Years after the 2015 Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal broke, affected car owners all over the UK are still lining up asking their manufacturers for the compensation they so deserve. Mercedes-Benz is just one of the many carmakers that have had to face class-action lawsuits/group litigation cases for their alleged use of defeat devices in their diesel vehicles.
In 2021, thousands upon thousands of affected car owners started bringing action against Mercedes with the help of various legal firms and organisations in the UK. In March last year, for example, a UK law firm that was connected with a US law firm filed a claim against the German carmaker in a London high court. The reason? Mercedes’ parent company installed defeat devices in their vehicles so emissions can be artificially lowered when the cars were in testing.
The claims case is one of the latest legal actions against the manufacturer years after the diesel emissions scandal, which is considered one of the biggest scams to happen to the automotive industry. If all the 33,000 probable claims cases the legal firm has gathered will receive a compensation of around £5,000 each, Mercedes could spend millions.
The said Mercedes diesel compensation claim can be considered one of the very first cases against the German carmaker taken to the UK courts. Even then, various law firms across the country are continually busy trying to look for more affected car owners to join in on the legal action. At least five firms have been identified as conveying their intention to file claims and have even put out several marketing campaigns to attract claimants.
Most claims are often joined as one into a group litigation case, which is similar to the Americans’ class-action lawsuit and allows various claims of similar nature to be tried in court as one.
Mercedes and Daimler have had to face a similar case in the US, where they ended up paying around $700M or £508M to settle claims brought to court by thousands upon thousands of affected car owners. Despite this, Daimler has continued to deny all allegations against them. A representative issued a statement that dismissed the allegations as claims that are without basis.
According to a UK law firm, they are expecting to gather at least 1.2 million claimants – including fleet owners, lessees, and private car owners who are eligible to receive compensation based on the number of affected vehicles (about 700,000) between the years 2008 and 2018.
How the Dieselgate scandal deceived car owners
The Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal started with only Volkswagen being implicated and accused of installing defeat devices in their vehicles to cheat on emissions testing. The California Air Resources Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined VW for the deceit and inconvenience their action caused car owners.
Volkswagen initially denied the allegations but later on admitted they knew about the defeat devices. After US authorities implicated VW, the spotlight turned on Mercedes-Benz about a year or so later.
A defeat device is a cheat software that’s designed to detect when a vehicle is in the lab for emissions testing. Once the device senses that a test has started, it automatically reduces emissions levels, making sure they stay within the limits set by the World Health Organization.
However, when the vehicle is driven in real-world road conditions, voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxides are emitted, often at levels that are multiple times in excess of the WHO and EU limits. As such, every vehicle equipped with a defeat device is a heavy pollutant.
Carmakers essentially duped their customers by marketing and selling the vehicles as clean and safe. In reality, though, they are detrimental to human health and the environment. Car owners paid a premium amount for vehicles that put them and the people around them in danger.
Nitrogen oxide is a group of gases with nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as their primary components. It is a known contributor to the formation of acid rain and smog. When it reacts with other compounds, NOx can produce ground-level ozone, which greatly affects vegetation. When exposed to nitrogen oxide, plants and crops become susceptible to frost and damage. Exposure can also stunt growth.
The more devastating effects of NOx exposure are on human health. Some of the impacts it can cause include chronic reduction of lung function, bronchitis, emphysema, laryngospasm, asphyxiation, nausea and vomiting, headaches, and a person becomes more susceptible to certain diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular illnesses. Constant exposure to high levels of NOx may also lead to premature death.
These effects and impacts are the reasons why affected car owners are encouraged to file emissions claim cases against their manufacturers. Another reason is the compensation they can get – which can be in thousands – for the deceit and lies that their carmakers subjected them to.
Mercedes emissions claim
To file a Mercedes emissions claim, affected car owners should work with a panel of emissions solicitors who can help make the claims process easier for them. They know which requirements to prepare and what steps to take to increase your chances of winning.
Visit the ClaimExperts.co.uk website first to determine if you are eligible for the claim – this is the best way to start the process.