As the Dieselgate scandal continues, car manufacturer Opel, which is branded as Vauxhall in the UK, has been fined €64.8 million. The fine, imposed by the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office, was for selling diesel cars with emissions higher than reported to German transport regulators.
Many major car manufacturers, including Vauxhall, have been accused of using defeat devices that can detect when a vehicle is being tested for emissions and cause it to act differently than it would during typical on-road conditions. Software is turned down or off during real-world driving conditions, increasing emissions far above legal limits.
However, Opel asserts that the fine did not relate to the “finding of an illegal defeat device”, that its vehicles always complied with legal requirements, and that the fine does not contain any accusation of an intentional act or a criminal offense.
Instead, this fine by the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office –focused on the “violation of documentation obligations”. It comes after an investigation found that several Opel diesel models emitted significantly higher levels of pollutants than reported to the Federal Motor Transport Authority.
By accepting and paying the fine, Opel avoided legal proceedings.
Vauxhall Diesel Emissions Claims in the UK
For vehicles to be road-legal in the UK, they must comply with legal emissions standards. In January 2021, Vauxhall became the latest manufacturer to face allegations that some of its diesel engines were fitted with emissions-cheating devices. In separate proceedings to those mentioned above in Germany, Keller Lenkner UK is helping affected owners and lessors claim damages from Vauxhall for allegedly using illegal defeat devices and deceiving its customers.
As the affected vehicles did not meet the required environmental and performance standards, they were worth less than the drivers paid for them. Vauxhall has already contacted many car owners to offer an emissions software update. However, this software ‘fix’ might have negatively impacted the fuel consumption and performance of the affected vehicles as well as causing higher fuel and maintenance costs.
More than one million Vauxhall owners in the UK could be affected by this scandal. The affected vehicles include Agila, Antara, Astra, Cascada, Combo, Corsa, Crossland, Insignia, Meriva, Mokka, Movano, Vivaro and Zafira. As the investigation progresses, it is likely that the list of affected models will grow.
Vauxhall diesel owners may be entitled to thousands of pounds each. You may qualify for a diesel claim if you purchased or leased a Vauxhall diesel vehicle between 2008 and 2019.