The Volkswagen Group, parent company of Volkswagen, recently settled with affected UK drivers and customers over the years-long diesel emissions issue. The Dieselgate scandal was first exposed in September 2015 after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board found illegal defeat devices installed in thousands of Volkswagen diesel vehicles sold across the country.
Following the settlement, law firms encouraged Mercedes-Benz vehicle owners in the UK to claim diesel emissions compensation as many of them still have not started any action against the German carmaker. Legal representatives of UK Mercedes owners believe that this is the right time to start a claim, especially since Mercedes and its parent company Daimler continue to deny the allegations thrown against them.
Volkswagen settled the case by agreeing to pay a total of £193 million or approximately £2,100 each to around 91,000 affected drivers in England and Wales. Had the settlement not been agreed upon, VW would have had to face their customers in court in January 2023.
What was the Dieselgate scandal about?
The Dieselgate scandal is one of the biggest and longest-running scams in the history of the global automotive industry. Volkswagen – and later on, Mercedes-Benz and other car manufacturers—were found to have used illegal defeat devices that automatically suppressed emissions when the cars are being tested. These devices are deviously engineered cheat devices; the suppressed levels fall within the safe and legal level set by the World Health Organization.
However, when the cars are driven in real-world road conditions, they revert to their default emissions settings and emit voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxides. The latter are dangerous gases that have negative effects on human health and the environment.
The manufacturers misled their customers; they marketed the vehicles as energy-efficient and environment-friendly. All these were far from the truth because, in reality, the emission levels of their cars far exceeded the mandated limits.
NOx effects on the environment and human health
Nitrogen oxides or NOx are gases with NO (nitric oxide) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) as dominant elements. While NO2 is already dangerous on its own, NO is relatively safer. However, when the two combine and react to form NOx, they transform into harmful gases.
NO is colourless. When it oxidises in the atmosphere, it creates NO2. On the other hand, NO2 is highly corrosive and acidic. It has an odour as well. As NOx, these two gases are responsible for forming smog, particularly its yellowish-brown colour. It is also a vital element in the formation of acid rain, ground-level ozone (which is known as the bad ozone) and PM2.5 or secondary fine particulate matter.
Vegetation is susceptible to the negative impacts wreaked by nitrogen oxides – constant and excessive exposure to NOx will damage foliage, resulting in a reduction in growth or crop yields.
Nitrogen oxides have several effects on human health. Constant exposure to elevated NOx levels can lead to respiratory infections, asthma, aggravated asthma for those who already have it, breathing problems, and lung issues, among others.
Severe cases and long-term exposure can increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronically reduced lung function, and premature death. As early as 2015, there were already around 35,000 premature deaths globally, and all were related to exposure to high levels of NOx emissions.
In the UK, the first case of premature death related to air pollution occurred recently. Ella Kissi-Debrah was nine-years-old when she succumbed to a severe asthma attack. Prior to her death, she was already in and out of the hospital for various respiratory-related issues. She and her mum Rosamund lived in an area that was highly exposed to NOx emissions. She was exposed to air pollution as she walked to school every day.
In December 2020, the coroner ruled Ella’s death was caused by air pollution. It was the first case of its kind in the United Kingdom.
Why car owners need to file for diesel emissions compensation
Car owners affected by the diesel emissions scandal have every right to file a claim against their manufacturers.
First, they were deceived by the carmakers and led to believe that they were purchasing the vehicle of their dreams – efficient and safe for the environment. In reality, their vehicles were pollutants and contributed to the worsening problem of air pollution.
Second, they bought their vehicles at premium rates, which meant they spent a lot of their hard-earned money. They deserve to be compensated for their financial loss.
Third, filing a Dieselgate compensation claim is one way of showing support for the goal of achieving zero emissions.
File your claim with the right panel of solicitors
The question running through your mind right now might be this: how can I file my diesel claims? It’s not easy, but it can be done.
All that you need is someone to work with you, someone who knows the claims process like the back of their hand. The panel of solicitors at ClaimExperts.co.uk fit the description perfectly. They are regulated professionals, experienced, and knowledgeable. They know every step of the way, all the things you need to prepare, and what the courts want from you. They know how to help you win.
Start your diesel claim the right way. Get in touch with ClaimExperts.co.uk by visiting their website.