Law firms around England and Wales are encouraging owners of diesel vehicles manufactured between the years 2007 and 2020 to join a group emissions claim against carmakers who sold cars and vans fitted with illegal cheat devices. Whether you made an outright purchase or bought it through a financing plan, you may be eligible to claim compensation worth £1000 or more.
Although most of the carmakers involved have denied the allegations, authorities continue to hound them with orders for vehicle recalls, fines, and various fees. Some manufacturers have also had to enter into settlement agreements with thousands of affected drivers.
Such is the effect of the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal; its repercussions are still felt almost eight years after it first broke in September 2015.
What is the Dieselgate scandal all about?
The Volkswagen Group, which supplies around 70% of the diesel vehicles in the United States, received a notice of violation from the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency. It stated that the carmaker violated emissions regulations when the latter allegedly installed defeat devices in over half a million of its Audi and VW diesel cars and vans in the American market.
The letter was given to Audi and VW corporate officials and signed by the director of the Air Enforcement Division of the EPA, Phillip Brooks.
Researchers had allegedly discovered the devices earlier, around 2014 when they tested some Volkswagen diesel models for emissions.
Defeat devices are programmed to sense when a vehicle is in regulatory testing and they can immediately bring down emissions according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) legal limits. This is done so diesel vehicles will appear clean and safe to authorities and they can be released for selling. In reality, though, defeat device-equipped vehicles are not emissions-compliant.
Outside testing conditions, and when driven on real-world roads, the vehicle increases its emissions to unlawful levels. It releases massive amounts of NOx or nitrogen oxides, which are dangerous and can cause life-threatening health impacts.
The Volkswagen Group was later on joined by other carmakers, specifically Mercedes-Benz, Renault, BMW, and Vauxhall. Nissan, Ford, Citroën, and Peugeot are also on the list of alleged defeat device users. The list keeps growing as more and more carmakers are added every year.
These carmakers lied to customers and mis-sold diesel vehicles by marketing them as emissions-compliant. Car owners paid a premium price for vehicles that contributed significant volumes of toxic air every time they are on the road.
Diesel emissions carmakers also violated emissions regulations.
Why are defeat devices dangerous?
Nitrogen oxide is the gas released by diesel vehicles. With nitric oxide (or NO) and nitrogen dioxide (or NO2) as primary components, NOx is capable of producing pollutants such as ground-level ozone, smog, and acid rain.
NOx emissions can also trigger depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues. Constant exposure to NOx may affect cognitive development, which can lead to dementia.
The health impacts of NOx emissions exposure shouldn’t be taken for granted as they can be life-changing:
- Bronchitis and other respiratory conditions
- Shortness of breath
- Spasms, burning, and swelling of the upper respiratory tract and throat tissues
- Fluid gets into and builds up in the lungs
- Reduced body tissues oxygenation
- Asphyxiation and vocal cords spasm
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Premature death
These health impacts make defeat device-equipped vehicles life-threatening pollutants. Car owners should bring their carmakers to court and make them pay for putting the lives of many (and the environment) in danger.
What is a diesel claim?
Authorities have stated time and again that Dieselgate carmakers are responsible for their actions. All the financial, environmental, and health-related inconveniences drivers have experienced should be compensated, which is what a diesel claim is all about.
As previously indicated, the claim is for car owners who purchased diesel vehicles between the years 2007 and 2020. This applies to both new and second-hand cars and vans. The driver must have experienced financial loss as a result of their carmaker’s deceit and mis-selling. A common situation would be a car owner who paid a higher-than-usual price for the vehicle believing that they were purchasing a high-powered, safe, and environmentally-friendly vehicle.
Another example would be a car owner who has had to bring their newly bought diesel vehicle to the shop so it can be adjusted to adhere to emissions standards. Defeat device-equipped vehicles often have reduced market value and their performance is affected.
The exact amount of compensation depends on the circumstances of the case.
How can I start my diesel claim?
Your diesel claim should be filed in the country where the affected vehicle was purchased or leased. It can be in one area of the UK and you live in another. Emission claim rules vary according to your location or where you plan to bring forward the case. As such, the first thing that you should do is verify if you are eligible to file a claim.
It’s simple as all you have to do is visit ClaimExperts.co.uk to get all the information you need about your eligibility to bring an emission claim against your carmaker. Once you have the details, you can start working with emissions experts who can help ensure that your case moves towards the right direction.