The problem started with Audi and Volkswagen and the overarching VW Group, was hit with regulatory action over some of their diesel vehicles in 2015. The controversy, which has been termed ‘dieselgate’, has since grown to include various other manufacturers. One of the latest manufacturers to be involved in the scandal was Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler. If you have been the registered keeper of a diesel vehicle that was made between 2008 and 2018 you could join a Mercedes emissions claim.
What are these claims about?
The group’s legal claims allege that these manufacturers used illegal ‘defeat devices’ in their diesel vehicles in order to cheat tests conducted by regulators to check their emissions levels, prior to approving them for sale. Law firms are arguing that the affected cars and vans release more harmful NOx (nitrogen oxide) pollution than what was advertised, hence they were mis-sold to customers. This means you could be owed money back because:
- You wouldn’t have bought the vehicle if you had known about the emissions flaws
- You paid more for it than you would have and more than it was actually worth
- If the vehicle had to be “fixed” to comply with emissions standards, the repair itself might have resulted in worse fuel efficiency or performance, possibly lowering its value, or generating added, unexpected costs, for which you could claim damages.
As expected, the manufacturers don’t agree with the claims. VW, for instance, argues that drivers have not experienced any financial loss. So, it will be for the courts to decide who is right.
What are defeat devices?
Defeat devices, sometimes referred to as cheat devices, are installed in diesel cars to falsify emissions levels by using test conditions to pass the regulatory checks. Driving conditions in the real world produce considerably higher emissions than test conditions, which means affected vehicles would not pass the checks without using defeat devices.
Why should you make a claim?
As a diesel vehicle owner, you could have been misled about the level of emissions your vehicle was producing and deserve compensation as a result. There are several reasons you should make a claim including:
- The higher nitrogen dioxide emissions can exacerbate respiratory conditions in adults and children, so your health might have been affected.
- The lies told by manufacturers means the environment is facing more damage from emissions at a crucial time in the fight against climate change.
- You might have encountered higher fuel bills and maintenance costs with your vehicle.
- The performance of your vehicle was likely to have been negatively impacted.
- You can hold the manufacturer accountable for its actions. Making a diesel claim will send a message that big companies can’t get away with being dishonest to their customers.
- You can receive financial reimbursement as you might have suffered damages. For instance, Autocar tests have shown that the affected vehicles do have worse fuel economy after the fix has been applied.
- There is no risk to you. Many law firms offer to work on a No Win, No Fee basis, so bringing a claim won’t cost you anything if the outcome is unsuccessful.