Volkswagen Reinstates Lobbyist After Monkey Test Investigation

(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG’s top lobbyist is back at his post after an internal audit found he didn’t break any laws or company rules in the run-up to controversial diesel-fume tests on animals.

Thomas Steg, the head of government relations who stepped down temporarily following public outcry over the tests, will be reinstated with immediate effect, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The internal audit found “there was no non-compliant conduct nor were any infringements of relevance to labor law committed by Volkswagen Group employees,” the company said in the statement.

The trials, in which monkeys were exposed to diesel fumes to show there were no ill health effects on the animals, were led by the now-defunct research group EUGT. The group was formed by Volkswagen, BMW AG and Daimler AG in 2007 and disbanded after news of the tests became public. Employees at the other companies were also suspended at the time.

Steg was suspended temporarily at his own request during the probe. While he was cleared, “I have asked myself whether I could not have taken further action back in spring 2013 to prevent the test in the USA,” he said in the statement. “I deeply regret that I did not act differently at the time and apologize for that.”

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