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Volkswagen suspends executive over monkey experiments controversy

The tests were carried out to show how the car giant’s diesel technology had succeeded in controlling diesel emissions.

Car giant Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability in response to controversy over experiments in which monkeys were exposed to diesel exhaust.

The company said Thomas Steg is stepping away from his duties at his own request.

The statement said the company was “drawing the first consequences” as it investigates the activities of EUGT, the entity backed by Volkswagen and other car makers which commissioned the monkey experiment.

The move follows a report in The New York Times that the now-disbanded EUGT commissioned the test to show how Volkswagen’s diesel technology was succeeding in controlling emissions.

But the test was carried out with a vehicle rigged to cheat on emissions tests. The practice was exposed in 2015, toppling then-CEO Martin Winterkorn.

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