Updated: Jan 28
Vauxhall have been accused of ‘mass deception’ by lawyers working on a legal case against the automaker, alleging that emissions from their diesel vehicles ‘could amount to an extra five million vehicles’ worth of harmful pollutants in our air’.
Law firm PGMBM has begun a case against Vauxhall over a diesel emissions scandal that could affect over half a million vehicles bought, financed or leased in England and Wales between 2009 and 2019. The firm estimates that vehicles will have usually had at least two owners, meaning that the scandal may affect over one million drivers.
It is alleged that Vauxhall misled both customers and authorities as to the level of toxic emissions produced by certain models of their diesel vehicles.
A report by the European Federation for Transport and Environment ranked Vauxhall (Opel) engines as among the worst in Europe for excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Based on the testing of the company’s Euro 6 diesel engines, it was found that in real driving conditions the engines produced 10 times more harmful NOx than legal limits allow.
According to PGMBM, this means that half a million Vauxhall vehicles on British roads may be producing five million vehicles’ worth of harmful pollutants. These pollutants damage the environment and have been linked to public health issues.
Through the alleged use of so-called ‘defeat devices’, Vauxhall are said to have effectively masked their vehicles' diesel pollution output and this allowed them to pass emissions tests that they otherwise would not have.
PGMBM has urged drivers in England and Wales to come forward and join the campaign if they purchased, financed or leased a potentially affected diesel vehicle manufactured by Vauxhall between 2009 and 2019. Potentially affected vehicles include the Vauxhall Astra, Cascada, Corsa, Insignia, Mokka, Movano and Zafira.
Drivers who bought, financed or leased these vehicles could now be entitled to compensation as part of the class action case – estimated to be up to £20,000 each, according to PGMBM.
PGMBM’s Managing Partner, Tom Goodhead, said: “We believe that there are grounds to suspect Vauxhall have orchestrated a mass deception of the public, mis-selling vehicles that not only fail to meet the specifications, but risk damage to the environment and our collective health.
“Some vehicles are producing up to 10 times the amount of pollutants permitted. That affects drivers, their passengers, passers-by and anyone who breathes the air around us. This isn’t some trivial percentage over the line, it could amount to an extra five million vehicles’ worth of harmful pollutants in our air.
“The power to force Vauxhall to acknowledge their wrongdoing, and change their practices, rests in the hands of those who join the case against them. It is absolutely imperative that we hold Vauxhall to account, forcing them to operate with a greater social and environmental conscience.
“Legally, affected consumers could be entitled to claim back the full cost of their vehicle. Based on our estimates, each claimant could expect up to £20,000.”
The case can be joined on a no-win, no-fee basis at vauxhallclaimlawyers.com. By joining the action, PGMBM say claimants have the greatest chance of receiving compensation and achieving justice. PGMBM intends to apply for a Group Litigation Order (GLO), which allows individual claims to be progressed together and be treated as one by the courts.