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What is dieselgate, and how does it affect drivers in the UK?

The global ‘dieselgate’ scandal started back in 2015, when the US Environmental Protection Agency discovered Volkswagen Group had been selling cars with illegal emissions-cheating software. The software could detect when a vehicle was undergoing emissions testing and tweak its performance to deliver cleaner results.

British researchers then found that other car manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, Mazda, and Mercedes, were emitting high levels of toxic fumes. In some cases, the noxious emissions were up to seven times the legal limit.

Dieselgate allegations have been made against several brands including (but not limited to):

  • Volkswagen
  • Vauxhall
  • Audi
  • Porsche
  • Daimler AG (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz)
  • BMW
  • Ford
  • Mazda
  • Peugeot
  • Renault
  • Citroen
  • Chrysler
  • SEAT
  • Skoda

The extent and severity of the allegations varies, and not all manufacturers have admitted to or been found guilty of emissions cheating. Nevertheless, there are accusations that the diesel vehicles built by most, if not all of the major car manufacturers, had unlawful defeat devices installed at some point. As such, dieselgate is one of the largest corporate scandals in history.

Where are we up to?

To date, millions of diesel vehicles have been recalled due to allegations of emissions cheating, and owners of these cars may have experienced significant financial losses.

Some were hit with excessively high fuel bills and maintenance costs, while others paid way more for their cars than they were actually worth. Lawyers across the globe, including here in the UK, have started law suits against the car manufacturers to help secure compensation for affected drivers.

Progress has been made. In 2022, Volkswagen agreed to pay £193 million to over 90,000 vehicle owners to settle a group compensation claim. But not everyone who has lost out due to dieselgate has received their money back.

Emissions cheating and the environment

The environmental and human health impacts of emissions cheating are staggering.

According to one report, there are 13 million diesel vehicles producing “extreme” levels of toxic air pollution still on UK and EU roads. These vehicles are emitting nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) pollution way above the legal limit. According to the European Environment Agency, NO₂ emissions cause an estimated 64,000 early deaths every year, with most of these emissions due to diesel vehicles.

What can UK drivers do about emissions cheating?

At Join the Claim, we’re fighting back against emissions cheating, and you can help us get justice! Bringing affected drivers and law firms together, we’re helping to ensure that the claims being made against the offending companies are as powerful as possible.

As well as claims related to dieselgate, we’re also raising awareness of faulty exhaust systems and other emission-related violations.

Find out if you can make a no-win, no-fee Ford, BMW, or Jaguar Land Rover vehicle claim.

Joining a claim won’t just hit the car manufacturers where it hurts, it will also show them that their behaviour won’t be tolerated and prevent similar misconduct in future.

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