Recently, the car industry has been rocked by numerous scandals surrounding diesel emissions. One of the most prominent is Dieselgate, which saw Volkswagen embroiled in legal battles worldwide overusing defeat devices to cheat emissions tests. However, this scandal is far from the only one to have hit the industry. In the UK, Vauxhall faces diesel emissions claims alleging the company breached consumer law by fitting cars with illegal defeat devices. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Dieselgate?
Dieselgate, also known as the Volkswagen emission scandal, started in 2015 when the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Volkswagen (VW) had intentionally programmed its diesel engines to activate emissions controls only when the vehicle they were installed in was being tested. Once the test was complete, the emissions control was turned off, allowing the engine to emit up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide than permitted by law. Over 11 million cars worldwide were affected, resulting in VW being fined billions of euros for cheating emissions tests.
Despite the VW scandal, other car manufacturers have since been implicated in similar scandals, including Vauxhall. According to a 2023 report produced by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), approximately 19 million diesel cars are currently on the road in the UK, producing NOx at levels exceeding the European nitrogen oxide limit.
What Is the Vauxhall Diesel Claim?
A Vauxhall diesel claim is a legal action being taken against the British car manufacturer based on the allegation that Vauxhall fitted defeat devices to its diesel vehicles, which allowed them to emit unacceptably high levels of NOx emissions in real-world driving conditions. Claimants can seek compensation for the loss of value of their vehicle and the increased cost of running it due to these emissions.
What Are Defeat Devices?
Defeat devices are software or hardware mechanisms fitted to a vehicle that can detect when the car is being tested for emissions and reduce the pollutant output to meet testing standards. However, in real-world driving conditions, these devices are switched off, allowing the car to emit more pollutants than is legal. Using defeat devices is illegal in the UK and the European Union.
Why Are Emissions Tests Important?
Emissions tests are designed to measure the pollutants a vehicle emits in controlled laboratory conditions. The tests assess whether a car meets the legal emissions standards of the European Union (EU) and other regulatory bodies. The legal limits for NOx and PM emissions have been tightened over the years to protect public health and the environment. However, the tests are imperfect and can be manipulated by defeat devices.
What Vehicles Are Affected by the Vauxhall Diesel Claim?
The affected Vauxhall models are:
- Vauxhall Astra (2010 – 2018)
- Vauxhall Corsa (2008 – 2018)
- Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)
- Vauxhall Zafira (2009 – 2018)
If you own or lease one of these models, you may be eligible to join the claim. Click here to check your eligibility and consult with a Vauxhall diesel compensation claims expert.
What Are the Potential Consequences of the Vauxhall Diesel Claim?
If the Vauxhall emissions claim is successful, it could have significant consequences for the company and the wider car industry. Vauxhall may be forced to compensate affected customers, and the company’s reputation could be severely damaged. The wider car industry may also face increased scrutiny and pressure to ensure their vehicles comply with emissions regulations.
What is Being Done to Address Diesel Emissions?
In the wake of the numerous diesel emissions scandals, governments worldwide have implemented new regulations to reduce the impact of diesel emissions on the environment and public health. In the UK, the government has introduced several measures to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and reduce air pollution in cities. The EU has also introduced new emissions testing procedures to reflect real-world driving conditions better.
What Is the Status of the Vauxhall Diesel Claim?
The case outcome is uncertain, and it may take years for a final decision to be reached. However, if the claim is successful, you could receive compensation for the loss of value in your vehicle and any additional costs you have incurred due to the emissions issues.
In the meantime, if you own a Vauxhall diesel vehicle, it is still important to ensure that it is properly maintained and has regular emissions testing. This will help reduce the impact of emissions on your health and the environment.
The ongoing Vauxhall claims are just one example of the ongoing fallout from the diesel emissions scandals that have plagued the car industry in recent years. While the full extent of the impact of these scandals is yet to be seen, they have fundamentally changed how the industry is viewed and regulated. As governments and consumers become more aware of diesel emissions’ health and environmental impact, the pressure on car manufacturers to reduce their output is only set to increase.