The European Commission said on Tuesday that it was “shocked” by the revelation that diesel emissions were tested on monkeys and humans in the German auto industry. “We are shocked by the news as everybody else,” European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas told the press in response to a query. “We take note of German authorities’ aim to investigate the matter and we hope that they will,” he said, adding that he thought it was up to the national authorities to deal with the issue.
The spokesman said further that this type of issue required urgent action by national authorities.
The European Commissioner for Industry, Elzbieta Bienkowska, said on Twitter that the tests were “unethical and unacceptable for any European company in the 21st century”.
The scandal surrounding diesel engines has come back to haunt German car manufacturers following revelations concerning tests measuring the impact of diesel emissions on monkeys and humans.
Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and the equipment manufacturer Bosch are grappling with two different issues that broke at the same time. Both involve a research company they financed, EUGT, that has since been closed.
The first scandal, revealed by the New York Times, concerns tests conducted in the United States in 2014, in which monkeys were locked in and shown cartoons while being made to breath in emissions from a Volkswagen Beetle.
Then, on Monday, German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung reported other tests, this time on human beings, in Germany. The two newspapers reported that a hospital in Aix-la-Chapelle, commissioned by the EUGT, had made 25 persons in good health inhale nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in varying concentrations.