VW bosses demand probe into diesel tests on monkeys

Feb 01, 2018, 00:49
VW bosses demand probe into diesel tests on monkeys

Several German media, including the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" said today that manufacturers of the German auto industry, led by Volkswagen, have financed experiments in which gasses were emitted from diesel engines to monkeys and humans to check its effects on the respiratory system and blood circulation.

Kraus told the press that the experiment in question was instead actually aimed at examining the effects of emissions levels at workplaces.

While the exact details of the experiments involving monkeys remain unclear, the New York Times reports that the EUGT received all of its funding from Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW. The New York Times reported earlier about a 2014 trial in a US laboratory in which 10 monkeys inhaled diesel emissions from a VW Beetle.

VW supervisory board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch also released a statement saying "Whoever is responsible for this must, of course, be held accountable".

He also noted that these practices "must be fully clarified and without reservations" and said that the Supervisory Board will deal with the matter.

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The bombshell revelations mark a fresh blow to German carmakers' once-stellar reputation for engineering prowess and no-nonsense efficiency.

VW is no stranger to controversy following the 2015 dieselgate scandal where the carmaker admitted fitting software created to cheat emissions testing to 11 million vehicles.

According to an article published by The New York Times, back in 2014 in a laboratory located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 10 monkeys were used to inhale the fumes coming out of a diesel-powered Beetle. "What vehicle manufacturers have to do with emissions is to reduce m and not pretend to show that y are not harmful".

But the body's findings had already been cited in reports by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The report said about 25 healthy people inhaled nitrogen dioxide in varying amounts at an institute run by Aachen University in southern Germany.

The German government condemned the reported tests on animals and humans. But the Stuttgart-based Zeitung revealed that research conducted at the University of Aachen also involved human volunteers.

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Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW on Saturday denounced the study, the revelation of which is the latest aftershock from the VW emissions-rigging scandal, which continues to rock the auto industry.

"Volkswagen Group explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty". Animal testing is a sensitive subject, best avoided unless required in the most exceptional circumstances. That, they say, was done by a research advisory board made up of scientists.

In a statement on its website, Daimler said it was "appalled" by reports of the extent of the study, and is "expressly distancing" itself from the EUGT, adding that it "condemns the experiment in the strongest terms". Over the weekend, Volkswagen apologised for the misconduct and lack of judgment of some individuals, calling the trials a mistake.

Mel Evans, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, said: "These bewilderingly abhorrent lab tests on monkeys and possibly humans, show yet again that VW is wholly untrustworthy and will do anything to promote dirty diesel".

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