Vauxhall Motors recalled 500,000 diesel vehicles but denied any claims and accusations against them for using defeat devices in 600,000 vehicles they manufactured between 2008 and 2019. This is another of a series of emissions issues that several car brands have been involved in since the Volkswagen Dieselgate emissions scandal in 2015.
The British car manufacturer is implicated in its own version of the diesel emissions scandal after the German Federal Transport Authority (KBA) discovered software in some of their diesel vehicles that are allegedly designed to cheat emission test results. The device senses when the engine is undergoing an emissions test. Once triggered, it masks the vehicle’s actual emissions level. However, vehicles installed with the defeat device emit significantly higher nitric oxide (NOx) levels during real-world driving.
Nitric oxide is a combination of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. It can cause acid rain and smog. This harmful gas is a known allergen and causes adverse effects on health like asthma, reduced lung function, and chronic lung disease. It can also cause inflammation of the airways after exposure at high levels. To avoid the health hazards associated with poor air quality, the EU controls diesel emissions levels in its member countries. High levels of NOx exposure cause over 64,000 fatalities per year.
Dieselgate not only involved German car manufacturer Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi; there were a host of other car manufacturers that allegedly installed cheat software in their diesel engines. Daimler, owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, was accused of deceiving their car owners and buyers in 2017. European carmakers BMW and Peugeot form part of the list of the emissions scandal-affected vehicles. This was despite the EU rule in 2007 that prohibited the use of defeat devices in cars.
It was the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) that discovered the high emission levels coming from VW in 2014. The car manufacturer paid off €2.36B in fines and compensation while Mercedes was fined €1.6M, plus an estimated €1.1B to €1.5M to cover for other expenses like legal costs.
Vauxhall, on the other hand, might be paying an estimated £2,500 to each of the one million drivers who bought their vehicles should the group litigation against them prove successful.
Vauxhall Pay Up campaign
Vauxhall is alleged to have installed the defeat device in the following seven car brands:
Several law firms have joined forces to bring a class action lawsuit against the British carmaker for a variety of legal violations and deception charges.
Breach of statutory obligation is a potential claim for negligence on Vauxhall’s behalf that resulted in a claimant’s loss or injury.
Vauxhall is also accused of breaking consumer law by failing to deliver on what was promised in the B2C contract; in this case, the vehicle’s low-emission function. The company’s violation of the Consumer Credit Act, which protects the claimant while entering into a credit agreement, is another issue.
Claimants can also potentially seek compensation for overpayment on the vehicle. The carmaker’s non-compliance with the emissions law lowers the value of the cheat-device car. Additionally, compensation can also be requested for the effect that the device can have on fuel consumption and the performance of the car engine. The www.emissions.co.uk has a team of experts who are familiar with this.
How to make a claim
If you bought a Vauxhall diesel vehicle between 2008 and 2019, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Cars that were bought pre-owned, financed, leased, or by outright purchase can be included in the claim .
You can look for emission compensation experts such as emissions.co.uk who can put you in touch with an expert panel of diesel emission solicitors. Also, if Vauxhall contacted you about an emission software update through a letter, you are eligible for the claim.
Litigators usually go by a “No Win, No Fee” policy. If you do not win the case, they will not charge you for anything. They can also arrange for an insurance company to provide you with some protection in case you will need to pay for the defendant’s legal fees.
If you win the case, most law firms will take no more than 50% of the damages paid to you, regardless of the number of claimants in the group litigation.
There are several deadlines for filing claims related to the Vauxhall emissions controversy. Claims for breach of statutory duty must be filed six years after you first learned that your car is equipped with a defeat device. Breach of contract, on the other hand, must be filed within six years of the date your vehicle was purchased.