German carmakers tested their cars for emissions on monkeys

01 February, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Volkswagen alleged to have rigged experiment with monkeys to show safe level of emissions

The tests were reportedly carried out by a research group funded by major German auto companies.

Details of the experiment, which took place in 2014, were revealed during a lawsuit brought against Volkswagen in the United States a year ago.

"Everything must be done now to establish under whose orders and when these tests were carried out", said Mr Weill, who is on the supervisory board.

A report by the New York Times found that the research group financed by top German auto manufacturers commissioned experiments in which one group of monkeys was exposed to diesel exhaust from a late-model Volkswagen, while another group was exposed to fumes from an older Ford pickup.

Volkswagen, the "Peoples' Car" founded in Germany in the 1930s, carried out rigged tests of their emissions that caused an worldwide scandal three years ago.

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The controversy over Volkswagen AG's diesel-emissions cheating took another twist when the carmaker apologized for a test that exposed monkeys to engine fumes to study effects of the exhaust. They also do little to help the poor public perception of the technology under scrutiny for high pollution levels in many European cities. However, it's not that easy taking into consideration the new accusations that have emerged about VAG's diesel-related misconduct.

Daimler, manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz cars, said on Sunday "we are appalled by the extent of the [EUGT] studies and their implementation".

'Volkswagen Group explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty. Jürgen Resch, the group's CEO, says that interest in the diesel exhaust studies has been sparked by investigations in the U.S. into Volkswagen's diesel cheating schemes, which has "apparently set the EUGT in a panic".

A report from The New York Times says that the test was overseen by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), an organisation established by the three German carmakers along with automotive component supplier Bosch. The report claimed that 25 people had been involved in the experiment where they were made to inhale varying amounts of nitrogen dioxide at an institute run by Germany's Aachen University.

The university compiled a report in 2016 that concluded the subjects showed no ill effect from the tests.

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According to the reports, the ethics committee at Aachen University Hospital permitted the tests under occupational doctor Prof Thomas Kraus.

BMW told the press that it had not participated in the studies cited in media and had launched an "immediate internal investigation" into the work of EUGT.

Such tests could not be justified, the government said, demanding details.

Volkswagen has promised an inquiry into the scandal.

"No ethical way justifiable", said spokesman for German Chancellor Merkel.

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"They raise many critical questions for those were behind these tests - and these questions must urgently be answered". He added that the three automakers were aware of the human experiments but had no say over them. After subjecting them to this abuse, experimenters cut out samples of their lung tissue to check for inflammation. The company's supervisory board, in the meantime, has also ordered a probe into who ordered the tests, even as the German government calls the research "unjustifiable".

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