with a crime, had requested that the VW supervisory board release him from his position in the boards of Audi and the VW Group. The German car giant says that this release applies temporarily, until the circumstances that led to his arrest have been clarified. VW said on Monday that Stadler was presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

Schot has been a member of the board of management of Audi in charge of sales and marketing since September 2017.

It’s rocky times for the group’s most profitable arm, and Reuters reports that this latest development raises questions about whether VW had done enough to reform in the wake of Dieselgate, while threatening a delicate truce among the group’s stakeholders who had previously clashed about whether Stadler should remain as chief.

The controlling Porsche and Piech families were backers of Stadler, but VW’s labor representatives – who have half the seats on the carmaker’s supervisory board – were against. The unions have VW’s home state of Lower Saxony on their side, and both camps share the same goal of protecting jobs at VW, which employs over 100,000 people in the northwestern state.

VW had always maintained that only lower-level managers knew of the emissions cheating, but US authorities have filed criminal charges against former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and German prosecutors continue to probe.

Last week, Munich prosecutors said they were investigating Stadler for suspected fraud and false advertising, and for his alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with the emissions cheat code on to the European market.

The technique of using software to detect a pollution test procedure, and to increase the effectiveness of emissions filters to mask pollution levels during tests, was first developed at Audi. This was revealed by VW itself.

“In designing the defeat device, VW engineers borrowed the original concept of the dual-mode, emissions cycle-beating software from Audi,” Volkswagen said in its plea agreement with US authorities in January 2017, where the company agreed to pay a $4.3 billion (RM17.2 billion) fine to reach a settlement with American regulators.