German car-manufacturers have “blood on their hands” the UK government’s former chief scientist said. Professor Sir David King said that it was “simply astonishing” that VW, BMW, and Daimler-Benz, had undergone rigged experiments on monkeys and that their deception has caused a large number of deaths in the UK. Sir David spoke of how he was tricked into believing the claim that diesel capture technology was safe when on a trip to a testing lab in 2004. This led to a policy shift in favour of diesel powered cars.
“The number of early fatalities in Britain is really very, very large due to NOx [nitrogen oxides] air,” Sir David said, “with governments across Europe encouraging diesel on the basis that the catalyst traps worked.”
Following the reveal that VW was cheating on emissions tests, the three car-makers listed above have been accused of commissioning or supporting a 2014 study that saw both monkeys and humans exposed to exhaust fumes and nitrogen dioxide, the German media has reported.
One experiment saw monkeys being forced to inhale exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle and an older pick-up truck for several hours. This was to prove the car’s clean emissions claims.
“We are shocked by the extent and application of the studies,” Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars said in a statement. “We condemn the experiments in the strongest terms.”
At the time of Daimler’s statement however, only the experiments with monkeys were publicly known. Both Daimler and BMW said that they had no knowledge of the study while VW blamed “mistakes and misjudgments of individuals.”