VW CEO Says There Are “Things You Just Do Not Do” Following Reports Of Animal Testing

Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal took a bizarre turn last week when the New York Times reported a lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico locked ten monkeys in a chamber and had them watch cartoons while exhaust fumes from a Beetle were piped into the compartment.

The experiment was conducted in 2014 by the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute with funds provided by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT). The organization was funded by German automakers and suppliers including BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen.

The EUGT was shut down last year but the Times said it was part of a “prolonged, well-financed effort to produce academic research that they [German automakers] hoped would influence political debate and preserve tax privileges for diesel fuel.” The publication went on to say the EUGT funded studies which challenged everything from a World Health Organization decision to classify diesel exhaust as a carcinogen to whether or not removing diesel-powered vehicles from cities would reduce pollution.

The companies initially backed the EUGT’s efforts as Daimler stated “All of the research work commissioned with the EUGT was accompanied and reviewed by a research advisory committee consisting of scientists from renowned universities and research institutes.” However as the scandal grew the companies were quick to distance themselves from the group and its tests.

In a statement, Daimler AG said “We are appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation” and “We condemn the experiments in the strongest terms.” The company went on to say they are distancing “ourselves from the studies and the EUGT” and have “launched a comprehensive investigation into the matter.”

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller weighed in earlier today by saying the “The methods practiced by EUGT were totally wrong. All this shows me yet again that we have to take ethical questions more seriously and sensitively. In our company and as an industry. There are things you just do not do.”

Over the weekend, Volkswagen said it “explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty” as “animal testing contradicts our own ethical standards.” The automaker added “We are conscious of our social and corporate responsibilities and are taking the criticism regarding the study very seriously. We know that the scientific methods used by EUGT were wrong and apologize sincerely for this.”

Despite the wave of apologizes, the monkey business isn’t going away anytime soon as Reuters reports Volkswagen’s supervisory board has called for an investigation into who commissioned the tests. VW supervisory board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch also released a statement saying “Whoever is responsible for this must, of course, be held accountable.”

A number of environmental groups have already weighed in including Greenpeace’s Mel Evans who stated “These bewilderingly abhorrent lab tests on monkeys and possibly humans, show yet again that VW is wholly untrustworthy and will do anything to promote dirty diesel.” Evans went on to say that Volkswagen’s emissions cheating “has turned us all into test subjects.”

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  • Hmmm…Germans and German companies, who built gas chambers for Hitler in WWII, commissioned gas chamber tests on humans and animals…riggghhhttt…this will go down well…

    • Yeahhh, throwing atomic bombs on hundert thousands of civilians in Japan and Bikini Island CNMI is of course fully OK …. and all that did happen long after Hitler etc…

      • Since you had to go there, the Japanese were offered a choice to surrender, they didn’t…the U.S. didn’t start the war but we ended it decisively…what happened to the Japanese is strictly the responsibility of the very brutal Japanese leadership…war is bad enough, but the Japanese were especially cruel, brutal and evil, like the Germans, in WWII…know your history…

      • Belthronding Tinuviel

        @Mergatroid69:disqus @disqus_WL07oKf46r:disqus both of you are disgusting racists.
        there was no innocence in war so let dead people have rest in their grave.
        also please try to adopt your racist @$$es into 21st century.

        • So stating historical facts is racist? Since when? Learn the use of the word…I assure you, what I stated is not racist…educate yourself and do everyone a favor before you spout absurd nonsense…

      • Enter Ranting

        No, dropping an atomic bomb on a city isn’t OK, but Japan could have avoided it by not bombing Pearl Harbor, killing thousands of US servicemen.

  • LWOAP

    I’m not surprised at all for the simple reason Autoexperte took it upon himself to spam almost every article with this story. Now with that out of the way, I can only imagine what the fallout may come once animal rights groups get wind of this story – that is if they haven’t already. I do expect to see more of this in the near future and more trouble for the automaker.

  • roy

    This is way more than just crossing the line

  • JR Glide

    VW = disgusting FRAUD.

    • Matt

      Lol

    • MJ Coffey

      Aww, did they hurt your feelers in some way? Like, in destroying your sand castle at the beach?

      • Enter Ranting

        Nope. They sold me a piece of crap car that totally fell apart, then were completely incompetent in fixing it. Then they lied about their “clean” diesel engines. Now, we find out they paid to gas monkeys in a study. VW is a lousy company that sells garbage cars.

  • Six Thousand Times

    I do honestly hope the automakers didn’t know these barbaric tests were being conducted and I want to believe they are distancing themselves from this lab completely and not just lying to us while a new lab opens in China or somewhere.

  • dumblikeyou2

    I watched the Netflix doc on this. Changed my mind about another VW/Audi. The dramatization with those poor little monkeys was the breaking point. The fact that VW came up with another cheat device to cover the first cheat device once they were caught is just laughable.

    • EM1

      What was the name of the film?

      • dumblikeyou2

        The series is called Dirty Money. The episode was titled Hard NOx

    • FFEMT6

      Yet so many excuse their actions, and car journalists continue to report on their vehicles. I would love to see an outright boycott of the companies involved. Inexcusable.

  • John F. Murphy

    Does not sound like they have learned from the past. We are supposed to listen to them from “moral high ground”?!? I think NOT. I only buy Ford.

  • Bash

    BS.

  • Ary Wisesa

    Another reason to forget about so-called “German premium brand”. Diesel gate is disgusting already. And this cruel scandal only makes VW more disgusting. Oh, never forget that VW was once commissioned by Hitler himself, so yeah, that Nazi DNA is always there forever. Wasn’t they who experimented with gas chamber and actually killed millions of people in gas chambers? Looks like it is their most favourite tool of torture.

    • Yeahhh, throwing atomic bombs on hundert thousands of civilians in Japan and Bikini Island CNMI is of course fully OK ….

      • Jonr

        Well said! Wow our father’s father isn’t us! No one can be to blame for past generations actions!

      • Enter Ranting

        Why do you keep bringing up atomic bombs? Dropping those bombs ended the war Germany and Japan started. Let me guess – you’re German?

  • Sébastien

    Isn’t a chairman ultimately responsible for a company?
    that’s so ironic to read him say “Whoever is responsible for this must, of course, be held accountable.”

    • Miknik

      No, nowadays CEOs just cash the salary that represents responsibility, but if it comes down to actually be responsible, they will always find someone to blame;

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    this is just UNBELİEVABLE!

  • Stephen G

    You want to get bent out of shape about animal cruelty? Look at the dog in your neighbors back yard!

  • Enter Ranting

    Gassing monkeys doesn’t look great for a car company started by Adolf Hitler.

  • FFEMT6

    Why are people so quick to forgive VW for the dieselgate scandal. To intentionally destroy the environment and cheat our emissions regulations to sell more vehicles, is one of the largest displays of corporate greed I have ever seen, and it should be inexcusable. I, nor my entire family, will ever buy a VW product; and this is after I had at one time considered a GTI.

  • SteersUright

    Morality must become the primary driver of policy and agenda for politicians and big corporations, not profit and their near religious worship of money and those who have it. Only then will any country truly progress and can we avoid dark scenarios like this. Nearly every body of water on earth is now polluted, air quality everywhere is becoming questionable, and in this modern age we find our responsible corporate citizens torturing animals in order to perhaps save a buck on their fines, despite admittedly committing the crimes they did. From VW to the Koch brothers buying politicians for years, industry and the political process all seem to desperately need a big dose of ethics.

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