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Dieselelgate, the alleged formation of an illegal cartel and, now, toxic gas testing with monkeys and humans. The German automotive industry goes from one scandal to another. Henrik Böhme doubts that there are consequences.
Monkeys locked in a small chamber in which nitrogen dioxide, that is to say a gas, is introduced. People sitting in a room inhaling this gas for several hours. These were experiments commissioned or encouraged by a research association of the German automotive industry.
Following these images, many Germans will come to mind terrible memories of World War II. Memories of the gas chambers of extermination camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau; of the Nazi T4 extermination action, which asphyxiated with gas more than 70,000 people with disabilities and terminal illnesses. Memories of the darkest chapter of Germanic history.
One really thought that the automotive industry, the pride of the German economy, had hit rock bottom. But what began as the Volkswagen diesel in the United States, which was extended to other manufacturers; What was expanded with the revelations of the magazine “Der Spiegel”, according to which various German manufacturers have illegally fixed prices and suppliers for years, has reached new dimensions.
A perfect handling of the crisis
It is necessary to clarify how the experiments with humans were carried out. Is a rather harmless test being exaggerated? Until now it is known that healthy people were exposed for three hours to toxic gases. However, those Germans who live on a busy street inhale a much larger amount. Animal experiments, on the other hand, can only be described as stupid and despicable.
In 2015, when the tests with the monkeys were carried out, the car manufacturers were probably so deep in trouble that they were only trying to get away. Precisely in September 2015 Dieselgate exploded.
Since the new scandal was unveiled, one thing has been observed: the internalized rituals of car manufacturers work really well. Daimler hurried to explain that he is “dismayed by what has happened on behalf of the German automotive industry.” He added that he distanced himself from such practices and assured that his cars were not used for the experiments.
BMW also distanced itself clearly from the tests and especially from the animal experiments. Volkswagen took a little longer to pronounce, and finally only apologized for the “mistakes made by some people.” Together, these manufacturers want to investigate how this could happen.
The great hypocrisy
How could it happen? What a hypocritical question! If they were just these three car manufacturers, plus the Bosch multinational, who in 2007 founded the European Group of Research on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT, for its acronym in German).
This body, which is nothing more than a lobby group for the clean diesel campaign, commissioned the tests. He also carried out the experiments with humans in Aachen, which were not originally intended for the automotive industry, but which fit well because they had not been able to “check negative reactions to inhaled nitrogen dioxide,” according to the EUGT report. .
On the board of directors of this ominous – and in the meantime dissolved – research agency there were senior executives of automobile manufacturers. But in this case it will probably be argued as in the Dieselelgate: only a certain group of people was responsible and the members of the board of directors were not aware. There will be some other scapegoat, as in the United States, where Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt was recently sentenced – ready. And the rest of the group will wash their hands. German automakers are true geniuses of deception and camouflage.
The curious thing (and deeply reassuring for the high places) is the fact that the scandals do not seem to matter to the clients. 2017 was a record year for Volkswagen, and Daimler’s sales numbers are excellent. And in many German cities, the toxic gases inhaled by the inhabitants exceed the levels of any test conducted on behalf of the automotive industry.