Possible Diesel Emission Legal Claims

Solicitors Leigh Day are recruiting claimants for potential legal claims over the use of “cheat “devices in diesel cars to fool testing of emissions. From 2014, software which manipulated air pollution tests was discovered in vehicles from some car makers. It particularly affected German makes such as VW and Mercedes but it is likely that other manufacturers were also involved. The software recognized when the standardized emissions test was being done, and adjusted the engine to emit less during the test. The cars emitted much higher levels of pollution under real-world driving conditions.

Leigh Day, one of the larger UK legal firms, are now working on claims for BMW, Citroen, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ford, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Volvo, Nissan/Renault, Porsche, Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen vehicle owners. They believe that there may have been ‘defeat devices’ used in the vehicles which were unlawful under UK law and consequently, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawfully polluting vehicles on the roads in the UK. They believe that owners of the affected vehicles should be compensated because they were mis-sold these vehicles, which were advertised as being more environmentally friendly with lower NOx emissions. Increased levels of NOx emissions are harmful to the environment and to the health of children and adults.

Leigh Day would represent claimants on a ‘No Win-No Fee’ basis under a Damages-Based Agreement (DBA). The costs of pursuing such a claim would be covered by litigation funding agreements with third parties and with insurance to cover the risks of adverse costs if the case was lost. Costs might consume up to 36% of any successful claim.

For more information see: https://www.leighday.co.uk/latest-updates/cases-and-testimonials/cases/leighdaycoukvehicleclaims/# for more information.

You do of course need to make your own decision about whether to join the claims which would be pursued as Group Litigation cases as we cannot provide legal advice, but a quick review of what they say suggests it is worthy of further consideration.

However you need to read the proposed contract of 30 pages carefully before you sign it and there are a number of limitations on vehicles covered. As with all litigation, the outcome is likely to be uncertain and any successful claim is likely to take several years to conclude.

Roger Lawson

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