Monday, January 29, 2018

VW chairman promises investigation into ‘absurd’ test that had humans inhale diesel fumes

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German carmakers condemned experiments that exposed humans to diesel fumes, promising to investigate the tests whose disclosure threatens to open a new phase in an emissions controversy that’s dogged the industry since 2015.

The study was supported by a little-known group founded by Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG, and carried out by Aachen University in Germany. Reports of the tests, following a New York Times account of similar experiments on monkeys in the U.S., triggered political recriminations and had automakers scrambling to distance themselves.

“I’ll do everything so that these events will be fully investigated,” Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said in an emailed statement. He said the practices were “incomprehensible” in every way.

The bombshell revelations mark a fresh blow to German carmakers’ once-stellar reputation for engineering prowess and no-nonsense efficiency. The actions further undermine diesel’s image, steepening an increasingly uphill battle to rescue the technology amid worsening political headwinds.  (more...)

Old habits die hard:

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