The Dieselgate scandal initially involved only the Volkswagen Group but every year, at least one or two carmakers are added to the list. Aside from VW, the list also includes popular car brands Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, and Peugeot. One of the newest manufacturers on the list is Vauxhall, an established carmaker and vehicle distributor based in the UK.
Vauxhall has been around for years and is considered one of the most established brands in the UK. Now part of the Fiat Chrysler/Stellantis family, it became a news headliner in 2018 when defeat devices were found in thousands of their vehicles. The carmaker allegedly used the devices to cheat regulatory emissions tests.
The Vauxhall emissions scandal
While it’s new compared to other diesel emissions scams, the Vauxhall emissions scandal has affected over a million drivers in the UK and hundreds of thousands of others across Europe. It was in October of 2018 when the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) found the defeat devices inside Opel’s diesel vehicles. Opel is Vauxhall’s sister brand. Vauxhall’s emissions scam took the spotlight in January 2021.
A defeat device can detect when the vehicle is in regulatory testing and emissions are automatically reduced to within the mandated limits of the World Health Organization (WHO). While the vehicle appears emissions-compliant, the vehicle’s actual emissions level is suppressed during test conditions.
When the vehicle is outside of the lab and driven in real-world conditions, it releases exceedingly high levels of dangerous emissions that have harmful impacts on human health and the environment. Thus, without the defeat device, it would be difficult for the vehicle to pass regulatory emissions tests. Any vehicle with a defeat device is therefore a pollutant.
Like the other carmakers implicated in the diesel emissions scandal, Vauxhall deliberately deceived customers into believing that their vehicles were high-performing and environmentally friendly.
Like all the other manufacturers involved in the scandal, Vauxhall was required to do a mandatory recall of the affected vehicles in Germany. In the UK, around 500,000 Vauxhall vehicles were recalled despite the carmaker’s denial of the accusations.
The affected vehicles were manufactured between the years 2009 and 2020. These include:
Around 600,000 Vauxhall vehicles fitted with defeat devices were sold to drivers in the UK within a period of ten years.
Emissions released by diesel vehicles are known as nitrogen oxides or NOx, a group of highly reactive gases that can damage vegetation and cause life-changing impacts on a person’s health.
NOx contains nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) and is responsible for producing pollutants such as ground-level ozone, which can significantly damage crops and other forms of vegetation. It also reacts with other chemicals to form acid rain and smog.
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are also triggered when a person is exposed to nitrogen oxide. Episodes can be more frequent as well. Additionally, cognitive abilities weaken over time after exposure, so the chances of developing dementia are higher than usual.
The most devastating impact of NOx exposure, however, has to do with human health. Whether the exposure is low- or high-level, it can lead to life-changing conditions.
For someone exposed to low levels of nitrogen oxide, the common health impacts are emphysema, breathing difficulties, and asthma. Fluid in the lungs can also develop.
High-level exposure to NOx can lead to serious complications. Lung function is chronically reduced and the risk of developing certain cancers is higher. Other health impacts include asphyxiation, spasm of the vocal cords, and cardiovascular diseases.
Exposure to NOx emissions has a life-threatening impact as well – early death. Thousands upon thousands of premature deaths have been linked to air pollution over the years. In the UK, the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013 opened the eyes of many residents to the reality that air pollution can reduce life expectancy. The nine-year-old had been in and out of the hospital for months, mostly due to respiratory-related issues. It didn’t help that she lived along South Circular Road, one of London’s most populated areas.
An inquest was ordered and in December 2020, the coroner officially declared air pollution as the main cause of Ella’s early death. Around the world, there are thousands more cases like Ella’s. Her mother, Rosamund, and other campaigners are constantly working on getting the public educated about how toxic air can destroy lives.
Vauxhall and all the other carmakers involved in the diesel emissions scandal should be held responsible for their actions. Selling defeat device-equipped vehicles to unknowing customers violates emissions regulations and increases the levels of toxic air. For this reason, affected car owners should bring forward a diesel claim against their carmaker.
Why should I file my diesel claim?
The biggest reason to file a diesel emissions claim is your manufacturer’s deliberate mis-selling of defeat device-equipped vehicles. There are other reasons as well, including the harmful effects of NOx emissions and the device’s effect on your vehicle’s performance.
Before you can start your diesel claim, though, you have to verify if you are qualified to do so. Not all Vauxhall diesel vehicles are affected, so it’s best to visit the ClaimExperts.co.uk website to get all the information you need now.