In June 2020, a law firm in the United Kingdom accused carmakers Nissan and Renault of cheating on emissions tests using unlawful defeat devices. Around 100,000 petrol-powered Nissan Qashqai and almost one million diesel-powered Nissans are affected by the cheat software. Both carmakers have now become the target of a class-action lawsuit.
Around 600,000 of the Nissan diesel vehicles that are allegedly equipped with defeat devices are located in the UK. The list of models includes some of the carmaker’s popular lines: the X-Trail, Juke, and Note.
The law firm also received additional information about the carmaker’s Qashqai 1.2-litre petrol-powered vehicles, which allegedly violated emissions regulations by at least 15 times. The DfT or Department for Transport had documents that were previously kept from the public showing that around 100,000 of these vehicles are affected by the cheat device.
Nissan and Renault received a notice from the law firm regarding the emissions test results. They expected to get a reply or explanation from the carmaker but eventually realised that the defeat devices sensed when the vehicles were about to be tested. The devices automatically lower emissions so regulators will see them as emissions-compliant and ready for selling.
The problem is that when the vehicles are out on the roads for real-world driving, they emit illegal amounts of a dangerous gas called NOx or nitrogen oxide. So, in reality, Nissan sold high-polluting vehicles to unsuspecting customers.
Although lawyers and the government tried to request a recall so that affected vehicles could be fixed, Nissan did not give in to it. The carmaker has denied all the allegations against them and assured the public that they have not used any defeat device in their diesel vehicles. In a statement, Nissan revealed that during the 2017 DfT testing, most of the involved brands showed significant differences between their testing and real-world driving conditions. The carmaker was confident that they followed emissions regulatory limits.
The 2017 testing showed massively high levels of NOx emissions for Nissan’s petrol-powered Qashqai. The law firm also said that the 1.5 and 1.6 Nissan and Renault vehicle models had the worst emission levels, higher than even Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
Despite the carmaker’s denials, the class-action lawsuit is pushing through, with each affected driver expecting to receive at least £5,000 each as compensation if the case is a success.
Only Nissan diesel vehicles manufactured between the years 2009 and 2019 are allegedly affected by the diesel emissions scandal.
What are diesel emissions and why are they dangerous?
Diesel emissions are gaseous elements released by diesel vehicles. Most emissions are pollutants that have negative impacts on the environment and human health. There are four major diesel engine pollutants:
- PM or particulate matter
- HC or hydrocarbons
- CO or carbon monoxide
- NOx or nitrogen oxide
In the case of Nissan and Renault, the primary emission is NOx.
Nitrogen oxide pertains to a group of gases that can damage the environment. Anyone exposed to NOx emissions can suffer from life-threatening health impacts.
When NOx mixes with other elements, it produces smog and acid rain and is also responsible for creating ground-level ozone, a pollutant that damages vegetation.
A person’s mental health can also be affected, with episodes of anxiety and depression becoming more frequent. Cognitive abilities weaken over time, which means dementia can set in.
The most dangerous impacts of exposure to NOx emissions can be life-threatening, including:
- Respiratory illnesses that can become COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Pulmonary oedema (when your lungs are filled with liquid)
- Certain cancers
- Cardiovascular disease
- Premature death
Over the years, exposure to NOx emissions has been linked to thousands of early deaths across the world.
Emissions have been in the spotlight for years but they became a household name in 2015 when the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal shook up the global automotive industry.
What the Dieselgate scandal did to drivers
Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Nissan are only some of the carmakers involved in the Dieselgate scandal. VW was the first to be implicated after US authorities allegedly found defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the American car market. The carmaker had to recall thousands of affected vehicles.
To date, VW has spent billions in payoffs – for fines, fees, and compensation.
Mercedes-Benz, like VW, also caught the attention of US authorities because of the alleged use of defeat devices. Now, Renault and Nissan are also in the spotlight for the same emissions regulation violation. Like VW and the other carmakers involved in the scandal, they’ve also spent millions and billions in payoffs.
These carmakers lied to drivers in favour of profit. They misled drivers into believing that the vehicles were high-performing and emissions-compliant. As a result, they also exposed the drivers to dangerous NOx emissions that can cause lifelong health impacts. Affected car owners have to be compensated, and the best way to do this is to file a diesel claim.
Am I eligible to file my diesel claim?
Before you start your diesel claim, you have to visit ClaimExperts.co.uk first to find out if you are qualified to receive compensation. Remember, only specific models of vehicles are affected by the scandal. Once you’ve verified your eligibility, find an emissions expert to work with so you can start your Nissan emissions claim.