Considered one of the biggest scams in the global automotive industry, the diesel emissions scandal that first broke out in 2015 involved multiple carmakers and hundreds of thousands of vehicle owners. Over the years, manufacturers have had to spend billions on making things right for them and their customers. Mercedes-Benz is one of these carmakers.
Although the Dieselgate scandal initially involved only Volkswagen, all the other carmakers that have been found to have used defeat devices are just as affected. The consequences of their actions have thrust them into the spotlight several times over. A defeat device is designed to know when a vehicle is being tested so that it could temporarily lower emissions to within the World Health Organization (WHO)-mandated levels during the entirety of an emissions test.
To authorities, the vehicle appears almost perfect – fuel-efficient; emissions-compliant. However, when it is taken out of the lab and driven on real roads, the vehicle switches back to its default settings. In these conditions, it emits massive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx, which is a highly reactive group of gases with adverse effects on the environment and human health.
Drivers who bought the vehicle were led to believe that they were buying high-performance cars and vans. What they were given were high-polluting vehicles, and this fact was kept from them. So carmakers lied to their customers.
Why are diesel emissions dangerous?
As mentioned earlier, vehicles emit nitrogen oxide, a group of gases that has nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components. NOx is a catalyst for acid rain and smog, and it also produces ground-level ozone, a pollutant that significantly affects vegetation. Plants and crops become weaker and more susceptible to weather conditions. NOx emissions also stunt their growth if the exposure is constant.
NOx also affects a person’s cognitive abilities, and this can lead to serious problems, the most common of which is dementia. In some cases, exposure to NOx emissions can trigger symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues.
If a person is regularly exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, the health impacts can change them and their lifestyle. For someone who is exposed to low levels of NOx emissions, the most common effects are asthma, breathing difficulties, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. Fluid in the lungs can also develop.
A drastic lifestyle change is expected if a person is exposed to high levels of nitrogen oxide emissions. The impacts are serious, including cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung function reduction, and increased risk for cancer. Asphyxiation and laryngospasm or vocal cord spasm can also develop.
What’s most devastating about nitrogen oxide emissions is the fact that they can shorten a person’s lifespan. Premature death is probably the most serious impact of exposure to NOx. Over the years, numerous cases of such deaths around the world have been reported and linked to toxic air. Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah’s case was the first recorded incident of an unexpected death caused by air pollution. She was only nine years old when she succumbed to a serious asthma attack after months of non-stop hospital visits. She and her mother lived along South Circular Road in south London, which is a highly polluted area. In December 2020, after an inquest, the coroner verified what many already knew – Ella died because of high levels of toxic air.
These impacts, along with VW, Mercedes, and the other carmakers’ lies, are the reasons why legal firms and authorities are urging affected drivers to make a claim for all the inconveniences the defeat device has caused them.
A claim is a legal action that car owners can bring against their manufacturer. It allows them to receive financial compensation for their manufacturer’s deceitful actions.
Mercedes emissions scandal
The Mercedes emissions scandal broke out several months after US authorities caught VW using defeat devices in their diesel vehicles. The German carmaker received a notice from the same authorities for the same reason. A group of American Mercedes car owners even got together so they could file a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer.
The first Mercedes emissions claim found its way to the UK in 2020. Since then, hundreds of thousands of affected car owners have been talking to legal firms and thinking about making a claim. However, not everyone who owns a Mercedes can bring forward a claim.
Are you eligible to claim Mercedes Dieselgate compensation?
There are several things that you need to consider before you can make a Mercedes diesel claim:
- You should have a Mercedes-Benz car or van, leased; whether financed or bought, that was registered between the years 2008 and 2018.
- You may have received a notification from Mercedes that your vehicle is up for a recall for engine correction. (Note: You may still be able to make a claim even if you didn’t receive any recall notification as long as you have a Mercedes diesel vehicle manufactured between the years indicated above.)
- Your Mercedes-Benz should be equipped with a diesel engine, specifically a BlueTec.
If you’re still unsure whether you’re eligible or not, visit Emissions.co.uk to know what to do to determine your eligibility.