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Diesel Emissions Claims

If you purchased, financed and/or leased a diesel vehicle in England or Wales between 2008 and 2018, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Since news first broke around 2015, that certain vehicle manufacturers were using software in certain diesel engine vehicles to evade European Emission Standards, it has come to light that other manufacturers have also been using ‘defeat devices’ to manipulate emissions controls in their vehicles.

Here at Bond Turner, we specialise in all aspects of civil litigation, and we utilise this experience to best represent our clients.

We care about our clients and work around their needs. Our qualified legal team are happy to discuss your prospective claim with you or a nominated representative where appropriate.

We currently represent thousands of claimants in Diesel Emissions related group actions and our lawyers are experienced in cross-jurisdictional disputes with large corporate entities. Our lawyers use their vast experience to ensure our clients receive the best service possible, and that the prospects of success in bringing a successful claim are maximised.

In addition to our solicitors, we can utilise the experience of our in-house barristers and we instruct some of the top KCs in the country.

We will treat any enquiry with the utmost confidentiality, and you can be confident that you will receive thorough legal advice.

We also have a team of 12 interpreters who can assist you if English is not your first language.

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We are no longer taking on new cases in respect of Mercedes Vehicles.  If you are an existing claimant, you can find out more here.

We are no longer taking on new cases in respect of VW Group vehicles. If you are an existing VW Group claimant you can find out more here.

For more information please read our FAQs:

For a vehicle to be registered, sold and driven in the UK, amongst other things, it must comply with the NOx emissions limits as set out in Europe-wide Emissions Regulations.

NOx is a combination of Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide; both of which are pollutants associated with, amongst other things, acid rain and childhood asthma. NOx is harmful to humans and the environment, which is why its emissions are controlled and regulated.

In these claims, we will allege that various vehicle manufacturers fitted ‘defeat devices’ (in the form of specialist engine-management software), to certain vehicle models, which allowed them to manipulate the emissions controls to operate during Regulatory testing; but to shut-off and/or reduce NOx cleaning during everyday use.

This allowed these engines to pass official European Emissions Tests, despite their NOx emissions in the real world being much higher than the emissions limits provided for in the Emissions Regulations.
As a consequence, consumers were misled into thinking that the vehicles they bought were much less harmful to the environment than they actually were, allowing manufacturers to charge more for their sale.

The claims will allege that manufacturers fraudulently represented that the affected vehicles were better for the environment than they actually were, that they complied with all relevant laws and Regulations and that they did not contain the ‘defeat devices’ now identified.

As well as this claim in deceit, it is also alleged that they breached the terms of the sale and/or lease contract with their customers, on the basis the vehicles were not “fit for purpose”, and that they breached EU regulatory law and consumer protection laws.

That is not for us to say, and is not something that has been commented on by any of the vehicle manufacturers.

However, in order to produce diesel engines that had desirable power characteristics and fuel economy, whilst maintaining low enough levels of emissions so as to meet the stringent European Emissions Standards, it is alleged that various techniques were used to reduce the amount of harmful NOx found in the vehicles’ emissions, including Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and AdBlue technology.

EGR, as the name suggests, is the recirculation of exhaust gases to re-burn them in the engine in order to reduce the amount of NOx that is discharged. This process does however produce more soot that has to be cleaned out of the exhaust.

AdBlue is injected into the engine’s exhaust gases and, in the resulting chemical reaction, the NOx in the exhaust is converted into harmless nitrogen and water vapour.

However, whilst both of these techniques reduce NOx emissions, they each come at a cost in relation to the engine’s performance and fuel economy.

Claims such as this are complex in nature as they involve a global corporation with a financial interest to fight against the allegations.

However, strength in numbers allows consumers to band together under the law to challenge the illegal acts and/or omissions of the global corporation – in this case, to claim compensation for being deceived and for any losses they have suffered as a result of the deception.

Because the basic allegations of wrong-doing are the same for every claim, these issues can be argued once, and then applied to every claim. This is called Group Litigation. It means that the considerable expense of arguing the case once can be shared between all of the Claimants.

The process will likely involve expert evidence, procedural challenges, and multiple court hearings. It is common for these types of cases to take a number of years to conclude.

In the meantime, individual Claimants will however still need to provide to their solicitors all relevant information and/or documentation in relation to their own vehicle, so that their case can be properly investigated, progressed, and ultimately valued on its own circumstances.

In the event of a successful case, it is likely that a compensation scheme could be negotiated between the parties. Once approved, each consumer who has intimated a claim against the corporation (and become a Claimant), will have their cases assessed and valued based on the information and evidence provided.

You may be, if you purchased, financed and/or leased an affected diesel vehicle in England or Wales, between 2008 and 2018. Potentially affected vehicles include both passenger and commercial vehicles as well as vans.

Yes. If you purchased an affected vehicle in Scotland or Northern Ireland you will need to take advice from a solicitor in that jurisdiction to see if you can join any legal proceedings there.

Yes. Both private owners and business owners (including hire companies and fleet operators) can register to bring a claim.

Yes, if the contract is in your name, or if you had some degree of choice in having that particular vehicle, and the vehicle is affected; you are able to bring a claim.

No, it does not matter who you bought or leased your vehicle from, as long as it was bought/leased in England or Wales. You are eligible to bring a claim against the manufacturer whether you bought your vehicle from a showroom, from a private seller or from a third-party dealer.

Yes, regardless of whether your vehicle was purchased new or second-hand, including on finance, hire purchase, personal contract purchase or leased; you can pursue a claim.

We will argue that the vehicle manufacturer’s deception will have affected the purchase price for both the original purchaser and the subsequent purchaser/s, and may have also affected the on-going running costs of the vehicle while under the ownership of both.

