According to the DfT or Department for Transport, the number of diesel-powered company cars in the UK has gone down by at least 17.6% in the first quarter of 2022. Around 0.829 million diesel vehicles used by companies were on the road for the first three months of the year. This is a slightly higher number than last year’s, which was at 1.006 million.
Privately-owned diesel vehicles are also fewer by 1.7% this year than last year; only 10.952 million this year compared to 2021’s 11.143 million. In London, ownership of private diesel vehicles significantly dropped to 116,796 from last year’s 155,274. The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone in London is partly responsible for this change.
Sales numbers for diesel vehicles for the first half of 2022 are also on a downward trend. Only around 83,874 mild-hybrid and diesel vehicles were registered between the months of January and June while registered electric vehicles totalled approximately 115,249.
Head of Roads Policy at the Automobile Association, Jack Cousens, said that the decrease in the statistics is an indication that excitement about diesel cars has waned; their popularity has ended. Car owners used to race to their manufacturers to buy diesel-powered cars because these were supposedly more fuel efficient and safe for the environment.
After the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal broke in 2015, the reputation of diesel vehicles significantly changed. The use of defeat devices in diesel vehicles only heightened the problem as thousands upon thousands of cars and vans emitted high volumes of nitrogen oxide or NOx, which is dangerous for the environment and human health.
The diesel emissions scandal
The Dieselgate scandal that rocked the entire automotive industry first took the spotlight in September 2015 after US authorities found defeat devices in Volkswagen diesel vehicles that were sold across the United States. VW initially denied the allegations but eventually said that they knew about the defeat devices.
About a year later, the same defeat devices were found in Mercedes-Benzes and this prompted American car owners to decide to file a class-action lawsuit against the carmaker.
A defeat device is programmed to detect if a car is in regulatory testing. Once it does, it artificially brings down emission levels to within the limits set by the World Health Organization.
When the vehicle is driven in real-life driving conditions, it emits excessive amounts of NOx or nitrogen oxides, in levels that are multiple times over the WHO and European Union limits. Thus, the vehicle is a heavy pollutant. Carmakers that sold vehicles with defeat devices lied to and deceived their customers by selling the cars as clean and safe.
The diesel emissions scandal started with only Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, but it eventually grew into a global scam that continues to affect millions of car owners.
Diesel vehicles are no longer as favoured as they were before because of the scandal, especially since NOx emissions are dangerous not only to the environment but also on human health. Exposure to nitrogen oxide can significantly change one’s life.
What do nitrogen oxides do?
NOx or nitrogen oxides refer to nitric oxide or nitrogen monoxide (NO) and NO2 or nitrogen dioxide. They come from different sources: biogenic, natural, and industrial. Road transport or fuel NOx is the leading source of nitrogen oxides.
In ambient conditions, NO is not expected to cause any hazardous effects on human health, but anything in excess is dangerous. Too much exposure to NO can lead to metabolic disorders, diarrhoea, vomiting, respiratory ailments, low blood pressure, and hematologic side effects.
Exposure to high levels of NO2 or nitrogen dioxide can have the following impacts: bronchitis, cough and colds, wheezing, flu, intense asthma attacks, and damage to the respiratory system.
Once NO and NO2 interact to become NOx, they become more dangerous. For starters, nitrogen oxide has a devastating effect on vegetation. Plants and crops are susceptible to frost damage and can suffer from diseases. Nitrogen oxide can also stunt their growth.
Nitrogen oxide reacts to moisture and ammonia, and other compounds, to form acid rain and smog. It is also responsible for creating ground-level ozone.
There are several health impacts when a person is regularly exposed to nitrogen oxide. Respiratory and breathing issues, lung tissue damage, chronically reduced lung function, headaches, appetite loss, difficulty in breathing, eye irritation, asphyxiation, increased risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and premature death.
How can I file my diesel claim?
How should I file my diesel claim? This is often the first question that car owners ask; especially if it is their first time to claim compensation.
As a car owner affected by the diesel emissions scandal, it is your right to bring your carmaker to court and file an emissions claim. The compensation varies according to the circumstances of your case, but the amount typically reaches thousands. It can be a long and complicated procedure, but you can get assistance from a panel of emissions solicitors.
ClaimExperts.co.uk has been in the industry for years and has won several claims. Their panel offer a no-win-no-fee guarantee, so you’re financially safe. Their panel know the entire process, from the first step down to the last – even after you’ve received your compensation. They’re the best partners to work with if you want a successful case. Visit their website to find out if you are eligible to claim today.