BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen Denounce Diesel Fumes Tests on Monkeys

By Paul Riegler on 28 January 2018
  • Share

DSC_0193Three German automakers, BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen, apologized on Saturday for their support of research conducted in 2014 in a U.S.-based lab in which ten monkeys inhaled diesel emissions from a VW Beetle while watching cartoons on television.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the three German car companies worked with the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, also known as EUGT, an organization they had funded, to undertake a study that would support the use of diesel fuel after research found that diesel exhaust fumes were carcinogenic in nature.

The EUGT had been created in the late 2000s to support the concept of clean diesel.

The EUGT in turn engaged the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the study. That group conducted an experiment where monkeys held in airtight chambers inhaled diesel fumes from a Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle was apparently equipped with a so-called defeat device that was used in order to meet emissions requirements only when a software program recognized that an emissions test was in progress.

The automakers said that the study was a mistake.

“Daimler does not tolerate or support unethical treatment of animals,” the Stuttgart-based automaker said, terming it “abhorrent.”

Volkswagen echoed the sentiment.

“We apologize for the misconduct and the lack of judgment of individuals,” said the Wolfsburg-based automaker in a statement. “We’re convinced the scientific methods chosen then were wrong. It would have been better to do without such a study in the first place.”

BMW said it does not carry out experiments involving animals.

VW agreed to plead guilty and pay a $4.3 billion penalty for having installed software on its diesel-powered vehicles that would deceive U.S. regulators. The software activated pollution controls during emissions tests and left them off during actual driving.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News