The MoneySavingExpert website has revealed to drivers which cars could see them entitled to pay-outs in compensation for the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.
Martin Lewis’ website said the use of ‘defeat devices’ in diesel vehicles has been the centre of several group legal claims going back to 2015. Law firms claim defeat devices were used by manufacturers to cheat emission level tests by regulators – these tests are needed before vehicles are approved to be sold.
Car manufacturers have denied the allegations, but claimants say they were misled regarding the levels of nitrogen dioxide produced by their vehicles.
Read more: Dad fuming as kids turned away from flight as they didn’t have photo ID
According to MoneySavingExpert, if you were the registered owner or keeper of a diesel van or car in England or Wales made between 2007 and 2018, you may be able to join a group legal claim, the Mirror reports. Claimants don’t have to own the vehicles anymore to join, and can join regardless of whether the car was bought on finance or owned outright.
The car brands involved include:
You’re not definitely guaranteed a pay-out by joining the legal claims – that depends on the court’s decision. The six law firms with cases are: Hagens Berman UK, Keller Lenkner UK, Leigh Day, Milberg London, PGMBM, and Slater and Gordon.
These are “no win, no fee” firms, which can take some of your winnings if the case is won – probably between a third and half of the pay-out. If you withdraw from a claim after 14 days of signing up, you could still be liable for legal costs, often depending on far the case has gone.
This type of case could take five years or longer to go through court, according to one firm. It is advised you only sign up to one firm.
Some of the scenarios, according to MoneySavingExpert, that could entitle you to compensation, include:
- You’d never have bought the vehicle had you known about the alleged emissions flaws.
- You paid more for it than you otherwise would have. For example, because you paid a premium for what you thought was a more environmentally friendly car, whether new or second-hand.
- If the car or van had to be fixed to comply with emissions standards, the fix itself may have led to worse fuel efficiency or worse performance – potentially lowering its value or creating added costs, for which you may be able to claim damages.
It’s not entirely certain how much the pay-out will be once costs are taken account of. In May 2022, Volkswagen group settled outside of court for £193m. The action covered 91,000 drivers, who will get £2,100 each on average.
Despite the settlement, Volkswagen did not admit to any wrongdoing. It said: “No admissions in respect of liability, causation or loss have been made by any of the defendants in the group action as part of the settlement.”
Other car manufacturers mentioned have also issued statements, according to MoneySavingExpert.
Ford said: “As we said back in 2016, we did not and do not have what are commonly known as ‘illegal defeat devices’ in our vehicles, and our advanced diesel engines meet all applicable emissions requirements.”
BMW Group, owner of the BMW and Mini brands, said: “BMW Group vehicles always comply with the necessary legal requirements and so the company categorically rejects any accusation that diesel emissions from their vehicles are manipulated in any way.”
VW Group, owner of the Audi, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and VW brands, said regarding the initial UK case against it: “The group is pleased that we have been able to conclude this long running litigation in England and Wales. The settlement is another important milestone as the Volkswagen Group continues to move beyond the deeply regrettable events leading up to September 2015.”
It added: “We have been advised that a claim has been threatened in England and Wales relating to newer diesel vehicles. The Volkswagen Group will examine the claim in detail and will defend itself robustly in relation to the new allegations, which we consider are vague, unsubstantiated and appear to confuse the different technologies and engines involved.”
Volvo said: “Volvo Cars has never used any illegal defeat devices in any of its cars.”
The UK is in an energy crisis following the price of gas which has rocketed in recent weeks.
Many energy suppliers are out of business which has prompted warnings of food shortages in UK supermarkets.
Householders are being warned that anyone coming off cheap, fixed energy deals could be in for a huge price hike, even on the cheapest tariffs. To avoid a potential price hike in energy bills customers can:
- Stick with the price cap for six months as prices could potentially fall if the energy market stabilises.
- Switch to the cheapest one or two-year fixed deal but you’ll need to act fast – see here for switching.
Here are some of Ofgem’s suggested comparison sites:
Stellantis, owner of the Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands, said: “These claims are unfounded and we will defend ourselves against them.” With regards to claims against the Chrysler and Fiat brands, which it also owns, Stellantis said: “We believe this claim to be totally without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against it.”
Mercedes said: “We believe that the claims are without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves against them or any group action with the necessary legal means.”
Nissan said it “strongly refutes these claims. Nissan has not, and does not, use illegal defeat devices in any of the vehicles that it makes, and all Nissan vehicles fully comply with applicable emissions legislation.”
Jaguar Land Rover, owner of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, said it “does not use emissions cheat devices or software in any of its products. We have not yet seen any technical evidence in relation to this matter and will strongly contest any claims made.”
Hyundai and Kia (Hyundai owns part of Kia) said: “All of the brand’s vehicles sold in the UK and Europe comply with the emissions regulations in operation at the time of sale, and Hyundai and Kia have not infringed upon any European emissions testing rules.”
Renault said it “denies having committed any offence and reminds that its vehicles are not equipped with any rigging software for pollution control devices. Renault vehicles have all and always been type-approved in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”