VW’s emissions scandal, involving 11 million heavily polluting diesel cars and €24 billion ($29.6 billion) in costs, is in its third season and has reached a new climax – if a new low can be considered a new climax.
A German research group, founded and funded by VW, BMW and Mercedes-maker Daimler, commissioned toxic gas tests on humans and monkeys. Two German newspapers and the New York Times revealed the experiments, which took place between 2012 and 2015, before Dieselgate became public.
The so-called European Research Association on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, known for its German acronym EUGT, officially aimed to study the effects of traffic on humans and the environment. Unofficially, the goal was to produce research that showed modern diesel cars were no longer as harmful as their predecessors, according to the reports. After all, VW, BMW and Mercedes-Benz depended – and still depend – heavily on diesel sales.
Now, the two studies designed to prove diesel’s harmlessness are hitting the carmakers like a boomerang.