The list of car owners affected by the emissions scandal that first broke out in 2015 is staggering. Earlier this year, law firms revealed that nearly 10 million drivers in Wales, England, and Scotland each stand to receive at least £12,000 in compensation claims against major automakers.
According to sources, around 400,000 car owners who have been allegedly mis-sold by various car manufacturers have signified their intention to join the campaign and signed up for the claims. Legal teams have been getting in touch and talking with the drivers, offering to help them with the claims process.
Lawyers say car owners are eligible for compensation because their manufacturers lied to them. If these drivers had known that their vehicles were fitted with defeat devices, they wouldn’t have bought their cars.
Which cars are affected?
You might have heard about the Mercedes emissions-and-recalls-related news but it’s not just that embattled company that’s facing this fiasco; manufacturers involved in the diesel emission scandal include Volkswagen (the first company caught using the cheat device), Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Chrysler, BMW, Ford, Fiat, Citroen, Nissan, Kia, Jaguar, Hyundai, Land Rover, Porsche, Peugeot, Mini, Renault, Skoda, Volvo, Vauxhall, and Seat. The diesel cars on the list were manufactured between the years 2007 and 2018.
Although some cases have already been taken to court, and others have even paid fines and compensation after recalling the affected diesel vehicles, the manufacturers deny all the allegations against them.
What is a defeat device?
A defeat device is any software that is installed in diesel cars to manipulate results of emissions testing. It detects when a vehicle is being or is about to be tested for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.
During lab tests, the device manipulates the system by controlling the amount of NOx emitted. As a result, the pollutant emitted is within the legal level and is, therefore, deemed safe. In real-world driving conditions, however, the NOx levels emitted are way over the legal and safe level.
In September 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found out that Volkswagen diesel cars were equipped with defeat devices that produced manipulated results during emissions lab tests. According to authorities, VW allegedly intentionally installed the devices by programming the TDI – or turbocharged direct injection – diesel engines so these would automatically control emissions during lab testing. Around 11 million VW cars all over the world, manufactured from 2009 to 2015, were fitted with cheat software.
After Volkswagen, many other car manufacturers were implicated in the Dieselgate scandal, especially in the UK and other parts of Europe. The list continues to grow year after year.
In 2018, the Scottish Parliament opened opportunities for group litigations in Scotland by passing the Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings). The Act began taking effect in August 2020.
Additionally, the software installed in the affected vehicles were ruled as defeat devices by the English High Court.
These developments further helped legal firms carry on with their plans for car owners claiming for emissions compensations.
Why defeat devices are dangerous
Defeat devices release nitrogen oxides, dangerous pollutants that affect not only the environment but human health as well. These include nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and are responsible for the formation of acid rain and smog.
NO2 is an antecedent to ground-level ozone, which can cause a variety of health problems, specifically emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.
Nitrogen oxides, on the other hand, can affect cardiovascular health. Some studies have also claimed that NOx can affect mental health and may lead to anxiety and depression.
What to do if your car is affected
If you bought a diesel car from any of the manufacturers affected by the diesel emission claim, it might be fitted with a defeat device. To verify, get in touch with or visit your manufacturer’s website. Most car brands have a page dedicated to the Dieselgate scandal where you can find a list of affected models. You’ll need to get the details of your vehicle, including the year it was manufactured.
Once you have verified that your vehicle is on the list of affected models, you need to get in touch with a solicitor or a team of emission compensation experts. You may be liable for a claim, and the team will help you go through the claims process every step of the way. They will help you prepare all the requirements as well.
Working with an experienced professional team should be your priority immediately after verifying that your vehicle is affected by the emissions scandal. Most legal teams and emissions experts offer a no-win-no-fee agreement, which means you do not have to pay anything if the claim is unsuccessful.
If you choose to work with the compensation experts at Emissions.co.uk, you are guaranteed higher chances of winning your Dieselgate claim.