Navigating the Diesel Emissions Class-Action Lawsuit



In recent years, the exposure of cheat devices during diesel emissions testing has led to legal actions and class-action lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers. UK residents seeking recourse for owning a diesel vehicle can now explore the Diesel Emissions class-action lawsuit against diesel car manufacturers. This guide aims to elucidate the steps and criteria individuals should consider when determining eligibility for participating in a class-action lawsuit related to diesel emissions claims in the UK.

Understanding Class Action Lawsuits:

A class action lawsuit is a legal mechanism initiated by a representative plaintiff on behalf of a group, or class, of individuals who have suffered similar harm. In the context of diesel emissions claims, these lawsuits seek compensation for damages resulting from the excessive emission of pollutants by certain vehicles. It is not just environmental damages that are considered, but also higher fuel costs to the vehicle owner.

Vehicles from Affected Manufacturers:

Dieselgate claims specifically involve vehicles manufactured by companies found to use software or techniques to manipulate emission tests. Notably, Volkswagen Group vehicles, including brands like Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, and Skoda, were central to the initial allegations. Mercedes faced court proceedings as well, but applications to join claims against both VW and Mercedes have ended. However, there are still opportunities for drivers with other affected brands to join the class action lawsuit.

It is essential to note that not every car from these manufacturers will be eligible. Some engines did not contain a cheat device for emissions testing. Drivers should use the diesel checker to verify their eligibility. This considers the timing of vehicle ownership as well as the type of engine within that vehicle..

In general, legal actions encompass vehicles manufactured between approximately 2009 and 2020, spanning about 20 brands. Participants have the option to join claims for multiple vehicles, but registering the same vehicle with more than one law firm is not permitted.

Law firms can still accept your case if you leased or financed the vehicle, you purchased it new or used,  you bought it from a private seller or you no longer possess the vehicle.

However, eligibility for a claim is not extended to those who bought vehicles outside the UK. If you purchased or leased your vehicle in Northern Ireland or Scotland, you are restricted from participating in claims filed in England and Wales.

Payouts and Settlements:

In 2015, the VW Group, encompassing Audi, Seat, Skoda, and VW brands, faced controversy over software manipulation in certain Audi and VW diesel vehicles during emissions testing. Legal action, representing over 90,000 vehicle owners, resulted in a ‘group litigation order’ by the High Court in May 2018. The case concluded in May 2022 with a £193 million settlement, equating to over £2,100 per driver. While this specific claim is resolved, owners of certain Audi, Seat, Skoda, and VW vehicles may explore other group actions.

Current State of the Lawsuit:

The Mercedes case is at an advanced stage, and legal actions against other car manufacturers are gaining momentum after recent court hearings in December 2023 and January 2024. These hearings encompassed the claims of approximately 1.2 million individuals against 16 car manufacturing groups. The court has officially confirmed that Ford will share Mercedes’ trial date set for February 2025, with the possibility of additional manufacturers being included in the same trial. More details are expected to emerge in the upcoming hearing scheduled for March 11 to 15, 2024.

Pogust Goodhead, one of the firms involved in the claims, described the legal process for diesel reclaims as having been “turbocharged” following the December 2023 hearing. Martyn Day, senior partner at Leigh Day, another law firm handling claims, added that the January 2024 hearing marked “further positive progress.” This development holds the potential for “all the claims being resolved in the next two years,” although such an outcome is not guaranteed.

In conclusion, as participants navigate the intricate web of the Diesel Emissions class-action lawsuit, this guide serves as a compass, providing insights and guidance throughout the journey. From understanding eligibility to comprehending the legal landscape and potential outcomes, individuals are empowered to make informed decisions in their pursuit of justice. The Dieselgate scandal has sparked a collective determination to hold accountable those responsible for deceptive practices, marking a significant chapter in the ongoing battle for consumer rights, environmental integrity, and automotive accountability in the United Kingdom.

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