Former-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler on Wednesday became the first top executive to stand trial in Germany for his role in an enormous emissions-cheating scandal.
Stadler, 57, appeared before the Munich district court to answer charges of fraud, falsifying certifications and false advertising.
Former Audi and Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz and two Audi engineers are being tried alongside Stadler, facing charges of fraud.
German car giant Volkswagen — whose subsidiaries include Porsche, Audi, Skoda and Seat — admitted in September 2015 that it had installed software to rig emissions in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
Criminal proceedings have taken place in the United States over the scandal, leading to the imprisonment of two Volkswagen employees. In Germany, there have been no convictions over the scam.
Prosecutors opened the proceedings on Wednesday by reading aloud an over 90-page indictment.
The trial is expected to last more than two years. If found guilty, the defendants face up to 10 years in jail.