VW suspends media chief amid scandal over fume tests on monkeys


The carmaker Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability after admitting that he had known about experiments in which monkeys were locked in small chambers and exposed to diesel exhaust. Thomas Steg, a former government spokesman who worked for German chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, is the first person to be relieved of his duties as VW said it was “drawing the consequences” of the scandal, which has rocked both the government and industry.

The company initially tried to distance itself from the institute that commissioned the tests, the European Research Group of Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), a car lobby group funded by Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW. But it is now known that VW managers were informed about the testing before and after it was carried out. Steg has been pinpointed as a senior manager who knew that the experiments were going on, with internal papers seen by German media suggesting he had known about them in 2013.(theguardian)…[+]