Some manufacturers implicated in the diesel emissions scandal have decided to avoid going to court by entering a settlement agreement with affected customers. Volkswagen, for example, has just finalised an agreement with over 90,000 drivers in Wales and England.
The German carmaker agreed to pay a total of £193 million to the affected drivers after settling a claim brought to the High Court. Volkswagen is accused of using cheat software in their Audi and VW diesel vehicles. The carmaker has already spent over £26 billion in payoffs for fines, civil settlements, buyback schemes, and compensation.
Volkswagen was the first carmaker to be implicated in the scandal. In fact, the term Dieselgate was coined after authorities in the US caught Audi and VW diesel vehicles with defeat devices. In the UK, around 1.2 million cars of the around 11 million all over the world are affected.
After the settlement was finalised, Volkswagen expressed their regret, apologised to their customers, and promised to regain their clients’ trust. The carmaker, however, has not admitted liability.
Without the settlement agreement, VW would have had to go to court in January 2023.
Now that VW has agreed to settle with Wales and England drivers, other manufacturers implicated in the scandal are expected to also take action on the emission claims against them.
The latest carmaker to be thrust into the spotlight in connection with the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal is UK-based Vauxhall.
Authorities alleged that the manufacturer used defeat devices to reduce emissions during regulatory testing inside a lab. These devices can detect when a vehicle is being tested and are engineered to automatically bring down the emission levels of the vehicle they are installed in so the latter can pass regulatory tests. Controlling toxic emissions in this manner not only manipulates a vehicle’s performance to deceive authorities but also fools consumers into thinking they own an environment-friendly vehicle.
When the vehicle is brought outside and driven on real roads, it emits unsafe levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx), without the driver knowing what’s happening. If regulators learn about the exceedingly high emissions, the vehicle would not pass regulatory tests. They won’t be cleared for selling or driving on any road as well.
Authorities also accused Vauxhall of deceiving their customers since they sold their products as fuel-efficient vehicles. Their customers paid a premium price for vehicles that were, in reality, pollutants. Additionally, they may have also spent more on maintenance costs and fuel bills.
Vauxhall has had to recall the affected vehicles so the offending equipment can be removed. Affected customers are now bringing an emissions claim against the carmaker.
Vauxhall emissions claim will allow customers to collect compensation in the thousands.
Why an emissions claim?
A diesel emission claim is a legal action that any car owner can bring against their carmaker. If the claim is successful, affected customers can get thousands in compensation. The most important thing about emission claims is that they make erring carmakers hold responsibility for their actions – for exposing the drivers and everyone around them to air pollution and its repercussions.
The following are the primary reasons why a Vauxhall emissions claim is the ideal action for any affected car owner to take:
- Their vehicle value has decreased
- Nitrogen oxide (NOx) coming from their vehicle is dangerous for them, their children, and the environment
- Higher maintenance costs and fuel bills
- Their vehicle performance is significantly affected
- Vauxhall lied to their customers and broke their trust
Nitrogen oxide emissions
One of the reasons why making an emissions claim against Vauxhall is important is nitrogen oxide or NOx, the reactive group of gases released from diesel vehicles. NOx has devastating effects on the environment and can damage the environment. Its components, nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), are two of the most dangerous gases circulating in the air.
NOx produces smog, acid rain, and ground-level ozone, which destroys vegetation.
Exposure to nitrogen oxide can weaken a person’s cognitive abilities and they can develop Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It can also affect their mental health and lead to more frequent episodes of anxiety and depression.
A person’s overall health is easily impacted, leading to conditions such as asthma, respiratory diseases, and breathing and lung problems. Health impacts can be serious as well, especially if the exposure is regular and high-level: laryngospasm (or spasm of the vocal cords), asphyxiation, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
Hundreds of thousands of premature deaths have also been linked to NOx emissions, including that of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the young girl who died in 2013 because of air pollution. She lived in one of the most polluted areas of the UK.
These environmental and health impacts should push affected Vauxhall owners to make a claim against their carmaker.
How do I start my diesel claim?
Before making a claim, it’s important to verify first if you have a reason to bring your carmaker to court.
For starters, only Vauxhall diesel vehicles that were leased or purchased between 2009 and 2020 carry defeat devices. Once you verify this, you’ll have to consider the requirements that can help validate your diesel claim.
You’ll need all the information you can get to start your claim by visiting the Emissions.co.uk website.