UK diesel vehicle owners and drivers could be  set to receive compensation for mis-sold diesel models. Manufacturers of the affected vehicles allegedly misled their customers by marketing the cars as being safe and environmentally friendly, and adhering to regulatory checks. In reality, the vehicles were polluting the environment with huge amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and could have been doing so for more than a decade.

According to experts, each driver stands to receive at least a four figure sum 0 as emission compensation. A source from a legal firm revealed that around 9.6 million vehicles may be affected by the scam, which is popularly known as the Dieselgate scandal. As such, the total payout for successful claims is expected to reach an estimated £38 billion.

The car manufacturers allegedly involved in the scandal are some of the world’s most popular and reputable:

  • Volkswagen
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche
  • Audi
  • Peugeot
  • Vauxhall
  • Citroën
  • Renault
  • Land Rover
  • Jaguar
  • Skoda
  • Nissan
  • Seat

Legal firms are also preparing to take action against several other manufacturers, most of whom have denied all allegations against them. The list includes Alfa Romeo, BMW, Jeep, Ford, Suzuki, Fiat, and Mitsubishi. 

Throughout the UK, many other legal firms have been working to encourage drivers and car owners to sign up for emissions claims. In April 2021, the total number of motorists who signed up to join class-action lawsuits was at almost 400,000. This number increased rapidly as the months went by.

Dieselgate and the defeat device

The Dieselgate scandal that rocked the automobile industry in 2015 is the reason for all the legal action against the above-mentioned car manufacturers. In September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency allegedly found defeat devices installed in Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles sold across the United States. The devices were intended to manipulate emissions testing.

While in the lab, vehicles with defeat devices emit reduced levels of NOx emissions. However, when driven in real-world road conditions, the defeat device automatically reverts the car to its default settings, making it release NOx emissions that far exceed the limits set by the World Health Organization and the EU. As such, drivers of affected vehicles were led to believe that they were driving safe and clean cars when, in reality, they were polluting the air with highly toxic gases that should never have passed tests.

After Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz was the next manufacturer to be apprehended for the defeat devices. In 2020, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler was required to pay US authorities £1.2 billion as compensation for cheating pollution tests using the defeat devices. Additionally, the German car manufacturer has had to recall thousands of Mercedes-Benzes equipped with the cheat device.

Fines, compensation claims, and class-action lawsuits are also current concerns of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. Legal firms have the company next in line for the compensation deals. 

Other car manufacturers are also in the hot seat for their alleged participation in the scam. A campaign helping affected Vauxhall drivers already has around 60,000 claimants signed up and committed to following through litigation action. An estimated 600,000 Vauxhall diesel vehicles are said to have had defeat devices installed on them.

Proceedings for one of the group litigation cases against Volkswagen in 2020 came back with a positive ruling – the manufacturer did install defeat devices in their vehicles. Another case against VW is set for January 2023; this one focusing on diesel emissions claims to pay off the car owners’ financial losses due to the scam. Ideally, manufacturers should pay out the full cost of the affected vehicles, but compensation amounting to thousands  per vehicle is already a good deal.

All the legal groups and firms representing the distressed car owners operate on a no-win-no-fee basis.

NOx emissions

Another reason for affected car owners to pursue their compensation claims against manufacturers is NOx or nitrogen oxides. 

NOx is a combination of toxic gases that vehicles emit in varying amounts every time they are out on the road. Vehicles that are compliant with government-mandated limits emit negligible amounts while non-compliant ones typically emit voluminous amounts of the debilitating fumes. Consisting of NO or nitric oxide and NO2 or nitrogen dioxide, NOx affects not only the environment but human health as well.

Aside from being responsible for the formation of smog, acid rain, and ground-level ozone, NOx also causes various health conditions to develop if an individual is constantly exposed to it. Some common health issues include asthma or aggravated asthma, lung disease, respiratory issues, and breathing problems. Severe conditions may lead to increased cancer risks, cardiovascular ailments, and early death. 

Filing a compensation claim against the car manufacturer is one of the best ways car owners can help in the fight against toxic air.

How do I file for my diesel claim?

What do I do to file my diesel claim?

This is a common question affected car owners ask. If you want to ensure the proper process is followed, and if you want higher chances of winning the claim, the ideal thing to do is work with a panel of emissions solicitors. You’ll want to choose one that has years of experience in the field, is regulated, and highly trained. The panel at ticks off all the boxes, so you should get in touch with them right away. Visit their website to see if you are eligible to claim. Their Mercedes Diesel Claim is currently open.