The Dieselgate scandal started in 2015 but action on legal claims started only recently, with some scheduled to go to trial this year. Affected car owners of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and other vehicle manufacturers have been waiting for years to receive the compensation they deserve after they were allegedly mis-sold high-polluting diesel vehicles.
Car owners are encouraged to check if they are eligible to join the legal action, especially for those whose diesel vehicles were manufactured between the years 2007 and 2018.
According to the drivers’ legal representatives, affected drivers can claim even if they bought a second-hand vehicle or purchased it via financing, and even if they do not own the vehicle anymore. Drivers who did not purchase the vehicle in the UK are not qualified to file a diesel claim.
Experts say that drivers can receive compensation if their lawyers can prove that they would not have purchased the vehicle had they known that it had emissions flaws or was not emissions-compliant. Compensation is also possible for affected drivers who paid more than necessary for a vehicle equipped with a defeat device.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen, the carmaker that started the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal, settled a case that will have them pay off around 90,000 drivers in England and Wales a total of £193 million. The German carmaker allegedly fitted illegal defeat devices that were used to control emissions during regulatory testing.
What exactly did Volkswagen do?
It was in September 2015 when authorities discovered that the Volkswagen Group allegedly installed defeat devices in Audi and VW diesel vehicles that were sold to consumers in the US. As mentioned earlier, the devices are intended to cheat emissions tests.
More specifically, a defeat device senses when a vehicle is being tested and it automatically reduces emissions levels to within the limits regulated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Emissions are adjusted using artificial methods, so even if regulators see a clean and safe vehicle, this is good only during testing.
Once the vehicle is brought out and driven on real roads, it emits dangerously excessive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx, a group of gases that adversely affect human health and destroys the environment. As such, any defeat device-equipped vehicle is a pollutant.
After US authorities sent a Notice of Violation to the Volkswagen Group, the carmaker was ordered to recall the hundreds of thousands of affected Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles throughout the United States. The carmaker was also asked to pay fines and fees. Years later, VW would enter into an agreement with affected drivers to payoff compensation.
Essentially, Volkswagen lied to and deceived customers into buying flawed vehicles. This is a valid reason for filing an emission compensation claim.
Other carmakers that allegedly used defeat devices in their diesel vehicles include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and Renault. Chrysler, Hyundai, Nissan, and Porsche are also on the list. The following are also listed as carmakers accused of allegedly violating emissions regulations:
- Land Rover
Owners of the above-mentioned vehicles are owed compensation as carmakers subjected them to the dangers and inconveniences of defeat device-equipped vehicles. A BMW emissions claim, for example, can entitle affected drivers to compensation equivalent to thousands if the case is successful.
Why is it important to file a diesel claim?
There are several specific reasons why filing a diesel claim is important for affected drivers:
- Your carmaker has to take responsibility for their illegal actions.
- Your carmaker lied to you and misled you into buying a compromised product. They knew about the defeat device but did not tell you about it.
- Your carmaker exposed you and the environment to nitrogen oxides, the gas emitted by diesel vehicles.
Nitrogen oxide emissions are responsible for the formation of smog and acid rain. NOx also produces a pollutant called ground-level ozone, which, over time, damages vegetation.
NOx also triggers mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and exposure to it can weaken your cognitive abilities. As a result, you’ll become more vulnerable to dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease.
Minor and serious health impacts that are caused by exposure to nitrogen oxide include:
- Asthma (the most common effect)
- Respiratory illnesses such as emphysema, bronchitis, and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder)
- Pulmonary oedema
- Chronic reduction of lung function
- Spasms of the vocal cords
- Certain cancers
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Premature death
The cases of early deaths linked to air pollution increase year after year. Its impacts have become more dangerous than that of HIV and AIDS, alcohol and drugs, road traffic accidents, and cigarette smoking.
These impacts are more than enough reasons to file an emission claim against your carmaker.
Should I file my diesel claim now?
Yes, you should, but only after you have visited ClaimExperts.co.uk to verify your eligibility to claim compensation. They have all the details you need to ensure that you are eligible, as well as to determine what your next steps should be. Work with an emissions expert if you want a better chance of winning your diesel claim case.