A Diesel Emissions Claim refers to legal actions that vehicle owners take against automotive manufacturers. These claims have arisen from allegations and subsequent findings that certain car manufacturers installed software in their diesel vehicles to manipulate emissions testing results. Often referred to as a “defeat device,” this software made the vehicles appear to meet environmental standards when, in reality, they emitted on-road emissions much higher than regulations allowed.

What is a Diesel Emissions Claim?

A diesel emissions claim is a legal process where individuals or groups seek compensation from car manufacturers for selling a diesel vehicle that did not comply with legal emissions standards. The claims often argue that the manufacturers misrepresented the vehicles’ value due to the undisclosed higher levels of pollutants they emitted, which could also lead to increased taxation, decreased resale value, and potential environmental harm.

Why is it Useful?

These claims serve multiple purposes in the consumer and environmental landscape:

  • Accountability: They hold automotive manufacturers accountable for deceptive practices and discourage similar future behavior.
  • Consumer Recourse: They offer consumers a legal avenue to recover financial losses due to decreased vehicle value, increased fuel consumption, and potential regulatory penalties.
  • Environmental Justice: They highlight the importance of genuine environmental compliance and the consequences of contributing to pollution.
  • Regulatory Compliance: They drive the industry towards stricter adherence to emissions regulations and the development of cleaner technology.

Origins of the Claims:

Investigations and admissions have originated the claims that revealed manufacturers were not truthful about their vehicles’ emissions. The most famous case is the Volkswagen scandal, where the company admitted in 2015 to using software that detected when vehicles were undergoing emissions testing and altered the performance accordingly to meet standards. This scandal was a watershed moment, leading to increased scrutiny across the industry.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a claim, individuals must typically:

  • Own or have leased a diesel vehicle from a manufacturer implicated in emissions cheating.
  • Have purchased or leased the vehicle during the period when the defeat devices were active.
  • Be a resident or have purchased the vehicle in a jurisdiction where the legal actions are taking place.
  • Be able to provide proof of ownership or a lease agreement during the affected period.

Process of Making a Claim:

The process generally includes:

  • Securing all relevant vehicle documentation, including sales contracts, service records, and any manufacturer correspondence.
  • Seeking a consultation with a legal firm or claims management service with expertise in diesel emissions claims to evaluate your case.
  • Engaging a service like MyClaimsCentre, which specializes in managing the complexities of these claims. They guide you through the process, from filing the claim to negotiating settlements or taking legal action.
  • Joining other affected vehicle owners in a collective lawsuit if a class action is available, which can be more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Having the claims management service or legal representative file the claim on your behalf, either individually or as part of a class action.
  • Negotiating with the manufacturer for a fair settlement through your legal team, as many claims settle out of court.
  • Taking the case to court if a settlement cannot be reached, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

MyClaimsCentre’s Role:

MyClaimsCentre acts as a facilitator in the claims process. They offer expertise in managing the claim, potentially increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. They typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win the claim. However, it’s important to understand their fee structure, as they will take a portion of any compensation awarded.

Conclusion

Diesel Emissions Claims are a complex legal area that requires detailed documentation and expert legal guidance. They are an essential mechanism for upholding consumer rights and environmental standards. If you’re considering making a claim, acting promptly is crucial due to potential statutes of limitations and to ensure all necessary documentation is in order. Claims management services like MyClaimsCentre can provide valuable assistance throughout this process.

Discussions:

What is the diesel emissions scandal?

The diesel emissions scandal, widely known as Dieselgate, began in September 2015 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation to the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing, the notice alleged. This deceitful practice allowed the vehicles to meet US standards during regulatory testing, but they emitted up to 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real-world driving conditions than allowed. NOx pollutants, which are linked to respiratory diseases, have significant environmental impacts, contributing to smog and acid rain. The scandal has since expanded to include other car manufacturers and has led to legal action, recalls, and significant financial penalties across the globe.

Which cars are affected by dieselgate?

The scandal initially centered on Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter diesel engines, but further investigations have revealed that many other manufacturers also employed similar tactics. The affected vehicles span a range of models and years, primarily from 2009 to 2015, and include not only Volkswagen but also Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and others. Owners of popular lines such as the VW Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Passat, and Audi A3, among others, can check if their vehicle is affected by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on their manufacturer’s website or by contacting a legal professional handling diesel emissions claims.

Is my diesel claim legitimate?

Your claim is legitimate if your vehicle is one of the models affected by the emissions scandal and you purchased or leased the vehicle under the assumption that it met emissions standards. The legitimacy also depends on the jurisdiction’s consumer protection and environmental standards laws. In many cases, settlements have been reached that provide compensation to affected vehicle owners.

Can you claim for diesel emissions yourself?

You can file a claim on your own, but understanding the complex environmental regulations and consumer protection laws can be challenging. The process requires you to complete all necessary paperwork accurately, gather sufficient evidence, and possibly negotiate with car manufacturers or their legal representatives. Many individuals choose to use the expertise of legal professionals or claims management services that can handle the claim on their behalf.

How much compensation can I receive?

Compensation amounts vary based on the vehicle’s model, age, mileage, and the jurisdiction of the claim. Settlements have ranged from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, with some buyback programs offering the pre-scandal market value of the vehicle. The calculation of compensation may also consider factors such as decreased resale value, additional fuel costs, and other losses due to the scandal.

Do You Offer “No Win, No Fee” Service?

Many legal firms and claims management services offer “No Win, No Fee” arrangements, known as contingency fees. Under these agreements, the claimant doesn’t pay for the service upfront but agrees to pay a percentage of the compensation received to the service provider if the claim succeeds. It’s crucial to understand the specific terms, as some agreements may include clauses for disbursements or other costs.

What are the steps to make a diesel emissions claim?

To make a claim, you typically must:

  • Verify that your vehicle is one of the affected models.
  • Gather all relevant documents, such as purchase or lease agreements, service records, and any correspondence related to the vehicle’s emissions.
  • Consult with a legal professional or claims management service to understand your rights and the strength of your claim.
  • Submit a detailed claim form, often provided by the legal service or claims management company, along with all necessary documentation.
  • Cooperate with the claims process, which may involve negotiations or arbitration, and respond to any requests for additional information.

How long does a diesel emissions claim take?

The duration of a claim can vary, often taking several months to a few years, depending on the case’s complexity, the number of claimants, the car manufacturers’ response, and the legal proceedings involved. Class action settlements or group litigation orders can also affect the duration.

What evidence is needed for a diesel emissions claim?

You will need to provide evidence such as proof of ownership or lease, vehicle registration, service records, and any communication with the manufacturer regarding the emissions issue. Keeping records of any related expenses or losses incurred due to the scandal is also beneficial.

Will pursuing a claim affect my current vehicle use or value?

Pursuing a claim should not affect your current use of the vehicle. However, the emissions scandal’s public knowledge may affect the resale value of the affected models. Compensation from a claim may help offset this loss in value. Consulting with a legal professional is advisable to understand how a claim may impact your specific situation.

Diesel Emissions Claim My Claims Centre