Fury at carmakers testing exhaust fumes on humans

Volkswagen alleged to have rigged experiment with monkeys to show safe level of emissions

Volkswagen alleged to have rigged experiment with monkeys to show safe level of emissions

"The minister has no understanding for such tests, which damage animals and humans and that do not serve science but merely PR aims", Mr Strater said.

The company said on Monday a small internal group had mistakenly pushed for the tests to be carried out and that they did not reflect VW's ethos.

German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung was the first to report on Monday the human trial at the University of Aachen, citing annual reports from the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, or EUGT, which closed a year ago. Doctors at an Aachen-based university hospital then examined 25 people after they inhaled varying concentrations of the gas over several hours.

According to the New York Times, monkeys were exposed to diesel exhausts from an older vehicle - others to fumes from a more modern auto.

The report does not go so far as to explicitly say that Daimler, BMW or Volkswagen knew of the use of live test subjects, although it claims, vaguely, that Volkswagen "took a lead role in the study".

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, meeting European counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss government measures created to improve air quality in badly polluted cities, called the tests irresponsible.

"We are convinced that the scientific method, chosen at that time, was wrong".

Naturally, one explanation for this terrifying experiment by German scientists could be that they are, well, German scientists.

Last Friday, NY Times revealed that Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had used a Volkswagen Beetle 2013 to make inhale emissions to ten monkeys locked in a room, where y could Watching a television screen that served as a distraction.

Cops find 9000 pounds of stolen oranges squeezed into cars
However, a robbery report from Carmona law enforcement connected a missing shipment of oranges to the traveling orange family. Theft of oranges is not uncommon in Spain , where farmers have even reportedly hired vigilantes to protect their orchards.

Daimler also issued a written statement to "expressly distance" itself from the research, saying it was "appalled by the nature and extent of the studies and their implementation" and condemning them in the "strongest terms".

Reports of the tests, following a New York Times account of similar experiments on monkeys in the US, triggered political recriminations and had automakers scrambling to distance themselves.

The experiment was reportedly aiming to prove that diesel vehicles, which used the latest technology, were cleaner than older models. It was carried out at the University of Aachen in Germany and backed by a little-known group funded by Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG.

Reuters reported Thomas Steg, Volkswagen's chief lobbyist told German daily Bild that the company won't test on animals again, in an interview to be published tomorrow.

It remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys being used in the experiments.

In 2014, the research body also commissioned a U.S. lab to conduct experiments on monkeys to study whether nitrogen oxides in diesel exhausts are harmful to them.

The test result stands in contrast to long-term medical studies drawing a link between nitrogen-dioxide and breathing problems, particularly among the young, the elderly and asthmatics.

VW said on Monday the EUGT study was never discussed in any management board meetings, after the Bild newspaper reported an internal e-mail showed at least some senior managers were informed about the design of the research.

"The BMW Group did not participate in the mentioned study and distances itself from this study".

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