The Vauxhall emissions scandal started in 2018 when the German Federal Motor Transport Authority discovered cheat devices in several Vauxhall diesel vehicles. The devices are intended to manipulate emissions testing so the vehicles would appear emissions-compliant.

As a result of the discovery, the KBA required Vauxhall to recall affected vehicles throughout Germany. However, the carmaker hasn’t had a recall since authorities asked them to do so, which is why thousands of vehicles equipped with defeat devices are on UK roads adding to the already dangerous air pollution dilemma.

A defeat device is programmed to temporarily lower emissions so that vehicles would pass regulatory testing. The device automatically detects when the vehicle is in testing conditions, and this is when emissions are lowered.

With the defeat device, however, the vehicle does not reflect its real performance capacity. When driven on real roads, the vehicle releases extra high levels of nitrogen oxide emissions. As such, without a defeat device, the vehicle would not pass regulatory emissions tests.

Authorities believe that Vauxhall lied to and misled their customers when they did not reveal the actual emissions levels that the defeat device-equipped vehicle released.

Aside from Vauxhall, the KBA also investigated Vauxhall’s sister brand Opel. Eventually, the carmaker was required to do a mandatory recall of the Opel Cascada 2.0 CDTi, Insignia 2.0 CDTi, and Zafira 1.6 that were manufactured between the years 2012 and 2016. Reports say that these Opel models were fitted with defeat devices.

Carmakers sold the vehicles to drivers with the promise that these would be:

  • High-performing
  • Clean
  • Environmentally safe
  • Efficient
  • Emissions-compliant

In reality, though, the vehicle was unclean, unsafe, inefficient, and non-compliant.

Diesel emissions scandal

The Dieselgate scandal initially had only the Volkswagen Group in the spotlight after the carmaker installed defeat devices in their VW and Audi diesel vehicles in the US. The devices masked real emissions so that the vehicles would look good to authorities while in testing.

Once US authorities discovered the devices, VW was ordered to recall affected vehicles. Volkswagen has also spent billions paying off fines, fees, settlement agreements, and compensation.

Soon, other carmakers were implicated in the scandal, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Vauxhall eventually joined the group, along with more carmakers, such as Renault, Nissan, Land Rover, and Alfa Romeo.

The scandal is considered the biggest to ever hit the global automotive industry.

Diesel emissions

The gas that vehicles release is known as NOx or nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that has adverse effects on a person and the environment. It has nitric oxide or NO and nitrogen dioxide or NO2 as primary components, which is why it can produce acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is a pollutant that causes vegetation to weaken. Thus, plants and crops become more susceptible to damage and frost. It also slows down the growth of vegetation.

A person with mental health issues will have to deal with frequent episodes of depression and anxiety. Cognitive abilities are also affected and, when this happens, the possibility of developing dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease increases as well.

Nitrogen oxide emissions affect overall health in several ways. For low-level exposure, the most common effects are increased frequency of asthma attacks, nausea and vomiting, difficulty in breathing, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.

For those who are exposed to high levels of nitrogen oxide emissions, health impacts can be severe. NOx emissions can cause spasms of the vocal cords as well as asphyxiation. Other effects include increased risk of cancer, chronic reduction of lung function, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Air pollution has become more dangerous than alcohol, cigarette smoking, and even HIV and AIDS. It is linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, such as the one involving young UK resident Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. The nine-year-old’s case was the first death that the coroner attributed to air pollution.

With the use of defeat devices, carmakers not only broke the trust of their customers but also exposed children and adults to the harmful effects of NOx emissions.

As such, car owners affected by the Dieselgate diesel emissions are encouraged to bring forward a claim against their car manufacturers. Every carmaker involved in the scandal should be held responsible for their actions. The first batch of claims has already been brought to the High Court and more law firms are now about to do the same.

Making a diesel claim

Making a diesel claim is easy if you know the process and the requirements. There are emissions experts who can help you with this. Your first goal, though, is to determine if you are qualified to bring an emissions claim against your carmaker. There are specifications as to which vehicles are included in the claim.

If you get in touch with Emissions.co.uk right away, you’ll have relevant information that you can use to start your diesel claim.