VW spent months trying to keep monkey tests out of US trial


New York (dpa) – Volkswagen has been fighting for months to keep evidence relating to its controversial testing of diesel fumes on monkeys and humans out of a US legal trial, according to documents seen by dpa.

The documents were submitted to a court in the US state of Virginia by Volkswagen clients who are suing the German car giant in relation to its emissions scandal. German broadcaster NDR first reported the story on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Volkswagen first applied to the Fairfax County General District Court in Virginia to have the documents disallowed on October 17. The last such application was made on January 26.

Volkswagen argued that the only reason they had been submitted was to provoke an emotional reaction in jurors in the hope that Volkswagen would be punished for something which had nothing to do with the accusers’ complaints.

“We will not comment on the legal dispute,” Volkswagen told dpa on Tuesday.

Volkswagen has drawn widespread condemnation after it was revealed last week that it was one of several German carmakers which funded tests which involved humans and monkeys inhaling diesel fumes in an attempt to prove it was safe.

The revelations were the latest twist in the 2015 emissions scandal, in which Volkswagen admitted installing software in its vehicles which reduced emissions during testing situations.

Michael Melkerson, a lawyer for the Virginia plaintiffs, has argued that the documents prove that Volkswagen was involved in a deliberate attempt to commit fraud. They also showed a lack of remorse on Volkswagen’s part and were therefore necessary to establish sentencing and compensation, he said.

The trial is set to begin on February 26.