The Volkswagen Scandal - The Impact on Consumers and Our Health


Over the past few days, our solicitors at Simpson Millar have been keeping up with the Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal or #VWGate, as it's also known, which has affected as many as 1.2 million vehicles in the UK.

The Volkswagen Scandal - The Impact on Consumers and Our Health

It has been revealed that VW have been using software in their diesel vehicles that kicks in when the vehicle is being tested on the emissions it releases. This software manipulates the results so that the emissions we thought were coming from these diesel vehicles are actually far higher than we realised.

This not only has devastating consequences for pollution levels, it also means that millions of UK consumers may have been misled into buying a vehicle that is likely to have been marketed as complying with EU emissions standards.

The True Extent of the Volkswagen Scandal

As more information has emerged, the breadth of the scandal seems to keep on growing. It's been found that not only VW branded vehicles are affected, the cheat software can be found in Seat, Skoda and Audi vehicles.Rising concerns for consumers include whether their vehicle will lose any value if they hope to sell., the expense they may need to foot if the vehicle needs correcting, and any loss of fuel economy or extra charges in light of this revelation.You may have been affected if
  • You own a diesel vehicle by VW, Skoda, Audi or Seat.
  • You are involved in the motor trade and have dealt with any of these vehicles.
  • You own a fleet of these vehicles.
The Impact on Pollution and Our HealthAnalysis by the Guardian (Sept 15) estimates the worldwide VW rigging could be accountable for an extra 1 million tonnes of air pollution each year. To put this into perspective, they estimate that this is the equivalent to the UK's emissions from agriculture, power stations, vehicles and industry combined.

This could certainly be worrying news for our health…

In London, around 9,500 people die each year due to pollution in the air, and a government consultation released earlier this year attributed 23,500 premature deaths every year to Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels. For the past 5 years, major cities including London, Leeds and Birmingham have all been in breach of EU safety limits of Nitrogen Dioxide.Needless to say, the revelation that Volkswagen (VW) has been using cheat software to veil the true amount of pollution their diesel vehicles are pumping out has come as a major blow.

Our solicitors at Simpson Millar will continue to watch the scandal unfold, keeping in mind the impact this may have on consumers and on those who may have been exposed to pollutants

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