Everything You Need to Know about the Vauxhall Diesel Scandal

1million Vauxhall drivers in line for £2,500 payouts after emissions  "cheating" scandal - Mirror Online

Even if it has been around seven years since the Dieselgate scandal first broke out, the list of carmakers continues to grow. Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Renault have all been in the news for years because they allegedly participated in the fiasco. Vauxhall, a UK-based manufacturer, is one of the latest manufacturers to be added to the list.

Vauxhall has its headquarters in England and is considered one of the UK’s most established and oldest surviving carmakers and vehicle distributors. In January 2021, it became a part of Stellantis (formerly known as Fiat Chrysler). The carmaker’s diesel emissions story, however, started way before the transition. 

When did the Vauxhall emissions scandal start?

The Vauxhall emissions scandal first grabbed the spotlight in 2018, five years after authorities discovered cheat devices in Volkswagen diesel vehicles. 

In October of that year, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) found defeat devices in thousands of Vauxhall diesel vehicles. These devices are used to detect when vehicles are in testing so they could artificially reduce emissions levels to within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe limits. This means the devices manipulate emissions so that the vehicles will appear emissions-compliant in the eyes of regulators. 

When driven outside the lab and on real roads, the vehicles release massive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx, which is a group of toxic gases. So vehicles with defeat devices are pollutants and carmakers that sold them lied to their customers. The vehicles only appear fuel-efficient in laboratory conditions.

As a result of their deceitful act, authorities ordered Vauxhall to recall the affected vehicles in Germany. In the UK, an estimated 600,000 vehicles are said to be fitted with illegal defeat devices. Since the Vauxhall emissions scandal broke, approximately 500,000 diesel vehicles have already been recalled for engine correction. 

Most of the affected vehicles are those that were registered between the years 2009 and 2020.

Opel, Vauxhall’s sister brand, was also scrutinised by the KBA and in January 2020 was given a mandatory order to recall affected Opel’s Cascada 2.0 CDTi, Insignia 2.0 CDTi, and the Zafira 1.6 and 2.0 litre CDTi. Like Vauxhall, Opel diesel vehicles were also discovered with defeat devices. 

Vehicles reportedly affected by the Vauxhall diesel scandal include:

  • Insignia
  • Corsa
  • Astra
  • Mokka
  • Cascada
  • Zafira Tourer
  • Zafira
  • Movano
  • Mokka

The NOx emissions in Vauxhall vehicles

Diesel vehicles release nitrogen oxide or NOx, a group of pollutants that have nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as their main components. It produces ground-level ozone, which has negative effects on vegetation and makes vegetation more vulnerable to damage from adverse weather conditions. NOx emissions are also responsible for the formation of smog and acid rain.

If you have mental health issues, being exposed to NOx emissions can be a trigger. You’ll experience episodes of depression and anxiety more frequently. There have also been reports that indicate a link between cognitive function and nitrogen oxide emissions. Reduced cognitive abilities can lead to dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease.

The health impacts of NOx emissions vary from the insignificant to life-threatening ones. The common ones are asthma, difficulty in breathing, fluid in the lungs, and respiratory issues such as bronchitis and emphysema. 

If you’ve been exposed to elevated levels of NOx emissions, the health impacts can be life-changing: laryngospasm (also known as vocal cord spasm), certain cancers, asphyxiation, and cardiovascular diseases. 

Over the years, reports have also been consistent in linking NOx emissions (and air pollution in general) to the 40,000 or so premature deaths in the UK every year. 

In the UK, premature deaths linked to air pollution are a major issue because of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a young girl who died in 2013 after a severe asthma attack. The nine-year-old south London resident was in and out of the hospital for several months before the fateful day. Her death raised a lot of questions, especially among those who are not too knowledgeable about air pollution and its effects on people. An inquest was ordered and in December 2020, the coroner confirmed that toxic air was the primary cause of her death.

With the lies about the vehicle and the health and environmental impacts you had to deal with, your carmaker should be held responsible for their actions. You should make a Vauxhall emissions claim and get the compensation you deserve.

Am I eligible to make a claim?

Making a diesel claim is not a straightforward process. It’s not something that you can accomplish in 24 hours. As such, you need to make sure that you follow the proper process and adhere to the requirements. 

“What requirements?” you may ask.

Your Vauxhall diesel vehicle should have been registered between 2009 and 2020 (as mentioned earlier). Whether you purchased it outright or through financing or a lease agreement doesn’t matter. 

“How do I start my diesel claim?” you may ask again.

You’ll have to verify your eligibility to make a claim first. You’ll get all the information you need by visiting ClaimExperts.co.uk so you can finally start your Vauxhall emissions claim process.

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