Vehicles Still Pollute More Than Advertised, Experts Warn

Carmakers that have been involved in the Dieselgate scandal for years have been in the spotlight once again. The ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation) revealed that affected vehicles are still on the road, releasing high levels of toxic air. 

Over 200 vehicles from various manufacturers involved in the diesel emissions scandal continue to be driven on UK roads. The council analysed around 77% of the 200 and found that these vehicles emitted suspicious levels of nitrogen oxide or NOx. Of the analysed vehicles, the ICCT discovered that 40% had excessively considerable amounts of NOx emissions.

This revelation led the ICCT to conclude that the vehicles used defeat devices, which are mechanisms that manipulate emissions during testing. The devices can sense when a vehicle is about to be tested and they bring down the emissions to legal levels. However, this does not last long, only during the testing. The vehicle emits unlawful levels of nitrogen oxides, often at 40 times over the EU and World Health Organization limits. So, essentially, the vehicle worsens the toxic air problem.

Some manufacturers admit that they use defeat devices during testing but that they only do so because they claim the software protects the engine while the vehicle it’s installed in is being tested. Authorities and environmental law charities do not accept this reasoning, though, and they want the carmakers to pay for exposing drivers and the community to dangerous NOx emissions.

An environmental law charity has even filed a complaint about governments they believe have not worked hard enough to ensure that another Dieselgate does not happen. According to them, these governments should be held accountable for the continuing decline of air quality in their respective towns and cities or countries. 

Since 2016, the transport sector has emitted the highest volumes of toxic air. Most of the cases belong to road transport, which explains why it is a primary cause of air pollution in the country. The only exception was the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, as road traffic was almost non-existent. 

A study conducted in 2022 came up with the conclusion that of the total number of UK homes, around 97% are in areas that are exposed to air pollution emissions that exceed WHO legal limits. 

Lawyers were exclaiming about how there has been little improvement since the Dieselgate fiasco broke out around eight years ago. This was what prompted them to file legal complaints against the governments of Germany, France, and the UK. The Dieselgate connection and its repercussions have to be resolved and stopped. For the lawyers, neglecting the diesel emissions problem is akin to neglecting the public, swaying their trust and confidence, and subjecting them to toxic air emissions that cause health impacts.

The impacts of exposure to NOx

Nitrogen oxide or NOx emissions has nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and NO or nitric oxide as main components. They are highly reactive, so when mixed with other gases, they can produce pollutants such as ground-level ozone. Nitrogen oxide can also help form acid rain and smog. It can cause vegetation to weaken, particularly plants and crops. 

A person who is exposed to NOx emissions has to suffer for a lifetime due to various health impacts. Cognitive health may weaken, which can lead to vulnerability to dementia. Mental health may also be affected and marked by unexplained episodes of depression and anxiety.

Asthma, vomiting, nausea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are common health impacts. In some cases, fluid can get into and fill up the lungs leading to difficulty in breathing and other lung problems. 

There are serious health impacts as well, such as laryngospasm, oxygen supply deficiency, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. 

The most devastating and life-altering impact of exposure to NOx emissions is premature death. Thousands upon thousands of cases of early deaths linked to air pollution are reported every year across the world. Air pollution has become more dangerous than HIV and AIDS, drug and alcohol addiction, vehicular accidents, and cigarette smoking. This is why authorities should implement stricter emissions regulations policies.

These health impacts, along with the lies that carmakers told their customers, are the main reasons why a diesel claim is the best legal action for affected drivers. When carmakers deliberately failed to inform customers about the defeat devices fitted in their vehicles, they chose to value profit over human lives. Authorities insist that carmakers must be held liable for this.

Starting my diesel claim

Starting legal action against your carmaker should be easy as you can choose to work with an emissions expert. If your case is successful, your carmaker has to pay you compensation, the amount of which depends on the gravity of your case. However, you cannot move forward with your Vauxhall diesel claim without verifying your eligibility first.

The process is simple: just visit and collect all the information you need to determine if you are qualified to seek compensation. Once you’re done, talk to an emissions expert and decide whether you want to file an individual case or join a Group Litigation Order (GLO).