“40,000 lives were cut short by air pollution in the UK”
BBC / Greenpeace
Harcus Parker is investigating claims on behalf of Renault, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz owners
Harcus Parker is investigating claims on behalf of owners of Renault, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz vehicles which are alleged to have been fitted with defeat devices, different in form but similar in effect to those used by Volkswagen. Defeat devices allow cars to detect when an emissions test is being carried out, and reduce emissions accordingly. Often, when the cars are driven in the real world, emissions will be many times higher than the regulated limits.
Anybody who has bought or leased a diesel Renault, Nissan, or Mercedes-Benz vehicle between 2009 and 2018 can apply to join the claim. Owners of certain petrol Renault and Nissan vehicles can also apply to join. Owners could be entitled to several thousands of pounds of compensation.
Harcus Parker will act on a no-win, no-fee basis, and will pay any third-party costs which are necessary in order to progress the claims to trial.
NOx is a pollutant which has been linked to an array of diseases including childhood asthma and even teenage psychosis. Recent reports have also indicated a link between those living in areas with poor air quality and people suffering the most severe Covid-19 symptoms. Some independent testing has shown that affected vehicles emit up to ten times more NOx than the regulations allow.
NOx emissions from vehicles tend to be closely related to other emissions, including greenhouse gasses like CO2, and soot. It is difficult to reduce NOx levels without increasing levels of these other harmful emissions.
When issuing a fine of €870m to Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler in 2019, a German court took account of ‘gains from the sale of the affected vehicles and saved expenses for the production of vehicles that comply with the regulatory requirements’. In other words, Mercedes is said to have chosen the cheaper route to emissions compliance: it could have engineered its way to a solution, and provided vehicles which were suitable for use in our towns and cities, but instead it cheated. Renault is under criminal investigation in France and Nissan has been asked by the DVSA to explain its vehicles’ NOx emissions. It is crucial that these companies are held to account by consumers, so that emissions regulations are not simply ignored.
Consumers could be entitled to thousands of pounds of compensation, if the claims succeed. In some cases damages could be higher. Consumer legislation in the UK provides that in cases where customers have been misled, it is possible to recover a percentage of the purchase price of the product. If the misleading behaviour is deemed to be ‘more than minor’ then the compensation is set at 25%.