The Dieselgate scandal that started with the Volkswagen Group in September 2015 has repercussions that continue to hound carmakers, authorities, and affected vehicle owners to this day. Despite the recalls, fines, and GLOs (group litigation orders), millions of vehicles equipped with defeat devices and emitting dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx) are still on UK (and EU) roads.
While air quality has been compromised for years, the diesel emissions scandal worsened the problem. While Dieselgate initially involved only one carmaker, the list has gotten longer year after year. Aside from Volkswagen; Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and BMW also supposedly violated emissions regulations. British carmaker Vauxhall is also on the list.
Authorities are constantly monitoring manufacturers as governments continue to roll out one policy after another hoping to find stricter measures for reducing air pollution levels.
The Dieselgate scandal started when authorities in the US allegedly discovered defeat devices in Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles that were sold to hundreds of thousands of consumers in America. A defeat device is used to cheat emissions tests. It can sense when a vehicle is being tested and when it does, for the entirety of such a test, it brings down emissions to within the legal levels set by the World Health Organization.
As such, regulators see a clean and safe vehicle; emissions-compliant and ready for selling. This is only true during testing conditions, though, as the vehicle emits excessive volumes of NOx as soon as it is driven on real roads. So, a defeat device-equipped car or van is high-polluting and dangerous to both the environment and humans.
Environmental Health Analytics produced a study in 2017 that reflected the effects of considerable levels of nitrogen oxide emissions on the worldwide population. According to data collected, excess deaths linked to NOx emissions totalled around 38,000. Most of the cases were recorded in Europe, where regulations are more focused on reducing CO2 (carbon dioxide) than nitrogen oxide emissions.
In 2018, 31% of NOx emissions in the UK came from road transport. Additionally, a 2019 study revealed that toxic or dirty air is now considered more dangerous and leads to more global deaths than cigarette smoking.
Numerous studies are carried out every year and the majority of them paint the same picture: nitrogen oxide emissions not only damage the environment but also end lives.
Over the years, it is estimated that the environment is polluted by around 500,000 tonnes of excess nitrogen oxides. This has led to poor air quality, acid rain, smog, and the world’s population developing health conditions.
Why is NOx extremely dangerous?
Nitrogen dioxide or NO2 and nitric oxide or NO are two highly reactive nitrogen oxides. They contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain, and it also produces ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can damage vegetation, including crops and plants.
If you are exposed to NOx emissions, you will experience several life-changing impacts. For starters, your mental health condition can be affected, which means you’ll become susceptible to frequent episodes of anxiety and depression.
Your cognitive abilities may also be affected and dementia can set in most especially Alzheimer’s disease.
Your constant exposure to nitrogen oxide emissions can cause adverse health impacts, including asthma, fluid build-up in the lungs or pulmonary oedema, respiratory problems such as bronchitis and emphysema, and breathing problems.
More serious health impacts can develop if you are regularly exposed to excessive levels of nitrogen oxide emissions. These include:
- Chronic lung problems
- Vocal cords spasm or laryngospasm
- Increased susceptibility to strokes
- Cardiovascular diseases
Exposure to nitrogen oxide emissions is also linked to premature death. The first case of death due to air pollution happened in the UK in 2013. Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah lived in the South Circular Road area of south London, which is one of the capital’s most populated neighbourhoods. She was in and out of the hospital for months due to various respiratory-related problems.
Sometime in 2013, Ella had a severe asthma attack, which led to her early death. In December 2020, after an inquest, the coroner confirmed that the nine-year-old died because of air pollution.
According to authorities, Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, and Renault – along with Vauxhall and other alleged defeat device users, should be held responsible for not adhering to emissions regulations and endangering drivers. Filing a Vauxhall emissions claim is the best option for affected car owners.
A diesel claim, if successful, offers compensation for the inconveniences the defeat device has caused you and other car owners.
When should I file my diesel claim?
The best time to start your diesel claim is now. NOx emissions continue to hound the global population, with thousands upon thousands suffering from its environmental and health impacts. An emission claim will not only compensate you but will also urge carmakers to correct the damage that they and the defeat devices have caused.
However, since not all diesel vehicles are affected by defeat devices, you must check first if you are eligible to file a claim. All you have to do is visit ClaimExperts.co.uk and get all the information you need to start your Vauxhall emissions claim.