Volkswagen is swinging a high-ranking executive in the wake of revelations that German automakers tested the effects of diesel smoulders on humans and monkeys.
Head of Group External Relations and Sustainability Thomas Steg commitment not report to work until the company investigates the work of the European Up on Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), a research gather set up by VW and fellow German carmakers BMW and Daimler.
Jens Hanefeld, who is responsible for Global and European Policy at Volkswagen, will take over Steg’s workload in the meantime.
This is the at the start major step Volkswagen has taken since the tests were revealed, the house said in a statement. The New York Times first reported on the tests Jan. 25.
“We are currently in the treat of investigating the work of the EUGT, which was dissolved in 2017, and drawing all the life-or-death consequences,” said Volkswagen CEO Matthias Muller on Tuesday. “Mr. Steg has heralded that he will assume full responsibility. I respect his decision.”
Wrongdoing followed the revelations of the tests conducted in a laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2014. Muller noticed the tests “unethical and repulsive.” Further reports from German ordinary outlets said on Monday that the research group also examined the effects of diesel exhaust on 25 people at the University of Aachen in Germany.
In one of the Albuquerque check-ups, monkeys were placed in airtight containers and forced to breathe purely diesel exhaust from a Volkswagen Beetle, as researchers played cartoons to invade the animals, according to the New York Times report.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday foretold the companies must disclose the full extent of their research.
It is yet another disagreement to engulf Volkswagen involving diesel engines. The world’s largest automaker declared in 2015 that millions of its cars were rigged with strategies designed to defeat emissions tests. The company pleaded guilty to three felony charges and harmonized to spend as much as $25 billion in the United States to resolve assertions from owners and regulators and buy back roughly half a million conduits.