“My first thought was ‘Oh no,’” Sue Leary, director of the American Anti-Vivisection Society, told The Dodo. “It was just a shame that this was done to these animals, but when you examine Volkswagen’s rationale — to make a point about a product in order to make money — it all just seems even more unnecessary. The animals went through this for absolutely nothing.”
The experiment was conducted by American scientists at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yet the research was essentially useless — the vehicle was one of many Volkswagens rigged at the time to produce lower emission levels to cheat on emissions tests, compromising the results, and risking the lives of the 10 monkeys for nothing.
Car fumes can seriously injure or kill people in concentrated amounts — and even with the reduced emissions, the monkeys were exposed to them in an enclosed space for hours.