VW, Merc, BMW tested gas on mon­keys, peo­ple

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GERMAN car­mak­ers Volk­swa­gen, Daim­ler and BMW are in dam­age con­trol over diesel en­gine test­ing that in­volved mon­keys caged in gas cham­bers.

The German Gov­ern­ment has con­demned the test­ing, with spokesman St­ef­fen Seib­ert telling me­dia: “These tests on mon­keys or even peo­ple are in no eth­i­cal way jus­ti­fi­able and raise many crit­i­cal ques­tions about those who are be­hind the tests.”

A new Net­flix doc­u­men­tary, Dirty Money, re­vealed the “re­pul­sive” an­i­mal test­ing was car­ried out by a re­search group funded by Volk­swa­gen, BMW and Mercedes (Daim­ler) in 2014.

But the clean air study was ac­tu­ally a fraud, with one of the cars, a VW Bee­tle, re­port­edly fit­ted with dieselcheat­ing soft­ware – mean­ing it was belch­ing out more than 40 times the le­gal limit.

Test­ing by the Lovelace Res­pi­ra­tory Re­search In­sti­tute in Al­bu­querque, New Mex­ico was orig­i­nally due to use hu­mans ped­alling on ex­er­cise bikes.

But the study was changed to use 10 mon­keys watch­ing TV cartoons in air­tight gas cham­bers with diesel fumes di­rected through a se­ries of tubes.

The find­ings were never pub­lished and all three car­mak­ers have de­nounced the re­search.

"I will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­sure that this mat­ter is in­ves­ti­gated in de­tail," Volk­swa­gen su­per­vi­sory board chair­man Hans Di­eter Poetsch said in a state­ment.

"Who­ever is re­spon­si­ble for this must of course be held ac­count­able."

The $A870,000 in fund­ing for the re­search came from the three firms via a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion called EUGT, which was dis­banded last year.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung re­ported an­other study in­volved test­ing fumes on 25 hu­mans.

A Volk­swa­gen Group state­ment said: “Volk­swa­gen Group ex­plic­itly dis­tances it­self from all forms of an­i­mal cru­elty.

“An­i­mal test­ing con­tra­dicts our own eth­i­cal stan­dards ... we know that the sci­en­tific meth­ods used by EUGT were wrong and apol­o­gise sin­cerely for this.”

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