Have you been affected by the Dieselgate scandal? Half a million UK vehicles are estimated to hold a "defeat device".
A few years back, a number of Volkswagen vehicles were found to have built-in software helping them to cheat emissions tests and pollute roads over the regulatory limit.
Recently, a multitude of Mercedes vehicles were found to have the same technology. If you think your Mercedes vehicle has been affected, you could be eligible to make a claim.
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The Dieselgate scandal, emerging in 2015, initially started after it was uncovered that a number of Volkswagen vehicles had cheated on emissions tests by using specialised technology to disguise the actual levels of pollutants they were emitting when on the road.
This was uncovered in the US by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who found that many diesel engine VW vehicles had a "defeat device" - this being software that could detect when it was being tested and alter its performance accordingly to yield better, fake, results.
The software was able to sense test-like scenarios through speed, air pressure, engine operation and steering wheel position, and would subsequently shift the vehicle into something of a safety mode, making the engine run below full power. This resulted in engines omitting up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide pollutants than the US's regulatory limit.
While initially uncovered in the US, as news of the scandal spread, more and more countries also underwent investigations for this including the UK, France, Italy, Canada and Germany. In 2015, more than 1.2 million vehicles were recalled in England and Wales due to defeat device technology.
Recently the High Court ruled this controversial technology VW used on their vehicles was indeed a type of defeat device, affecting vehicle owners in the tens of thousands now awaiting compensation.
The vehicles affected by the initial VW scandal include the following:
The vehicles affected also have (or previously had) a 1.2, 1.6 or 2 litre engine, and were made in the period of 2008 and 2015. While these are the vehicles that have been initially uncovered to hold this defeat device, it has recently been claimed that Mercedes has installed similar technology into a number of their diesel vehicles.
Mercedes has been ordered to recall around 90,000 vehicles across England and Wales.
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If you believe you've been affected by the scandal, you could be eligible to make a claim. While the deadline to join the VW lawsuit (including affected Audi, Seat and Skoda vehicles) has now passed, you can still make a claim on certain Mercedes vehicles.
For those who think their Mercedes vehicles may have been affected, you could be eligible to make a claim. Those considering a claim will have to meet the following initial criteria:
The vehicle must have a diesel engine.
The vehicle was acquired either via lease or purchased outright (can be new or second hand).
The vehicle must have been made between the period of 2008 and 2018.
It's estimated that in the UK alone, half a million vehicles could contain this defeat device technology, and owners are potentially eligible to claim considerable amounts in compensation.
The total amount you'll be able to claim will depend on various different details of your situation, including the amount you purchased the affected vehicle for, if it's been sold since, and how much it was sold for. However, it's been estimated that claimants could be entitled to thousands of pounds.
While there is no currently set deadline in which those affected can join the claim, depending on the type of claim there may be "limitation" deadlines, meaning if you join the claim slightly later, you could risk losing the ability to claim back certain amounts, or in some cases all, of the compensation that may have otherwise been available to you.
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