California settles with firm in Volkswagen emissions scandal - The San  Diego Union-Tribune

When you talk about the Dieselgate scandal, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Volkswagen – and other carmakers were involved in the scam. Most of the focus has been on the vehicles and manufacturers that knowingly installed cheat devices to manipulate emissions testing. This time, however, the focus is on the supplier of the said devices.

Last November, defeat device supplier Bosch finalised a settlement that would have them paying $25 million (around £20.66 million) to resolve their involvement in the diesel emissions scandal. California State Attorney General Rob Bonta confirmed this development although the settlement is still subject to court approval. 

According to the Attorney General, the German auto supplier is an active Dieselgate participant as it supplied calibration services or software programming, software, and hardware to Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen even if they knew that the carmakers did not adhere to environmental and protection mandates. Bosch’s participation in the diesel emissions scandal is deemed an act of misconduct.

The supplier broke consumer trust when they allegedly provided Fiat Chrysler and VW technology that would help the carmakers cheat federal and state emissions tests. Bonta described Bosch’s act as a major environmental crime.

Although the auto supplier confirmed the settlement, they denied the allegations against them, did not acknowledge any liability, and questioned the validity of the claims.

Bonta, however, is determined to pursue the matter and firmly stated that the California Department of Justice is committed to protecting consumers and public health while also lowering air pollution.

Bosch previously settled another diesel claim-related agreement where they are to pay over $400 million (£330.63 million) as a payoff for various claims. Both Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen have also settled fines and penalties that now total billions, in addition to vehicle recalls.

The 2015 diesel emissions scandal initially involved only the Volkswagen Group. Fiat Chrysler, now a part of Stellantis, was caught using illegal emissions-manipulating devices in 2017. Numerous carmakers have been implicated in the world’s biggest automotive industry scandal.

How did the Dieselgate scandal start?

It was September 2015 when the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA called on the attention of the Volkswagen Group via a notice of violation. The US agencies alleged that the German carmaker installed defeat devices in the millions of Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the American automotive market.

Volkswagen initially denied the allegations but later admitted that they knew about the defeat devices and what the software’s purpose was. 

A defeat device can sense if a vehicle is in regulatory testing. Once it does, it automatically lowers emissions levels to within the limits mandated by authorities and ones recommended by the World Health Organization. For all intents and purposes – but only for the entirety of such a test – the vehicle is eco-friendly by virtue of it being fuel-efficient. 

When the vehicle is out of the lab and driven outside lab conditions, the vehicle reverts to emitting voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx, which is harmful to the environment and negatively affects human health.

US authorities ordered the Volkswagen Group to recall all affected vehicles so these could be fitted with the proper engine and emissions would be corrected.

Not long after, other carmakers started getting notices of violations, including Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In 2017, authorities found out that Stellantis had been cheating with defeat devices and the fines, lawsuits, vehicle recalls, and settlements started cropping up one after the other. To this day, Stellantis is still facing emissions claims from the thousands of car owners affected by the defeat devices.

Why are defeat devices illegal?

Defeat devices allow vehicles to hide true emissions levels, which means car owners unknowingly drive their cars around towns and cities while releasing massive volumes of toxic air. The vehicles break emissions regulations and are, therefore, pollutants.

Additionally, the vehicles emit NOx, which has numerous adverse effects on the environment and your overall health. With nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components, NOx can produce acid rain, smog, and a pollutant called ground-level ozone. This type of ozone weakens and destroys vegetation.

If you are regularly exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, your mental health may also be triggered, and you can experience frequent episodes of anxiety and depression. NOx also weakens cognitive functioning, which means you’ll be vulnerable to dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Your health can also take a toll if you are constantly exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions. If your exposure is low-level, common side effects include nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, lung problems, and asthma. You may also develop emphysema, bronchitis, and/or other respiratory illnesses. 

If your exposure is high-level, the impacts can be life-threatening: chronic lung function reduction, asphyxiation, vocal cords spasm, and cancer. You also become more susceptible to cardiovascular conditions. The most insidious impact arising from long-term exposure, however, is premature death.

What is my diesel claim all about?

It is your right to file a diesel claim against your carmaker for the environmental and health-related inconveniences they subjected you to. The potential deliberate lying and serious health impacts are their responsibility, and they should compensate you rightfully.

However, before you can bring forward an emissions claim, you should first verify if you are qualified to file one. All you have to do is head over to as they have all the necessary information to help you move through the claims process. Visit them now.

By Rehan

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