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What has happened?

German manufacturer Opel produce all Vauxhall vehicles sold in the UK. Opel is owned by French car giant, the PSA Group. PSA is the second largest selling car group in Europe after Volkswagen and has been implicated in emissions cheating in respect of its Peugeot and Citroën brands.

In 2015, independent testing carried out by a German Environmental Association found that the emissions of Vauxhall’s Zafira Tourer 1.6L of NOx were up to 17 times permitted levels. Other models suspected to exceed regulatory NOx limits may include the Vauxhall Adams, Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Insignia to name a few.

More recently, the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTI model (or Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi and the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTi in the UK), stood out negatively amongst the Euro 6 models. Even following recalls and software ‘fixes’ emissions were found to be 4.6 times above regulatory limits.

Vauxhall is suspected to have used thermal windows in their vehicles. Thermal windows work by switching off emissions control systems when the ambient air temperature is above or below a narrow thermal window. The Vauxhall Insignia has been found to turn down emissions control systems at temperatures below 17 °C.

In some cases, Vauxhall has sought to justify its use of thermal windows, arguing that they are necessary to protect components of the engine. However, a recent decision by the CJEU has determined that thermal windows deployed for such reasons are not permitted under the regulations and will likely amount to an unlawful defeat device.

Click here to read more about the judgment.

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The scandal in numbers


Vauxhall vehicles recalled in the UK alone.


Could be one of the worst in the inquiry.


Vauxhall and Opel vehicles recalled in Europe and the UK due to harmful emissions fault


Excess deaths a year attributable to air pollution in the UK

Vauxhall photo

Can I claim?

Independent testing has indicated that the following Vauxhall models are particularly affected:

Vauxhall Cascada
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Insignia
Vauxhall Mokka
Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall Zafira
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

However, anybody who bought a Vauxhall vehicle manufactured between 2009 and 2019 in England or Wales may be eligible to join the claim. If you bought or leased an affected Vauxhall vehicle in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can still join a claim, but it will be handled slightly differently.

The litigation will be free at the point of use. 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 contains both Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. NOx is emitted when fossil fuels are burnt, but not completely combusted. Diesel engines are not 100% efficient, meaning that their exhaust emissions contain NOx, as well as greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and air pollutants such as particulate matter. NOx worsens air quality and has adverse health effects including contributing to respiratory problems and cancer. Diesel cars are one of the main causes of pollution in our air.

These allow cars to turn down their emissions control system outside the emissions testing environment i.e. when the cars are driven in the real world. Not all defeat devices are cheating devices – some are allowed by regulations. However, in many cases they are used by manufacturers to give the appearance that their diesel vehicles pass emissions tests, when in fact they do not.

The term used to describe the emissions scandal which broke when the German car maker, VW, admitted to fitting more than 11 million of their VW cars with unlawful defeat devices leading to the first major emissions class action lawsuit in the United States.

We use this term to cover both owners of cars, and people who leased their cars.

A senior court of England and Wales dealing with high value and high importance non-criminal matters. This court ruled that it will be bound by findings of the KBA (the German motor authority) that defeat devices are present.