600,000 Vauxhalls Could be 'Dirty,' Polluting UK Air Much More
The Dieselgate scandal first broke out in 2015 and only the Volkswagen Group was involved. Fast forward to 2022 and the list of carmakers has gotten longer. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, and many other vehicle brands have been implicated in the scandal. UK-based Vauxhall is the latest on the list.
Vauxhall emissions claims have also just recently started, with law firms encouraging around one million drivers to join the legal action against the carmaker. Drivers of Vauxhall’s Zafira, Corsa, and Astra models that were manufactured between the years 2009 and 2010 can be eligible for a £2,500 payout each if the case is successful. Law firms are working to bring forward a Group Litigation claim against the carmaker.
A Vauxhall representative has said that the carmaker did not know of any claim brought forward against them. They also denied the allegations that their vehicles were fitted with illegal defeat devices to cheat emissions tests. Vauxhall said their diesel vehicles all follow emissions regulations.
What Vauxhall allegedly did
Vauxhall is accused of using defeat devices that manipulate emissions levels so that vehicles would appear safe and emissions-compliant. This is similar to what the Volkswagen Group did for their Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles in September 2015.
A defeat device is designed to detect when a vehicle is in the lab for regulatory testing. It disables the emission control system of the vehicle and automatically reduces emissions levels to within the limits mandated by the World Health Organization (WHO). While in testing, the vehicle appears clean, high-performing, and emissions-compliant. Once it is driven on real roads, however, the story changes.
Outside of the test environment and in real-life driving conditions, the vehicle releases unlawful levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which can destroy the environment and negatively impact human health. Drivers have no idea that their vehicles are pollutants.
Defeat devices are installed in diesel vehicles that need to pass emissions tests so they will be cleared for driving on UK roads.
Carmakers deceived their customers when they marketed and sold defeat device-equipped vehicles as fuel-efficient and environment-friendly. Customers paid a premium price for cars that were high pollutants.
What does NOx do?
NOx or nitrogen oxide is a group of highly reactive gases. With nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as primary components, NOx is expected to hound you with one problem after another. Its effects on your health vary from minor to major and have life-threatening impacts. Nitrogen oxide emissions also have devastating effects on the environment.
When it reacts with other elements, NOx produces acid rain and smog. It also helps form ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can weaken and destroy crops, plants, and other forms of vegetation.
If you are constantly exposed to NOx emissions, you’re breathing in a lot of dirty air and particles that can travel from your lungs to your bloodstream. This makes you vulnerable to various illnesses and health conditions.
Minor health impacts that result from exposure to NOx emissions include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid in the lungs
- Emphysema, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases
- Nausea and vomiting
If your case is serious and you are regularly exposed to high levels of NOx emissions, the impacts can be quite severe:
- Vocal cords spasm
- Chronic lung function reduction
- Certain cancers
- Cardiovascular diseases
In recent years, several reports and studies have come out with evidence that shows a link between early death and air pollution (or NOx emissions). The first such case in the UK was that of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a young girl who lived near South Circular Road in the south of London, one of the most polluted areas of the city. She died after a bout of severe asthma and multiple consecutive visits to the hospital. After an inquest, the coroner announced air pollution as the official cause of the nine-year-old’s death.
Breathing in NOx emissions can shorten your life.
Why file an emissions claim?
Vauxhall and the other carmakers caught using defeat devices knowingly misled you and all their customers by hiding the real emissions levels of the diesel vehicles they sold. You should be compensated for several reasons:
- Your Vauxhall vehicle’s market value can potentially decrease
- You may have been paying higher fuel bills and spending more than usual on maintenance
- You, your family and loved ones, and everyone around you has been exposed to dangerous NOx emissions
- The presence of the defeat device may have affected your Vauxhall vehicle’s performance
- Vauxhall may have lied to you and could have broken your trust
When should I start my diesel claim?
The best time to start your diesel claim is now. As more affected drivers are coming out and joining GLOs (Group Litigation Orders), you need to join in the action. With help from emissions experts, the claims process can be easier and more convenient.
However, as only specific models and manufacture dates are affected by the diesel emissions scandal, your first step should be to verify your eligibility to claim compensation. You can do this by visiting ClaimExperts.co.uk as they can provide you with all the information you will need to jumpstart your Vauxhall emissions claim process.