GERMANY – The chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen (VW), Hans Dieter Putsch, criticized on Monday for alleged experiments of the company with monkeys and humans who would have been inhaling gases from diesel engines of the company, according to information from several German media sources.
“On behalf of the Supervisory Board I distance myself with total determination of this type of practice,” said Pötsch from the headquarters of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and considered that these experiments “are not in any way understandable.”
He also noted that these practices “must be fully clarified and without reservations” and said that the Supervisory Board will deal with the matter.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that these events are fully investigated,” he said, adding that whoever is responsible “will of course have to be held accountable”.
Several German media, including the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” said today that manufacturers of the German car industry, led by Volkswagen, have financed experiments in which gasses were emitted from diesel engines to monkeys and humans to check its effects on the respiratory system and blood circulation.
The experiments would have been commissioned by the European Association for Studies on Health and the Environment in Transport (EUGT, for its acronym in German), an entity founded by the Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW automobile consortium.
The first publications in this regard focused on monkey experiments that the EUGT commissioned back in 2013 to the Lovelace Biomedical laboratory in Albuquerque NM (USA).
The experiments would have been carried out in 2015 and a Volkswagen manager, currently detained in the US for the emissions data manipulation scandal, would have personally brought a VW Beatle to the laboratory.
“The car’s emissions were taken to a small room where ten monkeys had been locked up”, according to German newspapers.
The same media reported today that the EUGT also commissioned investigations in which “humans have been subjected to inhaling nitrogen dioxide (NO2).”
The purpose of the experiments would be to show that with the technical progress, the emissions of diesel engines had no major implications on the health of citizens.
The prime minister of the federal state of Lower Saxony (northern Germany), Stephan Weil, described today as “absurd and disgusting” these experiments are.
Lower Saxony has a stake in Volkswagen so Weil, as prime minister, is a member of the consortium’s Supervisory Board.
Also the German federal government today also criticized the experiments harshly, saying that they had “no ethical or scientific justification.”
“What automakers have to do with emissions is to reduce them and not pretend to prove that they are not harmful with the help of experiments with monkeys and even with humans,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.