The German government has denounced a series of shocking tests which reportedly saw monkeys and humans being deliberately exposed to diesel exhaust fumes.
The tests were carried out by the EUGT, a research organisation that was set up by Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen to better understand the health implications of exposure to diesel fumes.
The news that the tests had been carried out in the first place was first revealed by The New York Times last Thursday, but it wasn’t until the weekend when German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung confirmed that the tests involved not just monkeys, but human beings as well.
Taking place in 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the initial tests involved placing both the monkeys into an airtight chamber where they would inhale the fumes from a VW Beetle.
The human testing then reportedly took place in Aachen, west Germany where 19 men and six women were then exposed to various concentrations of diesel fumes.
According to the Times, the car being used in the first test had actually been rigged to produce emission levels far lower than it would on the road.
This was of course just one part of the far larger emissions scandal that hit VW in 2015 after it was revealed that the company had been fitting its diesel cars with ‘defeat devices’ that would allow the cars to perform far better in a lab than out on the road.
The scandal wiped tens of billions off the company’s value and has so far cost it around $30 billion in fines and penalties.
In relation to the tests carried out by the EUGT, a spokesperson for German Chancellor said: “These tests on monkeys or even humans cannot be justified ethically in any way,”
The EUGT has been in liquidation since June 30 2017.
Volkswagen Group tweeted at the weekend that it “explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty”. However it does admit that the EUGT did carry out animal testing.
Daimler has said it is “appalled” by the news and that while it didn’t have any direct influence on the studies themselves it would be launching a “comprehensive investigation into the matter.”