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Volkswagen suspends executive over monkey experiments

The exhaust pipes of a VW Diesel car

The exhaust pipes of a VW Diesel car are photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, Aug. 2, 2017. Credit: AP / Michael Probst

FRANKFURT, Germany - Automaker Daimler says it has suspended an executive who represented it at an industry-backed organization that commissioned diesel exhaust tests involving monkeys.

A statement from Daimler AG on Wednesday did not identify by name the executive, citing privacy concerns. It said the executive sat on the top management board of the now-dissolved EUGT entity.

Volkswagen on Tuesday suspended its head of external relations, who said he knew about the experiments but did not inform the company's then-CEO, Martin Winterkorn.

The tests carried about by a lab in New Mexico involved exposing monkeys to diluted exhaust gases from a Volkswagen diesel in an attempt to measure the success of diesel technology in lowering harmful emissions. The New York Times has reported the car was rigged to lower emissions during testing.