German automaker Audi has named Abraham Schot as interim chief executive following the arrest of Rupert Stadler as part of a probe into emissions cheating.
In a statement, Audi said it had “accepted the request” of Mr Stadler “to release him from his duties.”
It added: “The release is a temporary measure, put in place until the circumstances surrounding Stadler’s arrest have been clarified.”
Mr Stadler has been detained by German authorities investigating the “dieselgate” scandal at parent firm Volkswagen.
Prosecutors in Munich said Stadler – the most senior group official to be held since the emissions saga began almost three years ago – was arrested at home in the early hours following a search of the property last week.
They said his detention was linked to fears he might obstruct their continuing investigation, adding that he had been remanded in custody by a judge.
Audi responded by insisting there was a presumption of innocence in the case involving Mr Stadler, who has led the Audi division since 2007.
Volkswagen admitted to cheating diesel emission tests in 2015 and forked out almost $30bn ($23.4bn) in fines, fixing and replacing vehicles.
The beleaguered automaker has insisted only low-level managers were involved in the scandal.
But US prosecutors filed criminal charges against former VW boss Martin Winterkorn.
German authorities are still investigating Volkswagen but have also hauled in Daimler’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche to answer questions by the transport ministry after Germany’s KBA motor vehicle authority said it found illegal software in one of its models.
Daimler agreed to recall 238,000 vehicles and work with authorities to remove the software.
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The company said the legality of the software needed to be clarified.
Mr Schot, the former chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Italia, joined the VW group in 2011. He has been Audi board member for sales and marketing since last September.