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Dirty Money: VW apologises for conducting diesel tests on animals

A New York Times report graphically describes the experiment, in which 10 monkeys packed tightly together in an airtight enclosure were exposed to diesel fumes emanating from a VW Beetle, which was in fact one of the models the company had rigged to cheat pollution tests.

business Updated: Apr 25, 2018 13:13 IST
Agencies, Frankfurt
VW Beetle,Volkswagen,German carmaker
(AFP Photo)

German carmaker Volkswagen has apologised for conducting experiments on monkeys to prove its newer diesel car models were more efficient than the older ones. The company’s supervisory board, in the meantime, has also ordered a probe into who ordered the tests, even as the German government calls the research “unjustifiable”.

A New York Times report has uncovered a new aspect to the carmaker’s infamous “Dieselgate” scam which had put it down by $26 billion in September 2015. A Netflix investigative series Dirty Money has also documented the experiments, landing the carmaker into a fresh soup, even as it still struggles to recover from the 2015 emissions fiasco. In an official statement, the automaker has apologised for “the lack of judgement of individuals” involved in ordering the tests, and admits that “the scientific methods chosen then were wrong.”

The statement goes on to say, “It would have been better to do without such a study in the first place.”

According to the NYT report, the experiments conducted in Albuquerque, New Mexico were funded wholly by big German carmakers. The details were described in a lawsuit filed against VW in the United States.

The report graphically describes the experiment, in which 10 monkeys packed tightly together in an airtight enclosure were exposed to diesel fumes emanating from a VW Beetle, which was in fact one of the models the company had rigged to cheat pollution tests.

Wire agency Agence France-Presse further cites a Sueddeutsche Zeitung report that says similar tests involving nitrogen dioxide were also conducted on about 25 healthy human beings.

Despite the apparent setback, the Volkswagen stock continued to trade in the green on European exchanges at the time of filing of this report.

Earlier in September 2015, Volkswagen had admitted to rigging software in its cars to cheat emission tests.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 17:58 IST