German manufacturers admitted to financing a study that was designed to prove emissions were lower by forcing animals to breathe in exhaust fumes

Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have "blood on their hands" because of the deaths caused by excessive nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel cars, a former government scientist has said.

In the week that followed news of a diesel fume test that involved caged monkeys, Sir David King, who was the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser until 2007, said that the number of fatalities caused by NOx emissions produced by cars in Britain "is really very, very large" - and that even he wasn't aware of the gravity of the situation until recently.

His comments came in response to fresh details of a diesel test that was organised by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), which was an organisation established by the trio of German car manufacturers along with parts supplier Bosch, that forced monkeys to breathe in exhaust emissions to illustrate that modern diesel cars are far cleaner than their predecessors.

The monkey test took place in New Mexico, US, in 2014, a year before the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal broke. The EUGT folded before the results of the test could be compiled.

Is it time to give up on the diesel engine?

Volkswagen has since suspended its chief lobbyist Thomas Steg for leading the tests. He said he "takes full responsibility".

Daimler stated that it is “appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation”, while Volkswagen chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch said the tests were "totally incomprehensible" and that the incident must be "investigated fully and unconditionally”. BMW said it wasn't part of the study and that it has launched an internal investigation "to thoroughly clarify the work and background of the EUGT".

Reports suggest other tests were carried out with humans prior to the monkey test, but that they involved inhalation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is commonly associated with diesel engines, rather than exhaust fumes.

Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel, said that "these tests on monkeys or even humans cannot be justified ethically in any way".

In the year that followed the monkey fumes test, Volkswagen’s use of emissions cheating devices was brought to light. The Dieselgate scandal has since led to changes to regulatory emissions tests, helping to create the new Real Driving Emissions tests.

More content:

The price we'll pay for improved emissions testing

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

New 1.5-litre petrol engine promises to help keep the refreshed Volkswagen Golf ahead of rivals

Join the debate

Comments
48

29 January 2018

Which of these manufactures knew that the tests would involve monkeys? They funded them yes, now as ‘journalists’  tell me how complicit they were in the method so that I can decide which companies I will never have anything to do with again. 

29 January 2018

with killing Jews.

 

They loaded a truck full of Jewish people, fed in the exhaust fumes and drove around until they stopped making a noise.

 

Ultimately this wasn't efficient enough for them and they looked to scale up their murdering practicies.   I wish I were joking, but as one of my Jewish friends was told by his grandmother (who managed to escape from Germany), the Germans are very efficient at everything they do.

 

30 January 2018
Symanski wrote:

with killing Jews.

 

They loaded a truck full of Jewish people, fed in the exhaust fumes and drove around until they stopped making a noise.

 

Ultimately this wasn't efficient enough for them and they looked to scale up their murdering practicies.   I wish I were joking, but as one of my Jewish friends was told by his grandmother (who managed to escape from Germany), the Germans are very efficient at everything they do.

 

I've heard they're amassing troops on their western boarders, conscription has begun in the country and their car plants have been seized in order to convert them into making aircraft. At least Trump has pledged his allegiance to the UK and offered military assistance whenever you need it.

1 February 2018

I was watching Schindler's List on Holocaust Memorial day. After the bit where they were hunting Jews with stethoscopes I saw an Audi commercial hailing the merits of "German Precision."

As if that weren't chilling enough, the next day I see that VW are "gassing" monkeys. Particularly disturbing given VW's somewhat sinister origins.

Unbelievable that we are able to draw such shocking comparisons after 73 years!

30 January 2018

Why do 'media outlets' insist on using this term - is Mercedes managing to spin this story? - rather than the brand name which everyone recognises. Germany's stables really need cleaning out. This story gets worse and worse every day.

29 January 2018

If this turns out to be validated, then now there is no excuse at all for buying a new BMW, Mercedes or VW Group vehicle or truck or bike... we have surely had enough of our near neighbours using / promoting / being involved with the use of gas for their own means.

 

29 January 2018

As if Dieselgate wasn't bad enough, this latest revelation regarding the German car industry really is abhorrent and sickening. For crying out loud they've admitted to funding an emissions test that forced caged monkeys to breathe in exhaust fumes. How long are we going to keep buying cars from these companies? Companies who not only produce cars that are not only poorly designed, poorly engineered and completely unreliable, but companies that have been proven to resort to underhand and cheating tactics and now this, deliberately funding tests which harm wildlife.

29 January 2018

I'd like to know a little more about exactly what went on, but based on what I've read I cannot be anything other than disturbed, particularly with the monkey testing. It is one thing to test on humans if they are aware of what they are doing (the if being cruicial) but defenceless monkeys is another matter altogether. However, I see this as separate to the wider diesel debate. No doubt many will link the two but this is a group of manufacturers acting in what appears to be an irresponsible manner, it doesn't add anything to the debate about what role diesel should play in modern transport.

29 January 2018

...and another thing

Autocar and other media publications in Haymarket Automotive Division and all other media companies now need to cease taking advertising revenues and their PR and their car/truck/bike loans for testing etc from these "gas utilisation" and totally despicable enterprises.

Who in Autocar and indeed Haymarket will stand up and be seen to be counted on this...

... over to you Mr Cropley and co

29 January 2018
the instigator wrote:

...and another thing

Autocar and other media publications in Haymarket Automotive Division and all other media companies now need to cease taking advertising revenues and their PR and their car/truck/bike loans for testing etc from these "gas utilisation" and totally despicable enterprises.

Who in Autocar and indeed Haymarket will stand up and be seen to be counted on this...

... over to you Mr Cropley and co

well said

 

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition