Mercedes Appears in Court Over Emissions – Is Vauxhall Next?

German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has appeared before London’s High Court in connection to allegations that they used illegal defeat devices in their diesel vehicles. Authorities said the carmaker used the devices to cheat emissions tests so Mercedes vehicles would easily pass. The case is linked to the Dieselgate scandal that started with Volkswagen.

Hundreds of thousands of car owners were affected by the diesel emissions scandal and their lawyers were present during the court proceedings. Their clients are hoping to receive compensation from Mercedes as payoff for the damages that the scandal caused. Over 330,000 drivers are affected by the defeat devices.

Lawyers have agreed that the ideal action would be to group all the diesel claims into one case, similar to class-action lawsuits in American courts. Aside from Mercedes, the carmaker’s dealerships are also included in the claims case.

One of the legal representatives said that Mercedes used the defeat devices in vehicles that they marketed and sold to customers as high-performing and emissions-compliant. The devices are programmed to sense when a vehicle goes into the lab for testing.

When this happens, they immediately reduce emissions to within legal levels. This is only temporary, though, as emissions go up to unlawful levels once the vehicle is out of the lab and driven on normal roads. This happens because the emissions control systems are turned off right away. As such, the vehicles emit higher volumes of toxic NOx or nitrogen oxide than the carmaker reported.

This is like the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal, which started after authorities found the illegal devices on Volkswagen diesel vehicles sold to US customers in September 2015.

Volkswagen recalled all the affected vehicles and paid off the fines as mandated by legal authorities. Mercedes did the same, as well as the other carmakers that became involved in the scandal. Renault, BMW, Vauxhall, and Nissan are just some of the brands linked to defeat devices. British-based Vauxhall is one of the latest manufacturers added to the list, and emission claims have been filed against the carmaker. Affected drivers are hoping that Vauxhall will follow the Mercedes’ footsteps and settle with them.

While the EU considers defeat devices as prohibited technologies, Mercedes-Benz did not admit any wrongdoing and instead insisted that none of the accusations against them were true. Authorities believe that the carmaker knew about the devices fitted in their diesel vehicles. They lied to customers and mis-sold the vehicles.

Mercedes promised to defend themselves from any legal action thrown at them.

Why emissions are illegal

Diesel vehicle emissions are toxic. Exposure to these gases can lead to health conditions that can change your life. The group of gases released by diesel vehicles is called nitrogen oxide and is composed of nitrogen dioxide or NO2 and NO of nitric oxide. Combined with other elements, they form acid rain and smog, and a pollutant called ground-level ozone. This pollutant kills vegetation.

NOx emissions, once breathed in, can lead to numerous health complications. You’ll experience increased episodes of depression and anxiety, and your cognitive health can suffer. Once this happens, you’ll become more vulnerable to dementia.

The health impacts range from mild to serious:

  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Laryngospasm
  • Asthma
  • Asphyxiation
  • COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cardiovascular ailments
  • Cancer
  • Premature death

Air pollution is now linked to thousands upon thousands of early deaths across the world, every year. The first such case happened in the UK in 2013 when young schoolgirl Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah died after a severe asthma attack. Since she and her mother lived in one of the most populated areas in the country, an inquest was requested.

In December 2020, the coroner concluded the inquest and officially announced air pollution as the primary cause of Ella’s death.

Carmakers that used defeat devices are responsible for exposing the affected drivers – and the public in general – to life-endangering NOx emissions. This is why a diesel claim is necessary.

By bringing your carmaker to court, you are sending them a message: that what they did is a violation of emissions regulations and should not be replicated; and that defeat devices destroy not only vehicles but human lives as well.

A successful emission claim will compensate you for the dangers and inconveniences that you had (or have) to face because of the illegal devices.

Starting my diesel claim

Before sitting down and deciding which direction your diesel claim should follow, you must verify first if you are qualified to receive compensation. Just visit and collect all the information you need to determine the next step you should take. Only then will you be ready for your emission claim.