Vauxhall is one of the latest vehicle manufacturers implicated in the diesel emissions scandal. The UK-based carmaker was thrust into the Dieselgate spotlight in 2018 when the KBA (German Federal Motor Transport Authority) alleged that its sister company, Opel, installed devices used to cheat emissions tests on their vehicles. The KBA ordered a recall of thousands of Opel vehicles.
In recent developments, a law firm revealed that approximately one million owners of Vauxhall vehicles stand to receive emission compensation worth at least £2,500 each. The carmaker allegedly used the defeat devices between the years 2009 and 2019 for cheating emissions tests with around 600,000 defeat device-equipped vehicles. The potential models affected by the illegal tests include Zafira, Corsa, and Astra.
For their part, Vauxhall denied the allegations of using defeat devices for manipulating emissions tests. They confidently assured that their vehicles follow all applicable regulations.
However, law firms are bent on bringing forward a GLO or Group Litigation Order against the carmaker. They believe there could be more than a million Vauxhall drivers in the UK that deserve to be compensated for the inconvenience caused by the defeat device in their vehicles.
A defeat device is designed to know when a vehicle is going into testing for emissions regulations. When the testing starts, the device lowers emission levels to within the legal limits provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). To the regulators, the vehicle appeared efficient and thus, environmentally safe.
However, once the vehicle is out of the lab and driven on real roads, it reverts to its default emissions settings, emitting high levels of nitrogen oxide or NOx, a dangerous group of gases with adverse effects on health and the environment. Thus, every Vauxhall equipped with a defeat device is a pollutant.
Law firms are encouraging affected Vauxhall drivers to bring a claim against the carmaker. It is the car owners’ right to hold their carmakers responsible for cheating on them and manipulating emissions tests.
When did the Dieselgate scandal start?
The Volkswagen Group received a notice from the California Air Resources Board and the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in September 2015. The authorities alleged that Audi and Volkswagen diesel-powered vehicles sold in the United States were equipped with illegal defeat devices. As a result, they have spent billions on fines, legal fees, settlement agreements, and vehicle recalls.
A few years later, Mercedes-Benz received the same notice from US authorities. Car owners also joined together to file a class-action lawsuit against the German carmaker. Despite spending billions, recalling hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles, and finalising settlements, Mercedes continues to deny the allegations of defeat device use.
BMW, Renault, Alfa Romeo, and Land Rover have also been in the spotlight for their alleged use of defeat devices.
As mentioned earlier, the Vauxhall emissions scandal started taking shape in 2018. The carmaker promised to provide their customers with vehicles that combined high-performance driving and low environmental impact, but what they got were cars and vans that violated emissions regulations. There is no question that Vauxhall lied to their customers and drivers paid a premium amount for vehicles that did not live up to their expectations.
The Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal continues up to this day as every year, a carmaker or two are caught taking advantage of cheat emissions devices.
Why are excess NOx emissions dangerous?
Nitrogen oxide or NOx are gases that easily react when combined with other chemicals. Its main components are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). It mixes with other elements to form acid rain and smog and also contributes to the production of ground-level ozone.
Ground-level ozone is a pollutant that stunts the growth of plants and crops. It affects vegetation in many ways. When exposed to ground-level ozone, plants and crops become weak, making them vulnerable to frost and damage. Other forms of vegetation are affected as well.
When exposed to nitrogen oxide, a person with mental health issues can have more frequent episodes of anxiety or depression. Their cognitive health can also decline, increasing their risk of different types of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are constantly exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, you breathe in toxic air and open yourself up to life-changing health complications. Some of the most common health impacts include asthma, breathing difficulties, and fluid filling up your lungs. If you are exposed to high levels of NOx emissions, your health complications can be serious, including vocal cords spasm, asphyxiation, chronic reduction of lung function, and cardiovascular diseases.
Research and reports in the past few years have also provided data linking air pollution to thousands upon thousands of premature deaths around the world.
If all affected car owners bring forward an emissions claim, carmakers responsible for these devastating health and environmental impacts will be held responsible for their alleged deception.
How to make a claim
If you have a Vauxhall or any of the affected vehicles, your first question may be: how can I start my diesel claim? Well, you cannot do so without checking if you are qualified to bring forward a Vauxhall emissions claim. There are certain requirements to consider, so it’s vital to verify your eligibility first before moving forward with your claim.
Visit the ClaimExperts.co.uk website to ensure that you’re moving through the right claims process.