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VW under fire for diesel tests on monkeys, humans

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robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 29 Jan 2018

The world's biggest carmaker Volkswagen faced fresh scrutiny Monday over reports it helped finance experiments that saw monkeys and humans breathe car exhaust fumes.

VW "distances itself clearly from all forms of animal abuse," the group said in a statement Saturday, after the New York Times reported that a US institute commissioned by German auto firms carried out tests on 10 monkeys in 2014.

But the embarrassment deepened for the group on Monday as German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported tests on the effects of inhaling toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) were also carried out on some 25 healthy human beings.

VW's "dieselgate" scandal saw the group admit in 2015 to manipulating some 11 million cars worldwide to fool regulatory tests, making it appear as though they met NOx emissions limits when in fact they exceeded them by many times in real on-road driving.

On its website the World Health Organisation points to "growing evidence" that nitrogen dioxide exposure "can increase symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, as well as lead to respiratory infections and reduced lung function and growth."

Exposure is "linked to premature mortality... from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases," it continues.

The studies were commissioned by an organisation known as the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), financed by VW alongside fellow German auto sector stalwarts Daimler and BMW.

Hoping to defend diesel's environmentally-friendly reputation -- and the valuable tax breaks that go with it -- the EUGT commissioned the tests from the US-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

According to the NYT, 10 monkeys were locked in airtight chambers and left to watch cartoons as they breathed in diesel fumes from a VW Beetle.

The car companies decided in late 2016 to dissolve the EUGT, which finally shut its doors last year.

"We expressly distance ourselves from the study and the EUGT," a Daimler spokesman told AFP Monday.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
3 30 Jan 2018
Ostrich feathers used too in car making -

So, after giant 2,000-tonne presses stamp car body panels from steel rolls and robots laser-weld them together, the shell glides along the production line to be painted.

But not before it has been brushed with giant feather dusters. Think garage car wash, but with rollers made of thousands of plumes. Female feathers are the best, apparently.


According to the latest television advert for BMW, they do. The car manufacturer claims to use just these types of feathers to clean its vehicles prior to applying paint.

"The feathers are used because they have an innate static charge not found to the same degree in other feathers or materials and are consequently highly efficient at attracting dust," says BMW.

Five of these tools, used in most of GM’s 12 assembly plants in the United States, are:

• Female ostrich feathers that remove fine exterior dust particles before a vehicle is painted

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
4 3 Feb 2018

We're asking that Volkswagen pledge never to conduct experiments on animals again. Will you add your voice?

see online message to send to VW at

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
5 9 Jun 2018
Update -

We did it! Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen (VW), has confirmed to PETA Germany that the company will never again use animals in testing unless required to do so by law. Diess added that the company’s code of conduct will be updated later this year to include the ban. This tremendous victory was made possible by PETA Germany’s communications with VW executives, protests at the company’s headquarters, and the overwhelming number of e-mails that PETA supporters sent to VW after its outrageous and cruel inhalation tests on monkeys were exposed. More than 160,000 of you took action in the U.S. alone. Thank you for speaking up.