As if the scandals over supposedly “creative” solutions undertaken by German automakers were not enough, it appears that one of the measures they took to comply is likewise going up in flames... or smoke.
Three major German automakers, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz), are working hard to clear the air after they were associated with emissions tests done on animals -particularly on monkeys- done by a European-based testing firm.
The animal testing was done by the European Research Association for the Environment and Health in the Transport Sector or EUGT. The agency was dissolved in 2017, according to Volkswagen.
The three supposedly paid for the testing to be done, though it is unclear whether some or all were aware that monkeys would be exposed to the fumes during the tests.
Various reports also indicated that humans were also exposed to exhaust fumes during the tests.
Volkswagen-the automaker that was hit hardest by the diesel emissions scandal- was the first to respond to the issue of the animal testing done by the EUGT. The board of directors accepted the proposal by their Head of Group External Relations and Sustainability, Dr. Thomas Steg, that he be suspended while the matter was being investigated.
“We are currently in the process of investigating the work of the EUGT, which was dissolved in 2017, and drawing all the necessary consequences. Mr. Steg has declared that he will assume full responsibility. I respect his decision,” said the CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Matthias Müller, in a statement.
Daimler likewise issued a statement that they will “expressly distance” themselves from the study, going so far as to saying they “condemn the experiments in the strongest terms,” are “appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation,” and that “the EUGT's approach contradicts our values and ethical principles.”
Daimler's statement also says that they “did not have influence on the study's design” and “have launched a comprehensive investigation into the matter”.