In September 2015, the global automotive industry was surprised when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Resources Board revealed allegations that German car manufacturer Volkswagen installed defeat devices in diesel vehicles sold to American consumers. Defeat devices are cheat software programmed to manipulate emissions testing.
VW is not the only carmaker involved in the scandal. Mercedes-Benz, another German manufacturer, was the second one thrust into the spotlight for the said diesel emissions scandal. American car owners were the first to complain against Mercedes and drivers in the UK. Europe followed several years later, forcing Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, to recall thousands of affected vehicles.
Other carmakers accused of using the cheat device include Renault, BMW, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Audi, and Porsche, among others.
Over the years, the car mentioned above manufacturers has spent millions on fines and compensation while also dealing with class-action lawsuits and group litigation for emissions claims.
Understanding the defeat device
A defeat device is programmed to detect when a vehicle is in regulatory testing. Once it does, it artificially reduces emissions levels, so they fall within limits set by the World Health Organization. When the vehicle is taken out of the lab and driven in real-world road conditions, however, the car again releases nitrogen oxides using its default levels – levels that are multiple times over the EU and WHO legal limits.
NOx, the gas that vehicles emit, is dangerous for the environment and has devastating impacts on human health. Any vehicle equipped with a defeat device is a pollutant. Thus, manufacturers that marketed such a vehicle as clean and safe mis-sold the product to their customers – the car owners.
Nitrogen oxide (or NOx) is a gas that has nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as primary components. It is responsible for the formation of acid rain and smog. Ground-level ozone is also formed.
NOx affects vegetation; regular exposure to this pollutant makes plants and crops susceptible to frost –they get easily damaged their growth rate slows down.
When it comes to human health, exposure to even the smallest volume of NOx will already result in several health issues:
- Loss of appetite
- Eye irritation
- Corroded teeth
- Breathing problems
- Asthma or aggravated asthma
Exposure to high volumes of nitrogen oxide can lead to serious health impacts:
- Chronically reduced lung function
- Increased risk for certain cancers
- Increased risk for cardiovascular diseases
Nitrogen oxide exposure has also been linked to mental health issues, specifically depression and anxiety.
In severe cases, exposure to nitrogen oxide can lead to premature death. This happened to Ella Kissi-Debrah, a nine-year-old UK resident who spent months visiting the hospital for various respiratory issues and seizures. She died in 2013 after a serious bout of asthma.
An inquest was opened into her early death, and in December 2020, the coroner officially announced that Ella’s main cause of death was listed as air pollution. She and her mum, Rosamund, lived near South Circular Road, a highly polluted area.
The dangerous effects of nitrogen are why car owners affected by the defeat device should file for emission compensation.
What are Mercedes emissions claim?
The Mercedes emissions scandal potentially affects almost one million car owners in the UK. These consumers bought Mercedes-Benz vehicles manufactured between 2008 and 2018 with defeat devices. Many chose to purchase diesel vehicles because they knew these cars were clean and safe. Thus, Mercedes lied to their customers.
If you are one of these drivers, you are entitled to bring legal action against Mercedes-Benz. A Mercedes emissions claim will help you get the compensation you deserve from the manufacturer. There are three reasons why you should file your claim:
- Mercedes-Benz (and other erring manufacturers) should be held accountable for the lie and deception they subjected you to. The compensation shall be their payment for the damage and inconvenience they caused the millions of car owners who bought their defeat device-bearing vehicles.
- Mercedes-Benz should be held responsible for refusing to comply with environmental and emissions regulations. The excessive volumes of nitrogen oxide your affected vehicle emits harm the environment, your health, and the health of everyone around you.
- Mercedes-Benz should repay you for the premium you paid for a vehicle that did not deliver what was promised. The defeat device hurts your vehicle’s performance.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you can claim compensation equivalent to 75% of your vehicle value.
Filing the claim
How do I file my diesel claim?
The Mercedes diesel claim can be long and challenging, especially if you have not done it before. This is why you need to work with a panel of emissions solicitors with vast experience and knowledge of the industry and process. Working with these experts will make things easier and more convenient, especially since compensation claims litigations are offered on a no-win-no-fee basis. You won’t have to pay anything when you join the claim; if you do not win the compensation, you won’t have to pay the legal costs.
Choose to work with the panel of emissions solicitors at ClaimExperts.co.uk. Visit their website to find out how to increase your chances of winning your claim.