Martin Lewis, financial journalist and founder of MoneySavingsExpert.com, shared important information about how UK car owners affected by the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal can claim compensation for their manufacturer’s manipulation of emissions levels. All carmakers are required to have newly manufactured vehicles tested for emission levels regulation and approved before these can be sold to consumers.
Lewis referred to manufacturers who installed defeat devices in their diesel vehicles. These devices are used to cheat emissions tests. These devices bring down emissions levels once they detect that a vehicle is in the lab for testing. Emission levels are temporarily kept within the mandated limits of the World Health Organization (WHO) so the vehicle will appear emissions-compliant.
However, once the vehicle is out of the lab and driven on real-world roads, it shifts to its default setting, which pushes it to emit extensive amounts of a highly reactive gas called nitrogen oxide or NOx. Nitrogen oxide has adverse effects on vegetation, a person’s mental health and cognitive abilities, and human health in general.
As such, carmakers that installed defeat devices in their vehicles lied to their customers by mis-selling the vehicles as environmentally friendly vans and cars. Car owners who thought they were contributing to the fight against toxic air were actually exacerbating the air pollution problem.
Lewis’ Money Savings Expert website came out with a list of the manufacturers involved in the diesel emissions scandal. The Volkswagen Group was the first carmaker to be implicated in the scandal after United States authorities discovered defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles that were sold in the US. Mercedes-Benz, a German manufacturer like VW, was the second automobile company to receive a notice from authorities.
Other carmakers found to have used defeat devices include:
- Land Rover
Lewis went on to mention that several legal firms in the UK have been working hard to help affected car owners bring a claim against their manufacturer. There is no guarantee that the drivers will be financially compensated, but lawyers and authorities are urging other potential claimants to start their claims process as soon as possible.
The money expert further divulged that most legal firms offer a no-win-no-fee guarantee, so affected car owners won’t have to worry about their budget. Most firms, however, will take a percentage from the payout if the claim is won. Nevertheless, consumers will still get the compensation they deserve.
How to know you can receive diesel emissions compensation
Here are some of the common situations that may help you get compensation from your erring carmaker:
- You wouldn’t have purchased the vehicle if you knew that it had emissions issues.
- You paid a premium amount for the vehicle, which you do not normally do. You decided to spend more than usual because you were told it was an environmentally friendly vehicle.
- Your vehicle had to be taken to the shop to be fixed and adhere to emissions standards. However, fixing it led to some performance and fuel efficiency issues for the vehicle, which cost you more or reduced the car or van’s value.
The danger of emissions
Diesel vehicle emissions are dangerous because the pollutants they release can have devastating effects on the environment and one’s mental and overall health.
Nitrogen oxide or NOx, the gas that diesel vehicles emit, is a catalyst for smog, acid rain, and ground-level ozone. All three are heavy pollutants, with ground-level ozone significantly affecting vegetation and making crops and plants become weaker day by day.
NOx has also been proven to have a negative impact on a person’s mental health and can reduce cognitive abilities, making one susceptible to dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease.
The most dangerous impacts of exposure to NOx emissions, however, are to a person’s overall health. Some of the effects include difficulty in breathing, the lungs filling up with fluid, asthma and other respiratory diseases, vocal cords spasm, asphyxia, cardiovascular diseases, and premature death.
Over the years, thousands of early deaths have been linked to air pollution in various parts of the world. In the UK, the first case of its kind involved a young girl named Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who lived with her mother in the area near the South Circular Road area in South London. She was exposed to high levels of toxic air and was in and out of the hospital before her death. An inquest on the nine-year-old’s death was ordered and in December 2020, the coroner released his findings: Ella’s death was due to air pollution.
These life-changing impacts are the reasons why Lewis and legal firms are encouraging affected car owners to bring a claim against their manufacturers.
How to file my diesel claim
If you believe your vehicle is affected, you may be wondering, “How do I start my diesel claim?” It can be a protracted and tedious process, but a panel of emissions solicitors can help you. However, the first thing you should do is verify your eligibility to make a diesel claim.
You don’t have to look any further though, as ClaimExperts.co.uk has all the information you need. Visit their website to check your eligibility.