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Volkswagen suspends Thomas Steg over monkey gassing scandal

Volkswagen has suspended its chief lobbyist, Thomas Steg, who has admitted to having knowledge of the study into the effects of diesel fumes on monkeys.

LATE LAST WEEK, the New York Times and Stuttgarter media outlets published articles linking Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler to a research agency the German Three funded. That agency, with the knowledge of some Volkswagen executives, subjected monkeys to diesel fumes to counter the World Health Organisations statement that diesel fumes were carcinogenic.

Volkswagen, last night, announced it had suspended its chief lobbyist, Thomas Steg, who’d admitted knowing about the study. Responding to the scandal in a statement, VW CEO Matthias Mueller said he accepted a request from Steg, who is the head of VW’s external relations, to be put on a leave of absence as the automaker examines the circumstances surrounding the animal testing.

“We are currently in the process of investigating,” Mueller said. “Mr Steg has declared that he will assume full responsibility. I respect his decision.”

Emails have been discovered revealing that Steg was informed about the planned study in 2013. Speaking to Germany’s Bild newspaper, Steg said that, “From today’s perspective, the experiment should not have been carried out, even under different conditions … “I regret that very much. This has nothing to do with scientific learning.”

Steg insisted that former Volkswagen boss, Martin Winterkorn, whom he reported to was unaware of the test.

This from Volkswagen’s descriptor of Thomas Steg: “Dr. Thomas Steg has been the Volkswagen Group’s General Representative for External Relations and Government Affairs since 2012. Steg is a social science graduate and began his career in 1986 as an editor with Braunschweiger Zeitung. He then worked as a press spokesperson, first for DGB Lower Saxony/Bremen, then for Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Social Affairs from 1991, and for the SPD parliamentary group in Lower Saxony from 1995. In 1998 he became deputy head of the office of Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder at the Federal Chancellery, before holding the post of deputy government spokesman from 2002, and became an independent communications consultant in 2009”.

Question: If it’s discovered that more VW executives were aware of this monkey test, would that be the end of VW?


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Ben Tate
Ben Tate
2 years ago

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if the Monkeys were known chain smokers with a two pack a day habit? Would it??? ; – )

Look in the bright side. If we can get PETA members to organise their marches outside the VW factories they might be too busy to disrupt customers and waiters in steak restyouraunts???

John John
John John
2 years ago

“Steggy, mate, we need a scapegoat – and we think we’ve found one…”

MK74
MK74
2 years ago

Are there not also some whale ‘research’ still being conducted?

Ben Tate
Ben Tate
2 years ago

I know that PM is just reporting the news but where did this story START?

There’s a better than even money chance that this is another PC Principal PC Nutter beatup. You know who I mean – the cretins that disturb carnivore families quietly enjoying a steak dinner, who demand more surfers be fed to sharks, who would ban the use of mice to develop new medicines and who would ban fishing given half a chance.

Are there rules for the use of animals in testing and did VW stick to them?

Ben Tate
Ben Tate
2 years ago

And another thing Stegsy!

You look a bit like the bad guy from one of the James Bond films. Michael Gothard in “For Your Eyes Only”

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober