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Volkswagen CEO says diesel fume tests on monkeys were "repulsive"

31 January 2018

"We believe the animal tests in this study were unnecessary and repulsive", Daimler said in a statement.

Tests were carried out by Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, which is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published findings that Volkswagen had programmed software in its diesel cars so that they would pass emissions tests despite not meeting environmental regulations. "I am sorry that Volkswagen was involved in the matter as one of the sponsors of EUGT". Although the bigger Ford was nearly 20 years old, and the VW was using defeat software to reduce emissions by 40 times ordinary road levels, the Beetle seems to have caused greater harm to the animals. The New York Times first on the tests January 25.

Members of Volkswagen's supervisory board have called for an inquiry into the tests, German media reported on Monday.

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The latest revelations are likely to increase pressure on Volkswagen, which is already facing litigation in the United Kingdom and elsewhere over the emissions scandal.

Daimler said: "We expressly distance ourselves from the studies and the EUGT".

Results of the research had not been published by the time the EUGT disbanded a year ago.

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The EUGT, which disbanded in 2017, received all of its funding from German automakers Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, according to Reuters. German newspapers also reported that another study funded by these carmakers had exposed 25 human volunteers to nitrogen dioxide. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote a letter to Matthias Müller, the chief executive of Volkswagen, protesting the use of monkeys for the tests.

The study was supposed to show that modern diesel engines are significantly cleaner than they used to be and that a modern diesel's emissions no longer pose serious health concerns. The university said the study had no relation to the diesel scandal.

The German government also condemned the tests. In a statement he added, "Whoever has to take responsibility for it is, of course, accountable".

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Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that "the disgust many people are feeling is absolutely understandable". They failed to adequately provide evidence that diesel fuel is not harmful and the fact that the tests failed and represented a loss in quality of life for a few monkeys and a few humans demonstrates that inadequate care was taken during the planning process. In 2010, the EUGT stated its mission as “a more intensive examination of interactions between emissions, immissions and health” and finding ways to prevent possible health impairment by vehicle fumes. They're here to serve the chimpanzees who served humankind as subjects of government-funded biomedical research.

Volkswagen CEO says diesel fume tests on monkeys were