German automaker's monkey business: Emissions scandal takes a disturbing twist

Adjust Comment Print

German manufacturers have admitted to financing study created to show emissions had decreased by forcing animals to breathe in exhaust fumes.

The three giants of engine commissioned and financed experiments in which were made inhale gases emitted by diesel engines to monkeys and humans to determine effects that se have on respiratory system and on blood circulation, according to They revealed several diaries.

German carmakers have promised to swiftly investigate experiments that exposed people and monkeys to diesel fumes, disclosures that threaten to open a new phase in an emissions controversy that's dogged the industry since 2015.

Experiments on the effects of inhaling nitrogen oxides were said to have been carried out on some 25 healthy young people in varying doses over a period of hours at an institute belonging to Aachen University in Germany.

The German government also responded to the allegations on Monday.

The scandal has also not left German chancellor Angela Merkel indifferent, who, through her spokesman, Steffano-Ibert, has demanded clarification from companies.


"That a whole branch of industry has apparently tried to discard scientific facts with such brazen and dubious methods makes the entire thing even more horrific". The Beetle was one of those 11 million vehicles installed with software which meant the cars wouldn't exceed test limits for emissions.

The experiments would have been carried out in 2015 and a Volkswagen manager, now detained in the United States for the emissions data manipulation scandal, would have personally brought a VW Beatle to the laboratory.

Business Insider says Volkswagen's supervisory board will conduct an inquiry into the tests. Mercedes' parent company went on to mention: "We expressly distance ourselves from the studies and the EUGT".

"We are appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation".

The first publications in this regard focused on monkey experiments that the EUGT commissioned back in 2013 to the Lovelace Biomedical laboratory in Albuquerque NM (USA). It's not clear yet how much these human and monkey studies contributed to VW's claims, but the appearance here is bad.

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".


And while the monkey test results were never published, the Times story has sparked criticism from experts who question what exactly the company hoped to accomplish.

News of the medical test in Germany has awakened uncomfortable memories of the Third Reich.

"The outrage felt by many people is completely understandable".

For his part, chairman of supervisory Board of Volkswagen, Hans Dieter Pötsch, has distanced himself from experiments.

Last week, The New York Times reported on a USA research facility where 10 monkeys were locked in an airtight container, watching cartoons to distract them, as they breathed in fumes from a Volkswagen vehicle. But Rubin stressed that all animal work conducted by Lovelace is done under the supervision of an attending veterinarian and only after an institutional Animal Care and Use Committee evaluates study objectives and testing methods to verify compliance with animal regulations.


Comments