If you purchased a diesel vehicle between 2007 and 2018, you could be eligible for a sizable compensation claim.
[Editor’s Note – If you’re based in Scotland, see Jones Whyte’s Scottish Diesel Emission Claims eligibility checker here and, if relevant, you can join their group diesel emissions claims – their collective actions experts are pursuing such claims against relevant manufacturers on behalf of Scottish car owners who’ve been affected by devices installed in their vehicles]
This is not every vehicle of course, but rather a specific set of vehicles produced by the likes of VW, Audi and Mercedes, with around 500,000 in the UK and 85,000 in the US.
Car manufacturers are allocated a certain volume of CO2 that they are allowed to extract from their vehicles, but it emerged in 2015 via the ‘Dieselgate Scandal’ that a number of manufacturers used cheat devices to downplay the amount of CO2 that they were emitting.
The result? Most diesel vehicles were polluting more than 40 times the amount that they were supposed to – and this has caused an uproar and a number of motorists seeking compensation.
Is My Diesel Car Eligible for a Claim?
You could be eligible for a claim if the vehicle was purchased between 2007 and 2018, because this is when the cheat devices were used. You may own the vehicle first-hand or second-hand, either is acceptable, purchased outright or via a lease agreement. It is also fine if you no longer own the vehicle.
You will be eligible for a claim if your vehicle was mis-sold to you. After all, you should be entitled to the vehicle that you purchased and you probably would not have bought the car knowing that it was polluting 35 or 40 times the legal limit.
In some cases, people traded in their cars, making a loss on the repayments, or they had to pay for upgrades to the diesel emissions. If this is you, you could be eligible for a claim.
How Much Could I Potentially Receive in Compensation?
“At the high end of the scale, you could receive compensation of $10,000 to $20,000 per vehicle,” explains Alfie Usher, the founder of consumer watchdog and price comparison site, Forces Compare.
“The amount you could potentially reclaim is based on things like the vehicle size, the engine size. Certainly if you had a fleet of vehicles, multiple vehicles from the same brand for your family or company cars, your potential claims value could be enormous.”
How Can I Submit My Claims Application?
“You will need to go via a law firm or a third party to make a diesel claims application. Car manufacturers have never admitted to any wrongdoing, probably because they do not want to deal with a huge wave of enquiries,” continues Usher. “So you will not be able to claim directly from the manufacturer or dealer, but rather someone with a claims or legal background.”
“But millions of dollars has been reclaimed to date and the total claims value in the UK alone is £10.2 billion. It is also not just VW, Mercedes and Audi, since a lot of the manufacturers collaborate and are owned by similar companies. There is also Vauxhall, Skoda and Seat, just to name a few.”
“A lot of legal parties operate on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you have nothing to lose if you want to submit your car registration and see if you are eligible. If your claim is successful, you should expect the legal party to take a commission of around 10-20% for helping to submit your claim successfully.”
The opinions expressed here are those of the legal authors themselves, not necessarily the views of the site or its editors. Independent legal advice in your jurisdiction is recommended.