The European Commission was “shocked” at the revelation that German carmakers had financed diesel exhaust experiments on animals and humans, EU industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said on Monday evening (5 February).
“One has to question the ethical behaviour of the German car industry,” Bienkowska added.
Last month, it was revealed in a new documentary series, Dirty Money, that Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler had financed a research institute which forcibly tested the health effects of diesel emissions on monkeys in the United States.
Days later, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that experiments were done on volunteer human test subjects in Germany.
The tests were done with the aim of proving that the diesel fumes were not toxic.
The revelations came two-and-a-half years after it was revealed that the German Volkswagen Group (VW) had equipped millions of diesel cars with cheating software.
In her speech, Bienkowska called the scientific tests “a new and a much sadder dimension” of the German car industry’s behaviour.
“This is the second time that the car sector showed that it is completely untrustworthy,” said Bienkowska.
“When I first heard it, I frankly couldn’t believe it,” she said.