VW's Audi R&D head to be suspended over emissions scandal: Bild am Sonntag

September 17, 2016 6:03 PM EDT

Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG presents the new Audi Q2 car at the 86th International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RTS8P2J

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's Audi head of development will be suspended this coming week as part of the investigation into an emissions scandal, Bild am Sonntag reported citing sources.

Investigations by Jones Day have shown that Stefan Knirsch, an Audi board member, knew about the use of cheat software in 3.0 liter diesel engines and gave a false promise under oath, the paper said on Sunday.

Knirsch has already been asked to clear his desk, it said.

Audi has admitted that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine was fitted with emissions-control software, deemed as illegal in the United States where the scandal has engulfed VW.

Spokesmen for Volkswagen, Audi and Audi's works council declined to comment.

Knirsch, Audi's former head of engine development, replaced Ulrich Hackenberg, the top engineer at Audi and the VW group, last year. Hackenberg quit after being suspended together with two other executives closely associated with the development of the VW engine at the center of the scandal, codenamed EA 189.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Andreas Cremer; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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