The United Kingdom has always shown unwavering commitment to fighting global climate change , aligning with most EU regulations. To this end, the UK established emission laws to protect the environment in England and Wales. As such, authorities must check vehicles’ emission levels to ensure that they meet set standards. Only automobiles that pass the emissions test will receive approval for sale.
However, there have been reports that some leading vehicle manufacturers have cheated on the test. Vauxhall, Mercedes-Benz, and the Volkswagen Group are some manufacturers implicated in this scandal (dubbed the “Dieselgate Scandal”). The claims allege that these brands installed a “defeat device” software in their diesel engine automobiles to fool testing mechanisms.
The defeat device could detect that they were undergoing testing and reduce their emissions output. As a result, these vehicles passed the tests even when they emitted far more harmful nitrogen oxide than the emissions laws allow. Some affected cars emitted up to 40 times what they advertised.
You might be eligible for a diesel emissions claim if you bought any implicated automobiles under such misrepresentations. Upon a successful claim, you’ll receive monetary damages to compensate for the vehicle manufacturer’s lies. We’ll discuss all you need to know about filing diesel emissions claim in this article.
Why Should You File A Diesel Compensation Claim?
A car manufacturer lying to you about car emissions may not seem like a big deal until you consider:
Environmental and Health Impact
Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is a hazardous environmental pollutant. It contributes to the destruction of our planet by facilitating acid rain, ozone layer depletion, smog, and global warming.
Apart from the effects on our climate, NOx contributes to asthma, wheezing, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. This dangerous gas is also responsible for thousands of untimely deaths annually.
The actions of the vehicle manufacturers show an uncanny love for profit above human life. Such greed and deceit shouldn’t go unpunished.
Not only did these brands endanger your life, but they also lied to cover up their fraud in the Dieselgate Scandal. This shows gross irresponsibility and disregard for corporate accountability.
Filing a diesel emissions claim proves to the companies that there are dire consequences for such unacceptable actions. Hopefully, this will also deter further irresponsible acts in the future.
You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of owning an affected vehicle. Therefore, if you suffer health challenges due to the dangerous emissions, the implicated company has to foot your medical bills.
Again, fixing the emission problem costs money you wouldn’t have spent if the manufacturer were honest. There are also claims of worse fuel economy resulting from attempts to reduce NOx emissions.
Low Financial Risks
Another reason to pursue a diesel emissions claim is that you have nothing to lose. Many law firms work on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that you wouldn’t have to pay solicitor fees if you fail in your claim.
Am I Eligible for a Diesel Emission Claim?
You may be qualified for a diesel emissions claim in England and Wales if you meet these requirements:
- You bought a diesel vehicle via outright purchase or lease between 2007 and 2018. It doesn’t matter whether it was new or second-hand. Also, you can still make a claim even if you’re no longer in possession of the vehicle.
- The price at which you purchased the affected vehicle is more than its actual worth.
- You paid to fix the vehicle and make it compliant with UK’s emissions standards.
- The deadline for making diesel emission claims against your car model hasn’t expired.
- You were not aware of the flaw before purchasing the vehicle.
These are some of the evidence you need to prove your allegations in a diesel emissions case:
Evidence of ownership of the vehicle. This includes the purchase invoice from the automobile dealer. In the case of an inheritance, you must provide a copy of the will. You might produce a lease agreement if you got the vehicle via lease.
- Evidence of sale of the vehicle or any document to prove that you’ve disposed of it. This is necessary when you are no longer in possession of the car or van.
- V5C (details of the registered keeper)
- Financial agreements on the vehicle
- The Vehicle Order Form
- Car insurance details
- Evidence of salary sacrifice agreement with your employer, if any
If you meet the above eligibility requirements and provide adequate proof, you’ll have a high chance of maximum compensation. To further increase your likelihood of success, hire a qualified diesel emissions claim solicitor.
Do These Laws Apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland?
You cannot join the diesel emissions claims in England and Wales if you purchased an affected vehicle in Scotland or Northern Ireland. That’s even if you currently live in England and Wales. You can only pursue your claim in the country of purchase or lease.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re filing diesel emissions claim in Scotland and Northern Ireland:
Victims in Scotland were only empowered to file diesel emissions claims in 2020. As such, there’s still a lot to discover about the progress of the filed cases.
Some law firms in Scotland are no longer accepting claims for EA189-fitted engines from Audi, Seat, Porsche, Skoda, and VW. However, you may still join a diesel emissions group claim against Mercedes-Benz.
Filing a diesel emissions claim may involve financial risks in Northern Ireland. This is because solicitors in the country don’t take on cases on a No Win- No Fee basis. There are also limitations on the vehicle brands you can claim against.
Essential Details to Note Before Joining a Diesel Emissions Claim in the UK
It’s always wise to ponder numerous factors before deciding on a diesel emissions claim. First, ensure that you’re eligible for compensation to avoid wasting your time. Next, consider the following details to ensure you’re making well-informed decisions concerning your claim:
You’ll Join a Group Claim
Diesel emissions claims are one of the most complex cases you may ever have to file. They involve technical legal proceedings and may require expert opinion to prove specific allegations.
While there’s no express law prohibiting you from pursuing this claim by yourself, doing so is highly risky. So, to increase your chances of a successful claim, you may have no other choice than to join a group claim. That is especially when you consider the financial costs of handling your case.
A Diesel Emissions Claim Can Take Longer Than Five Years
If you are hoping for a speedy diesel emission claim, you’ll be disappointed as these cases require a longer processing time. It may even take much longer than five years to conclude in court.
The first VW diesel emissions claim proceeding is ongoing even though the hearing started in 2019. Worse still, it hasn’t even gotten to full trial yet. There’s also the possibility of an appeal after the original judgment.
Your Choice of Law Firm Matters
You may have heard that you don’t need to overthink about the law firm representing you. Unfortunately, that’s true only to the extent that the courts will group cases against a manufacturer from different law firms.
Your chances of success will depend on the law firms’ collective effort. However, your compensation depends on your agreement with your law firm.
You May Withdraw Your Claims Penalty-Free
You may develop cold feet after approaching a solicitor to file a diesel emissions claim. In such cases, you may withdraw your case in writing within 14 days after receiving the paperwork. It all depends on your law firm’s terms and conditions.
You May Be Responsible for Legal Costs
The fact remains that many law firms will handle your case on a contingency fee basis.
However, there’s no 100% guarantee that you’ll win your case and get compensation for your losses. If the manufacturer wins in your case, you may have to foot its legal costs.
While this may be highly unlikely in most cases, ensure that you clarify with your law firm.
Only stick with solicitors that guarantee no financial risks regardless of the outcome of your case.
What Is My Diesel Emissions Claim Worth?
There’s no specific compensatory sum available to all diesel emissions claimants. Generally, your damages will depend on several factors. For example, your payout will typically depend on your financial losses and the severity of harm you’ve suffered.
The type of vehicle you own may also determine your compensation. However, many law firms and the Torbay Council put the estimated settlement sum between £100 – £1000.