Certain vehicle manufacturers have maintained that they can install a software update on the affected vehicles that will bring the emission control systems back in line with the Regulations, without any adverse effect on the vehicles.

However, you can still make a claim, regardless of whether these so-called ‘fixes’ have been applied to your vehicle.

No. You can still bring a claim even if you have sold your vehicle, and you can sell your vehicle at any time in the future, and still bring a claim – as long you owned or leased the vehicle at sometime between 2008 and 2018.

You must, however, have your vehicle registration number / VIN, and be able to provide us with your vehicle purchase or sale documents, or other evidence to prove you had the vehicle during that time.

The only information we will need from you to start your claim enquiry is:

  • Name:
  • Contact Email Address:
  • Contact Telephone Number:
  • Vehicle Registration Number:

We will not need any documentation or proof of purchase to complete your initial enquiry.

Once we have checked if your vehicle was affected; so that we can open your case file, we are required for regulatory purposes to complete an ID check and to satisfy our ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ obligations.

We will require your personal details (including your address and Date of Birth) and we may also need you to provide us with evidence of your identity in the form of a copy of your Driving License, Passport, or a utility bill and/or bank statement issued within the past 3 months.

In due course, we will also require proof that you purchased, financed and/or leased an affected vehicle in England or Wales, between 2008 and 2018.

The evidence we will require may be in the form of any one of the below documents:

  • V5 or other DVLA document
  • Purchase invoice
  • Finance or lease agreement
  • Receipt of sale
  • A recall letter issued by the manufacturer
  • MOT Test Certificate/ servicing record
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • P11D Benefit Statement
  • Vehicle brochure or other sales literature

There may also be a need for you to provide other supporting documents required for the purposes of litigation, to prove the financial loss you have suffered. If and when this need arises, we will contact you.

Don’t worry, you can still register to bring a claim now.

Many people no longer have access to all the documents required and, with this in mind, we have processes in place to collect the information from other available sources. However, it is by no means guaranteed that we will successfully get the necessary documents from these sources. We would remind you that the onus is on you, as the Claimant, to establish and prove your claim. Therefore, the more documentation you are able to provide to us; the better we will be able to assist you and the greater prospect you have in being successful with your claim.

We know other law firms are also investigating a claim against manufacturers of diesel vehicles in relation to the ‘defeat devices’ installed in their UK registered vehicles and, whilst we cannot speak for their approach, what we can say is that we currently represent thousands of Claimants in actions against a number of different diesel vehicle manufacturers (claims which arise out of similar facts), and we are committed to ensuring all parties affected by the ‘emission scandal’ are compensated.

We will look to utilise our vast civil litigation experience, together with our experience of larger corporate entities and group actions, to ensure we best represent our clients throughout their claims process.

Our ability to deliver means we have secured funding and insurance cover, which enables us to proceed with any individual’s claim on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis.

We will pursue your claim on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ agreement. To that end, if we don’t win your case, and you keep to the terms of the agreement entered, you won’t be charged.

We will put an After-The-Event (ATE) Insurance policy in place to protect you from being liable for your opponent’s legal costs should your claim be unsuccessful. The cost of the ATE insurance premium is a cost that we bear in the event your claim is unsuccessful.

In any UK litigation there is a risk of the loser having to pay towards the winner’s costs. This ATE insurance covers those costs and therefore protects you in the unlikely event this should happen.

If you do win, some of our charges will be paid by the Defendant to your claim and some by you – up to 50% of your proportionate share of compensation. You will also have to pay the cost of the ATE Insurance premium out of part of the damages you receive.

If we lose the claim, we will not charge you for our time or the costs we have incurred on your behalf provided you keep to the terms of the agreement.

Financial compensation for you – We allege that you are entitled to damages for being misled. You are also likely to have paid a higher price for your vehicle and/or the resale value could be less.

For the environment – Vehicle manufacturers should not be allowed to profit from being untruthful and should be held to account for their actions. We all have a responsibility to protect the environment and vehicles that emit harmful levels of noxious substances that are harmful to the environment, and to health, affect us all.

Accountability – Any company or organisation that has misled its customers should be held to account for their actions and pay any subsequent penalties. Big businesses have powerful brands that people trust, and this trust is often the reason consumers make decisions to purchase a product. Companies cannot be allowed to abuse this trust to increase their profits, and so this action will act as a deterrent for other companies.

At this stage, it is difficult to predict the amount of compensation you will receive in the event the claim is successful.

The amount you would receive is dependent on a variety of factors (including: the purchase price; age of the vehicle; model; and specific characteristics of your vehicle).

The amount of damages that are awarded will ultimately be determined by the Court or negotiated between the parties.

You can only pursue a single claim in respect of each affected vehicle that you own, you must therefore choose your legal representative prior to the filing of any claim at Court.

Claims will be checked against one another and if you are found to have instructed more than one set of solicitors in respect of the same vehicle, you may have to pay one of those solicitors’ costs, as well as the costs of the opponents, out of your own pocket.

While there is not currently a cut-off date, we would encourage any interested parties to register a claim as soon as possible for full compensation eligibility. If you leave it too late, you may be prevented from bringing a claim.

We will need to ask you a few simple questions to ensure that you are eligible to bring a claim and to check that your vehicle was one of those affected by this issue (i.e. that it had a defeat device fitted).

We will then take you through our terms and conditions (including the No Win-No Fee agreement and ATE provisions), and complete your ID check.

Once we have gone through these steps, we will ask you to provide a bit more detail about your vehicle, and ask you to provide any copies of any documentation you have relating to it.

After this is complete, we should have enough information to advise you about adding your claim to the Group Action.

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