Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) executive board called for an immediate inquiry into who commissioned tests in which impersonates were exposed to toxic diesel fumes, while the German ministry said such studies were unjustifiable.
“I will do everything feasible to ensure that this matter is investigated in detail,” Volkswagen executive board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said in a statement on Monday.
“Whoever is administrative for this must of course be held accountable,” Poetsch said in effect to a New York Times report on Friday that German carmakers had tempered to an organization called European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transfer Sector (EUGT) to commission the tests.
The study, conducted in 2014, was designed to ward off diesel following revelations that the fuel’s exhaust fumes were carcinogenic, the newspaper report in investigated.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the details and purpose of the study and EUGT, which was dispersed last year, could not be reached for comment.
EUGT received all of its caching from VW and fellow German carmakers Daimler and BMW, the New York Times said.
Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW on Saturday denounced the study, whose revelation is the recent aftershock from the VW emissions-rigging scandal, which continues to rock the auto application.
On Monday Volkswagen said that some staff members, whom it did not tag, including some in its legal department, at the VW brand’s technical development apportioning and at Volkswagen of America, had been aware of the tests at the time.
But Volkswagen held the study was never discussed in any management board meetings, after German everyday Bild earlier reported that an internal e-mail showed that at hardly some senior managers were informed about the design of the enquire.
In another related development, German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung arrived on Sunday that EUGT also sponsored scientific studies examination nitrogen dioxide, a gas found in exhaust fumes, on people.
Aachen University’s inspect hospital confirmed on Monday that EUGT had sponsored a study in 2013 and 2014 but symbolized it was related to workplace safety, not diesel emissions.
As part of the study, 25 woman were exposed to varying levels of nitrogen dioxide for three hours to probe the possible health effects of the chemical compound in concentrations below the limit for workplaces, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen guessed in a statement.
The German government said on Monday that any auto emissions testing on around withs or people were unjustifiable.
“These tests on monkeys or even people are in no high-minded way justifiable and raise many critical questions about those who are behind the assays,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government dispatch conference in Berlin.
Stephan Weil, who represents the German state of Further Saxony, a VW shareholder, on the carmaker’s supervisory board, said the board was high-priority the carmaker to urgently provide information about what the aim of the studies was.
“After the pith has been cleared up there will also be the question of who was personally answerable,” he told journalists at a news conference on Monday.