Expert Shows UK Drivers How to Claim Dieselgate Compensation

Volkswagen in 'dieselgate' talks with motorists - BBC News

Thousands of UK drivers are potentially affected by the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal but many of them have yet to claim compensation from their carmakers. Martin Lewis, a financial expert, provides suggestions for motorists on the website MoneySavingExpert. 

The scandal started in 2015 with the Volkswagen Group receiving a Notice of Violation from authorities in the US who discovered defeat devices in Audi and Volkswagen vehicles sold in the American market. The devices can sense when a vehicle is in regulatory testing and can automatically reduce emissions levels down to World Health Organization-recommended limits. However, once the vehicle is driven in real-life road conditions, it reverts to releasing dangerously high amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a pollutant with devastating effects on the environment and human health.

In other words, defeat devices are cheat devices that hide real emissions to make highly polluting vehicles appear fuel-efficient and hence, environment-friendly. the VW Group lied to their customers when they sold the vehicles as fuel-efficient and emissions-compliant. 

After initially denying the accusations, the VW Group admitted that they knew about the devices but kept the truth from their customers. This, Lewis explains, is why affected car owners are encouraged to bring forward a diesel claim against their carmakers.

Volkswagen is not the only manufacturer involved in the scandal; there are potentially many others including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Vauxhall, and Renault. Each one of them should be held responsible for cheating their customers. Vehicles that were manufactured between the years 2017 and 2020 are typically the ones affected by the diesel emissions scandal. Aside from VW and the other vehicles already mentioned, the following carmakers also violated emissions regulations:

  • Chrysler
  • Peugeot
  • Citroën
  • Ford
  • Hyundai
  • Fiat
  • Porsche
  • Jaguar
  • Volvo
  • Skoda
  • Seat

On the MoneySavingExpert website, Lewis lists scenarios that qualify car owners to receive compensation from any of the manufacturers mentioned above:

  • If the customer wouldn’t have bought the vehicle had they known about the defeat device
  • If the customer spent more for the vehicle than they usually would have, or if they paid a premium price for a vehicle that they thought was environmentally safe
  • If the customer had to have the vehicle brought in for repair or fixing to make it emissions-compliant or if the repair resulted in added costs and lowered value because of substandard performance

Why are diesel emissions dangerous?

NOx, the gas that comes from diesel vehicles, has nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide as primary components. It is dangerous because of its effects on the environment and human health. 

Nitrogen oxide is also known to help in the formation of acid rain and smog and is responsible for the production of ground-level ozone, which affects vegetation. Crops and plants can weaken and easily get damaged. It affects other forms of vegetation as well. 

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are also common for people who are exposed to NOx emissions. Additionally, constant exposure can lead to a decline in cognitive abilities, which means the possibility of developing dementia is higher.

If you are exposed to NOx, the health impacts can be life-changing or life-threatening; it depends on how serious the situation is. Low-level exposure may lead to frequent asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, emphysema, and other respiratory illnesses. High-level exposure can have severe impacts, such as spasms of the vocal cords, chronic lung function reduction, asphyxiation, and cardiovascular disease. 

Over the years, numerous reports have also come out that prove a strong link between NOx emissions and premature death. In the UK, the first case of early death due to air pollution took place in 2013 when young Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah died after a severe asthma attack. She lived in one of the most polluted areas in London with her mother, Rosamund. After an inquest, the coroner officially identified toxic air as the primary cause of her death.

These environmental and health impacts are also reasons why you and other affected car owners should file an emissions claim against your carmaker. 

How do I start my diesel claim?

A diesel compensation claim may take months or years to progress, but if you know what to do and what to prepare, the process can be simpler and more efficient. Most claims are grouped similarly to a class-action lawsuit in the US. Legal assistance is provided on a no-win-no-fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about spending anything when you join one. 

You may be wondering: how much can I receive for my diesel claim?

The payouts vary according to the circumstances of the case, but successful claims often compensate affected drivers thousands of pounds. Since group claims for Dieselgate compensation are quite new in and untested England and Wales, success is not a guarantee. Some cases, however, end up with settlement agreements, such as the billions-worth Daimler and Mercedes-Benz US settlement. It’s important to work with emissions experts if you want a higher chance of winning your claim.

However, before you start working on your emissions claim, you must verify first if you are eligible to make one. Only certain models are affected by the scandal. 

Visit the website to verify your eligibility and find all the information you need to begin your claim.

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