Diesel-powered vehicles have been popular for years, primarily because authorities promoted them as the cleaner, safer alternative to petrol-powered ones. Nowadays, however, you wouldn’t want to be caught driving a diesel vehicle on UK streets, or anywhere in the world.
Since 2015, diesel vehicles have been frowned upon because of the Dieselgate scandal, the biggest scam to ever happen to the global automotive industry. German carmaker the Volkswagen Group received a notice of violation from the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after defeat devices were discovered in VW and Audi diesel vehicles in the US. The devices are used to cheat emissions tests so vehicles would appear environmentally safe.
Once a defeat device senses that a vehicle is in testing, it automatically brings down emissions to within the safe levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, the vehicle complies with emissions standards and is deemed safe for selling and driving.
However, since defeat devices only reduce emissions during regulatory tests, vehicles equipped with them only comply with emission limits inside laboratories. Outside, they go back to releasing voluminous amounts of toxic emissions. Defeat device-equipped vehicles are therefore classified as heavy pollutants.
As a result, the Volkswagen Group recalled hundreds of thousands of affected VW and Audi vehicles as ordered by US authorities. Additionally, they’ve been paying off fines, fees, and compensation since 2015. Estimates place their total payoffs to billions.
If you purchased a diesel vehicle in England and Wales that was manufactured between the years 2007 and 2020, authorities and legal experts believe you may be qualified to bring a diesel claim against your carmaker. If you join a GLO or group litigation order and win, you can receive compensation amounting to thousands. (The actual amount depends on the details of your case.)
Financial expert Martin Lewis provided vital information about diesel emissions claims on the Money Saving Expert website. The list of carmakers (aside from VW and Audi) possibly involved in the Dieselgate scandal includes the following:
- Land Rover
These manufacturers lied to their customers and mis-sold diesel-powered vehicles with defeat devices as emissions-compliant, high-performing, and environmentally safe. In reality, car owners are exposed to high levels of dangerous emissions and their vehicle contributes to air pollution. Affected cars and vans emit nitrogen oxides or NOx in volumes higher than advertised. NOx is harmful to both the environment and your health.
What is NOx?
NOx is a group of gases with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components. It is highly reactive so when it mixes with other chemicals or elements, it produces other pollutants like acid rain and smog. It also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that weakens and destroys vegetation.
Exposure to nitrogen oxide will also affect your cognitive abilities. You’ll become more vulnerable to dementia. Your mental health can also be affected, and episodes of anxiety and depression will be more frequent.
Low-level exposure to NOx emissions causes several health impacts, including:
- Breathing difficulties
- Emphysema, bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses
- Corroded teeth
- Fluid build-up in the lungs
If you are exposed to higher levels of NOx emissions, the impacts can be life-changing:
- Reduced lung function (chronic)
- Laryngospasm (spasm of the vocal cords)
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Premature death
Air pollution is now classified as the primary cause of thousands of early deaths across the world every year. It has surpassed the records of cigarette smoking, HIV and AIDS, and drugs and alcohol.
In the UK, the first premature death linked to air pollution involved a young school girl who was exposed to high levels of toxic air in the South Circular Road area, where she and her mother lived. Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah was only nine years old when she died after a severe asthma attack in 2013. In December 2020, after completing an inquest, the coroner formally identified air pollution as the primary cause of Ella’s early demise.
Your defeat device-equipped diesel vehicle emits high volumes of nitrogen oxides. You and everyone around you are exposed to life-threatening emissions every time you drive your car or van. It is your right to bring an emissions claim against your carmaker.
How do I know I am eligible for my diesel claim?
Bringing a diesel claim against your carmaker can be confusing and tedious, but emissions experts are always ready to help make the process easier for you. However, before you join any group legal action, you have to make sure first that you are eligible to file a claim.
The first proof would be the year your vehicle was manufactured or made. If you’ve brought your car or van to the dealer or shop for a fix, it could also be equipped with a defeat device. There are other aspects to consider, so the best thing to do would be to visit ClaimExperts.co.uk and collect all the information you need to verify your eligibility. Only then will you be ready to start your emissions claim process.