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VW suspends company lobbyist over 'repulsive' diesel fume tests

30 January 2018

The three German vehicle manufacturers have faced widespread outrage after it emerged that they had funded tests carried out in 2014 via a body called EUGT, which saw 10 monkeys locked into airtight containers and made to breathe the exhaust from a VW Beetle.

Experiments at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico involved sealing 10 macaque monkeys in airtight containers then making the animals breathe the diesel exhaust fumes from a 2013 Beetle and a 2004 Ford F250 pick-up.

Hans Dieter P-tsch, chairman of Volkswagen's supervisory board, said Monday that he would "do everything possible to ensure that this matter is investigated in detail".

The world's biggest carmaker Volkswagen faced fresh scrutiny today over reports it helped finance experiments that saw monkeys and humans breathe auto exhaust fumes.

"Whoever is responsible for this must of course be held accountable". The tests are also mentioned in the premier episode of the Netflix documentary series "Dirty Money".

The tests were aimed at countering allegations that diesel emissions, which have been linked to asthma, lung diseases and heart attacks, were harmful to health.

VW suspends chief lobbyist over monkey diesel tests.

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Following these revelations, Volkswagen released a statement that "explicitly distances itself clearly from all forms of animal abuse", apologizing for the "misconduct and the lack of judgment of individuals".

The statement from the automaker said that the company was "drawing the first consequences" as it investigates the activities of EUGT, the entity backed by Volkswagen and other carmakers that commissioned the monkey experiment.

"We are conscious of our social and corporate responsibilities and are taking the criticism regarding the study very seriously".

"The methods used by EUGT in the United States were wrong, they were unethical and repulsive", he said.

The company's management board is to launch a probe following the supervisory board's recommendation.

However, industry observers have said that this claim does not hold up as documentation clearly showed that the results were presented to managers at VW, BMW and Daimler, who had all been a part of the now defunct auto lobby group, the European Research Group of Environment and Health in the Transport Sector.

"'These tests. are in no ethical way justifiable and they raise many critical questions about those who are behind the tests", said Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

VW suspends company lobbyist over 'repulsive' diesel fume tests