Fury at carmakers testing exhaust fumes on humans

Robyn Valdez
February 1, 2018

The report claims that Volkswagen engineers oversaw the installation of rollers for the Beetle to run on during the tests, but this alone does not confirm the auto maker knew specifically of the Institute's plan to use monkeys in its tests.

The three giants of engine commissioned and financed experiments in which were made inhale gases emitted by diesel engines to monkeys and humans to determine effects that se have on respiratory system and on blood circulation, according to They revealed several diaries.

The study reportedly compared exhaust fumes and particulates with a then-new diesel-powered VW Beetle with those of an old Ford ute. In 2015, the US 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.

"We're convinced the scientific methods chosen then were wrong", the auto maker said.

A Volkswagen spokesman said: "Volkswagen Group explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty".

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Health impact research done by EUGT, a body funded by Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, has today been denounced by the German government as "abominable" after reports emerged that animals were used to carry out exhaust fumes experiments. The companies are distancing themselves from the study, which the Times first reported last Friday, blaming it instead on the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, EUGT.

Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel said that "these tests on monkeys or even humans can not be justified ethically in any way". "Even though Daimler did not have influence on the study's design, we have launched a comprehensive investigation into the matter". If any conclusions drawn from the human or animal tests suggested the emissions were of a low risk, it is possible they were the result of testing using the now exposed "defeat device".

The company said it did not know that the Volkswagen Beetle supplied for the study was rigged.

"We are conscious of our social and corporate responsibilities and are taking the criticism regarding the study very seriously", the statement read.

"The outrage felt by many people is completely understandable".

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Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that about 25 healthy young people inhaled nitrogen dioxide in different doses over a period of hours. Much of it occurs in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, where researchers have to get approval from an ethics board and abide by rigorous parameters for safety and humane treatment - all after they've proven the benefits of the experiment could potentially outweigh the costs.

Daimler has quickly distanced itself from the tests, stating "We are appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation".

Human test subjects, however, were still involved in a separate emissions study that the three German automakers were said to have been aware of.

He called for the companies concerned to provide "immediate and detailed" responses, and said a ministry commission of inquiry that was set up after the emissions scandal broke will hold a special meeting to examine whether there are any other cases.

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