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January 30, 2018

VW suspends media chief over monkey testing

Volkswagen said it had today suspended media chief Thomas Steg in connection with the animal tests financed by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector.

Volkswagen said it had today suspended media chief Thomas Steg in connection with the animal tests financed by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT).

The automaker said in a statement its management board "accepted the proposal made by Dr Steg", officially head of group external relations and sustainability, "that he be suspended".

VW added Steg was "a general representative of the Volkswagen Group and will remain suspended from his duties until these matters have been fully investigated".

"We are currently in the process of investigating the work of the EUGT, which was dissolved in 2017, and drawing all the necessary consequences. Steg has declared that he will assume full responsibility. I respect his decision," said VW AG CEO Matthias Müller in the Tuesday (30 January) statement.

Steg will be replaced on an acting basis by Jens Hanefeld, who is responsible for international and European policy.

VW's supervisory board was yesterday said to have called for an immediate inquiry into who within VW ordered scientific tests in which monkeys were exposed to harmful diesel fumes as reports in Germany said humans had also been subject to tailpipe emissions testing.

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