The Volkswagen Group, the company at the centre of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal, recently entered a settlement with their customers in the UK. This latest development has law firms encouraging affected Mercedes-Benz drivers to make a claim against the carmaker for cheating emissions testing.
VW’s settlement with their British clients resulted in an agreement that will have them spend £193 million on approximately 91,000 drivers. As such, each customer is expected to receive around £2,100. The agreement is for the diesel emissions scandal that saw The Volkswagen Group in the spotlight after US authorities accused them of installing illegal defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles that they sold in the American consumer market.
According to authorities, VW installed illegal two-mode software in their EA189 diesel-powered vehicles. The device is meant to sense when a vehicle is in testing so that it can artificially manipulate emissions levels and keep these from exceeding WHO-mandated limits.
On real roads, however, the vehicle reverts to emitting massive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx, a heavy pollutant that has adverse effects on the environment and a person’s general health and well-being.
So, technically, Volkswagen deceived their customers into convincing them that their vehicles were environmentally safe with fuel-efficient engines.
After finalising the settlement, a representative from VW apologised to their customers. The company’s Chief Legal Officer Philip Haarmann also said that the agreement is an answer to the group litigation in England and Wales that has been ongoing for years.
The settlement is also a way out of the expected six-month trial in the UK. Mercedes won’t have to spend on legal costs and endure a lengthy litigation process that often includes appeals. However, the carmaker came out with a statement that said the decision to settle with customers is not an act of admission of the accusation against them.
Aside from the amount that VW is paying affected drivers, the German carmaker is also taking care of the legal fees and costs of the claimants.
Before the UK agreement, Volkswagen already signed an €830 million (over £722 million) settlement proposal with the Federation of German Consumer Organisations in relation to the diesel emissions scandal.
Diesel Emissions Scandal
More popularly known as the Diesel gate scandal, the diesel emissions scam shocked the automotive industry. It is considered one of the biggest scandals to ever happen to the industry.
The Volkswagen Group has spent millions on legal costs, fines, and compensation. Thousands upon thousands of affected VW diesel vehicles have also been recalled over the years for engine correction.
A couple of years later, US authorities also sent a notice to Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler for the alleged use of defeat devices in their vehicles. US owners of Mercedes vehicles decided to file a class-action lawsuit against the carmaker.
Aside from the Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz, many other vehicle manufacturers, including Renault, Vauxhall, and BMW, are also involved in the scandal.
These carmakers should be held responsible for their actions, for lying to their customers, and for exposing people to dangerous NOx emissions.
What Are NOx Emissions?
Nitrogen oxide or NOx is a group of gases that are highly reactive and toxic. Its main components are nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. NOx is responsible for the production of pollutants such as smog and acid rain, which are both air pollution contributors.
NOx also acts as a catalyst for ground-level ozone, which negatively affects vegetation. When plants, crops, and other forms of vegetation are exposed to ground-level ozone, they become weak and more at risk for frost and damage.
When a person is constantly exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, they can experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Additionally, cognitive function can be affected, which means more susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions.
As mentioned earlier, NOx emissions affect a person’s general health and well-being. When one is exposed to low-level emissions, the impacts can include asthma, breathing difficulties, fluid in the lungs, and other respiratory illnesses.
When a person is exposed to high-level NOx emissions, the effects are often serious, such as laryngospasm (vocal cords spasm), certain cancers, asphyxia, cardiovascular diseases, chronic reduction of lung function, and even early death.
Make a Diesel Claim Now
The VW Group, Mercedes-Benz, and all the carmakers involved in the scandal should be held responsible for their deceptive actions. They should pay for the financial, physical, emotional, and environmental inconveniences that they caused.
If you suspect that your vehicle has a defeat device, you should join all the other car owners who have initiated legal action against their carmaker. It can be a long and tedious process but you can find help from emissions experts. First off, however, you need to check if you are eligible to make a diesel claim.
Visit the ClaimExperts.co.uk website so you can start working on your emissions claim.