By CRM Staff
Wolfsburg, Germany -- January 31, 2018 -- The Volkswagen Group is once again in hot water after reports emerged that Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen knowingly took part in diesel inhalation experiments on monkeys.
Java monkeys were situated in airtight chambers breathing in various types of exhaust fumes at an isolated testing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Commissioned to perform the experiments was the now defunct European Research Group of Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), which had derived most of its funding from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.
The purpose of the test was to compare and contrast diesel fumes to standard gasoline emission inhalation. One group of monkeys was exposed to diesel emissions from a Volkswagen beetle for four hours while another group was exposed to emmisions from a Ford pickup truck. The monkeys were then put under anesthesia and examined to study differences in exposure externalities.
Dailmer and BMW tried to distance themselves from the laboratory tests, laying emphasis on their cars not being used in testing.
In a joint statement released by Daimler and BMW, the companies said, “We will investigate how this study came to pass. We consider the animal experiments in the study to be superfluous and senseless.”
Dr. Thomas Steg, a former government spokesperson who formerly worked for German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been pinpointed as having knowledge of the experiments as early as 2013. Joining the company in 2012, Steg is viewed as a prime example of the ‘revolving door’ policy that links interests between government and industry. Shortly before he was suspended, Steg told German tabloid Bild he was ashamed of the study and was heavily concerned about the impact it could have on the German car industry that accounts for an extensive 700,000 jobs.
“My main concern is that the study should never have taken place with animals or with humans,” he said. “What happened, should never have happened. I regret it greatly. It has nothing to do with scientific clarification.”