At the start of 2021, a law firm in London revealed that around 600,000 diesel-powered Vauxhall vehicles used defeat devices designed to cheat on emissions tests. Authorities believe that carmakers do this so they can easily pass regulatory environmental checks. The cheating went on from 2009 to 2019, covering 10 years.
The large number of affected vehicles means that more than one million car owners can receive compensation through a GLO or group litigation order. A GLO is similar to a class-action lawsuit that US lawyers file against carmakers. Instead of bringing to court several individual claims, lawyers simply put together similar claims under one case. However, the GLO must first be approved by the court before the legal process can start.
If the case is successful, each carmaker can receive compensation worth anywhere between 25% and 75% of the vehicle’s total value.
Vauxhall’s alleged use of defeat devices is a violation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. A campaign was created to help prove that the carmaker manipulated their emissions tests and lied to and misled UK drivers.
Instead of giving car owners high-performing vehicles with low impact on the environment, Vauxhall and many other carmakers sold cars that released high volumes of toxic emissions. Vauxhall models allegedly equipped with cheat devices include the Astra, Zafira, and Corsa.
Defeat devices stole the limelight in 2015 after the Dieselgate scandal involving the Volkswagen Group erupted.
The Dieselgate scandal
The Volkswagen Group was accused of using defeat devices for some of their diesel vehicles in the US. Authorities said the devices were found in thousands of Audi and Volkswagen vehicles that were sold to customers in America.
Programmed to detect when a vehicle is in the lab ready for testing, the device immediately reduces emissions to levels that are within legal limits. As such, regulators will see the vehicle as not only high-performing but also environmentally safe as it complies with emissions regulations. However, this emission mode only activates during test conditions in the lab. Once the vehicle is out and being driven on real roads, it emits excessive, unlawful amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a gas with life-altering health impacts (aside from destroying the environment).
Volkswagen misled their customers. They led drivers to believe that the vehicles they purchased were worth the premium amount they paid.
The CARB – California Air Resources Board – ordered a recall of all affected Audi and VW diesel vehicles in the US. The VW Group also had to pay fines and fees; over the years, they’ve also had to spend millions on settlement agreements. To date, VW has paid off billions to affected drivers.
Vauxhall went in the same direction that VW did, which is why there are currently Vauxhall emission claims in the UK. Affected car owners have every right to hold the carmaker responsible for their deceitful illegal acts.
Since 2015, numerous carmakers have been implicated in the diesel emissions scandal, with Mercedes-Benz, Renault, BMW, and Nissan topping the list. Every year, it seems like one or two (or more) brands are added to the list of defeat device users.
Authorities in the UK are doing their best to strictly implement emissions regulations in the hopes that it would help the government achieve its zero-emissions campaign.
NOx is bad for your health
The most obvious reason why NOx emissions are dangerous is because they contribute to air pollution. Primarily composed of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide helps produce smog, acid rain, and a pollutant called ground-level ozone that can destroy vegetation.
It is also important to know, though, that NOx is bad for your health. Its impacts can change you. You can be hounded by irritating, painful, and life-threatening effects for the rest of your life.
Your mental health can be one of the first to be affected, so even if you’ve never had bouts of depression and anxiety before, you may frequently experience them after being exposed to NOx.
Your cognitive health can be affected as well. When it weakens, your chances of having dementia will increase.
Health impacts can be mild or serious, the most common of which are:
- Corroded teeth
- Pulmonary oedema
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- Premature or Early death
Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Mercedes, BMW, and all the other vehicles accused of using defeat devices should be brought to court. They should pay for their illegal acts, for exposing drivers and the public to dangerous NOx emissions. A diesel claim will compensate drivers rightfully.
How should I start my diesel claim?
Your first step should be to verify your eligibility to file a diesel claim. Only certain models from specific manufacturing years (or periods) are affected by the scandal. Thus, you should visit ClaimExperts.co.uk and get all the information you possibly can about diesel claims.
Once you’ve determined that you are qualified to receive compensation, find an emissions expert who can help jumpstart your case. Your next step should be to weigh your options and decide whether to go solo or join a GLO.