It’s recently come to light that an organization that both BMW and Mercedes fund led diesel research on monkeys. The effort was intended to influence the public perception of diesel fumes being unsafe. Since the VW dieselgate the public in Europe has grown increasingly anti diesel, striking fear in automakers who have invested billions in the power plants and expected them to remain popular for another decade as they transition into electrification.

Perhaps no other scandal around diesel has so quickly affected public opinions online. As BMW and Mercedes pick up the pieces look for a PR offensive of some kind.