VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study
The oil burner PR disaster worsensby Jonathan Lopez, on
Earlier this week, we covered a story posted by The New York Times that revealed the big three German automakers (BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen) had funded research on the effects of diesel emissions, including an experiment that involved locking a group of monkeys in an airtight chamber and forcing the animals to breathe fumes. Now, it’s looking like a similar experiment took place that involved humans.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Full Story
In 2014, BMW, Daimler, and VW financed an experiment conducted in the U.S. that subjected research monkeys to exhaust fumes in an effort to prove the latest oil burners were cleaner than their forerunners. Now it's coming to light that the three automakers also funded similar tests involving humans.
And the plot once again thickens.
The public image of diesel is in a bad way right now, and it’s only getting worse. To recap, let’s start with the Diesel Gate scandal. Back in 2015, Volkswagen received a notice from the EPA about a series of violations regarding several of its diesel-equipped passenger cars, alleging the German automaker had equipped millions and millions of vehicles with emissions “defeat devices” that essentially reprogrammed the ECU to create fewer emissions in testing, but emit upwards of 40 times more NOx on the street. Volkswagen eventually had to pony up $26 billion in fines.
All told, diesels aren’t looking so great at the moment, but the latest news casts the fuel in an even worse light. Last week, The New York Times broke a story that in 2014, BMW, Daimler, and VW financed an experiment conducted in the U.S. that subjected research monkeys to exhaust fumes in an effort to prove the latest oil burners were cleaner than their forerunners. As an added wrinkle, the car producing the emissions, a diesel-equipped VW Beetle, was equipped with the very same defeat device that landed the automaker in hot water a year later.
Following revelations of the emission monkey experiment, Volkswagen’s CEO made a statement condemning the trials, while the company’s chief lobbyist took a leave of absence so that VW could conduct an investigation into the matter. There were also political repercussions, with Germany’s government issuing further condemnation. BMW and Daimler distanced themselves from the experiments.
It's believed the experiment was conducted in an effort to make diesel seem cleaner and more appealing, but in the end, it seems to have done more harm than good.
Now it’s coming to light that the three automakers also funded similar tests involving humans. Revealed in an article published by the German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung, the latest is that the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (or E.U.G.T., the same group funded by BMW, Daimler, and VW that financed the emission monkey experiment) also financed a similar experiment at the German University of Aachen which involved 25 human participants.
It’s believed the experiment was conducted in an effort to make diesel seem cleaner and more appealing, but in the end, it seems to have done more harm than good.
Nevertheless, according to Bloomberg, the human study followed all the correct procedures and ethics protocols.
BMW has distanced itself from the studies all the same, but did say that the human experiments were appropriately vetted prior to taking place. Meanwhile, Daimler says it is investigating the matter, while also stating it had no influence in the study.
“We are appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation,” Daimler said in a statement. “We condemn the experiments in the strongest terms.”
Read more Volkswagen news.
Read more Mercedes-Benz news.
Read more BMW news.