Vauxhall has become the latest manufacturer to face allegations that some of its diesel engine vehicles manufactured between 2008-2019 were fitted with emissions-cheating devices.
What is Dieselgate?
Dieselgate is one of the biggest car manufacturer scandals in recent years. It began in 2015 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many Volkswagen Group diesel cars sold in America were fitted with software which could detect when the vehicles were being tested for emissions output and subsequently change the cars’ performance to bring results within the legal limit.
What started in the US spread to many other countries. Eventually, the Volkswagen Group (VW) admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, were fitted with software capable of cheating emissions tests.
Unfortunately, the impact of dieselgate was far from over. In 2017, prosecutors search several offices of Daimler over allegations that the company used manipulation devices similar to those used by VW. In 2019, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) investigated Daimler on suspicion that 60,000 Mercedes-Benz cars were fitted with emissions tricking software. Later that year, German prosecutors fined Daimler €870 million for “negligent violation” over the sale of various diesel models suspected of featuring measures to manipulate exhaust emissions. Between 2019 and 2020, the KBA recalled thousands more Mercedes-Benz vehicles suggesting that the regulatory body’s investigations are still ongoing.
Mercedes-Benz and the Volkswagen Group are not alone. In October 2018, Vauxhall’s sister brand, Opel, was issued with a mandatory recall by the KBA due to the discovery that certain models were fitted with illegal defeat devices. In January 2021, Vauxhall hit the headlines in the UK as it became the latest manufacturer to face allegations that some of its diesel engines were fitted with emissions-cheating devices.
What has been the impact of the emissions scandal?
By fitting illegal defeat devices into their diesel vehicles, these car manufacturers have contributed to the emission of illegally high levels of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) into the atmosphere. In some cases, the toxic emissions were up to 10-15 times the legal limit. This has clear implications on the pressing climate emergency and on human health.
Furthermore, because the cars did not meet the promised environmental and performance standards, they may be worth less than the drivers paid for them. Drivers may also have paid higher fuel bills and maintenance costs, and these vehicles’ performance may also have been negatively affected.
So, something has to be done to hold these manufacturers to account.
What do we know about the latest emissions scandal?
Keller Lenkner UK believes the affected vehicles include Agila, Antara, Astra, Cascada, Combo, Corsa, Crossland, Insignia, Meriva, Mokka, Movano, Vivaro & Zafira models. However, as the investigation progresses, it is likely that the list of possibly affected models will grow.
If you purchased, financed, or leased a Vauxhall diesel vehicle between 2008 and 2019, you may qualify to register for a no-win, no-fee claim with Keller Lenkner UK. If Vauxhall has contacted you about a diesel emissions related recall or emission software update, you are likely eligible to register. If you are not sure if you qualify, it is worth completing our short online questionnaire to find out.