Hyundai and Kia under Fire for Potential Emissions Tampering

In mid-2022, German authorities raided eight Hyundai and Kia offices over allegations that the carmakers used defeat devices intended to cheat regulatory emission tests. The offices were located in Germany and Luxembourg and a total of around 140 investigators searched the locations for evidence relevant to the use of the illegal devices.

According to authorities, approximately 210,000 vehicles are affected. The South Korean carmakers sold the defeat device-equipped vehicles until the year 2020.

A Hyundai and Kia spokesperson confirmed the raids. They also promised to cooperate with authorities. The raids are an isolated incident as both carmakers have not manufactured or sold any diesel-powered vehicle in the United States.

Additionally, authorities also investigated Delphi Technologies (now a part of BorgWarner Inc.) and Bosch. The two companies were identified as the alleged suppliers of the software used for the cheat devices. BorgWarner is cooperating with authorities while a Bosch GmbH representative said the company already settled matters in 2019 with prosecutors in Stuttgart.

While Hyundai and Kia are not the first carmakers to be involved in a diesel emissions scandal, it’s the first time South Korean manufacturers were discovered to have allegedly used cheat devices.

Volkswagen and the Dieselgate scandal

The Volkswagen Group was the first carmaker to become embroiled in the diesel emissions scam. US authorities allegedly discovered that the German carmaker used defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles sold in the US automotive market. The devices temporarily reduce emissions to help vehicles pass regulatory testing.

Although the vehicle appears clean and safe during the entirety of such tests, when it is outside testing conditions and driven on real roads, it emits voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx), pollutants with adverse effects not only on the environment but on human health as well. Thus, Volkswagen deceived their US customers into believing the vehicles they purchased were emissions-compliant.

Authorities ordered the VW Group to recall the hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles. Additionally, the carmaker continues to pay off fines and fees and has even entered into settlement agreements.

At present, Volkswagen has been transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) and is getting rid of diesel engines.

However, VW isn’t the only carmaker accused of using defeat devices; there are others on the list. Mercedes-Benz, Vauxhall, and BMW are some of the manufacturers that allegedly used defeat devices and violated emissions regulations. As such, there are millions, probably billions, of vehicles out on roads all over the world releasing high levels of NOx.

What does NOx do?

Nitrogen oxide or NOx is a family of pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric acid (NO). NOx is essential in the formation of acid rain and smog. It also produces another pollutant known as ground-level ozone, which, given enough time, weakens vegetation.

NOx is dangerous because you won’t know that it already got into your system. Tiny particles can get into your lungs and permeate into the other organs in your body. So, aside from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, or a decline in cognitive abilities leading to dementia, exposure to NOx can also cause serious health impacts.

If you’ve been exposed to low levels of NOx emissions, the common health impacts include nausea and vomiting, asthma and respiratory issues such as bronchitis and emphysema, pulmonary oedema (fluid buildup in your lungs), and corroded teeth.

Exposure to high levels of nitrogen oxides can cause life-changing impacts:

  • Chronic lung function reduction
  • Spasm of the vocal cords (also known as laryngospasm)
  • Cancer
  • Asphyxiation
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Premature death

In recent years, various reports have identified air pollution as the leading cause of premature deaths across the world. The annual numbers reach hundreds of thousands and are expected to increase if poor air quality persists. This makes air pollution more dangerous than cigarette smoking and drugs and alcohol.

The case of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a young girl who lived around London’s South Circular Road, is the first premature death in the UK linked to air pollution. Ella died after a severe asthma attack, and after months of consecutive visits to hospitals and emergency rooms. An inquest was ordered and in December 2020, the coroner officially confirmed air pollution as the primary cause of the nine-year-old’s early death.

Ella and her mother, Rosamund, lived in one of the most polluted places in London, where emissions levels are always high.

Incidents like this – and the adverse health impacts of exposure to NOx emissions, are more than enough reasons for you to bring your carmaker to court. Authorities believe that manufacturers embroiled in the diesel emissions fiasco should be held responsible for their lies; for subjecting affected car owners to financial, environmental, health-related, and mental inconveniences. Filing a diesel claim should be your priority.

What’s my diesel claim about?

A diesel claim is a legal action that you file against your car manufacturer for their use of illegal defeat devices. You can work with an emissions expert and file one on your own or join a GLO or group litigation order (similar to a US class-action lawsuit). If you are successful, you will receive compensation from your carmaker.

Whichever way you decide to go; you should first visit and verify your eligibility to file a claim. They have all the information you need to start your emission claim. Visit them now.

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