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What are Vauxhall Diesel claims all about?

This issue began initially with Volkswagen (VW) when an independent group conducting emissions checks on modern cars accidentally discovered discrepancies in the emissions of the VW cars they tested. This led to an investigation and subsequent fines for VW and became more widely known as 'Dieselgate'.

As a by-product of the VW investigation, governments and organisations around the globe began to test other manufacturer's vehicles, and similar questions and accusations have since been levied at some of these manufacturers, including Vauxhall.

“Everything which is not forbidden is allowed”

In simple terms, a number of other manufacturers claimed that efforts to reduce emissions at low temperatures i.e. when the car first starts (which includes the testing environment) were necessary to protect the engine. Protecting the engine being one of the things that allowed for manipulation of the car's emissions behaviour without it being considered a 'defeat device'.

This argument seems reasonable at first, but is soon debunked when manufacturers produce cars with engines that contradict their own claims and subsequently evidences the lack of truthfulness being put forward about why these temperature related manipulations are really in place. In effect, it seems, that whilst VW went all out to create a clear and deliberate defeat device based on whether the car was really being driven or not, other manufacturers such as Vauxhall appear to have opted for a simpler temperature related solutions that achieved the same thing, but was a little less obvious.

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a close up of the logo on the front grill of a diesel vauxhall zafira

About Vauxhall

Vauxhall has always had a rock-solid reputation for safety, over and above any other car manufacturer. This reputation translated into trust, which is why it's so much more shocking that Vauxhall vehicles have been found to be a part of the Dieselgate scandal.

Vauxhall, a Swedish car maker owned by China's Geely, was quick to reject allegations of software trickery. Higher emissions in cold temperatures ' does not mean an illegal defeat device is built into the car ', a Vauxhall spokesman said.

Sadly, perhaps Vauxhall found themselves caught up in what clearly appears to be a culture of car manufacturers treating emissions as a minor issue that could easily be side stepped without much consequence, rather than a serious breach of both the law and the trust afforded to them by their customers.

The Claim

Broadly speaking, it is alleged that various car manufacturers, including Vauxhall, used illegal 'defeat devices' in their diesel vehicles to cheat the tests undertaken by regulators when the vehicles emissions levels were being tested.

Tens of thousands of consumers signed up and joined the Group Litigation Order (Class Action Lawsuit in the US) that was taken against VW and VW settled out of court without any admission. The terms and conditions of the settlement were made confidential.

It did take approximately 4 years though before UK consumers received their payments.

It now looks as though Vauxhall will face similar claims to those faced by VW.

    The Argument

    The basic argument being made is that the Vauxhall vehicles affected (that's potentially both private and commercial vehicles) produce more harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution than advertised and as such the vehicles were mis-sold to consumers and businesses alike.

    The bare bones of the argument being:

    1. You might not have purchased the vehicle had you known about the vehicle's true emissions.
    2. It is likely that you paid more for the vehicle than you otherwise would have. A more 'environmentally friendly' car would likely have carried a premium price regardless of whether it was purchased new or second-hand.
    3. Even if your vehicle had been fixed in order to rectify the emissions issue, it is likely that the end result would have meant worse fuel efficiency and / or worse performance which in turn lowers the vehicle's value.

    You may be able to claim damages for these things.

    Vauxhall will of course disagree, for example, VW argued that consumers hadn't suffered any financial loss. Ultimately, it will be for the courts to decide who is right, but despite their arguments in May 2022 VW settled out of court.

    a copy of Vauxhall tweet denying any wrongdoing in the diesel scandal

    What's next for the Vauxhall diesel claims?

    To date, the VW Group is the only manufacturer to have faced court proceedings.

    While claims have been or are waiting to be launched against a number of other manufacturers, including Vauxhall, that has not happened yet so it’s not too late to join the claim. Bear in mind though, these are not small nor simple cases and the VW claimants waited up to around 4 years for their compensation for those who joined early on.

    Nonetheless, consumers and businesses are being asked to register their interest in potential claims now in the anticipation that many other manufacturers, like Vauxhall, will eventually be subject to a similar Group Litigation Order for vehicles affected by diesel emissions issues.

    Disclaimer: Finally, a small word of caution. It would be prudent to make the point that whilst the VW claim was ultimately successful, this is not to say that the claims that follow against companies like Vauxhall will be. Confidence is high that any claim brought will be successful, but you have to be a part of the claim if you expect to take part in the compensation. Start your claim now.

    Vauxhall Dieselgate FAQ

    Can't find the answer you're looking for? Below are some of our most frequently asked questions and their answers.

    Yes. A defeat device can be both a physical device and software manipulation. Vauxhall, like many other car manufacturers have been accused of employing one or more defeat devices in their vehicles. Claims are now being collated with a view to launching a Class Action (Group Litigation Order) against Volvo. Sign up now to join the waiting list.