Car manufacturers face UK dieselgate lawsuits worth at least $7.6 billion

Some of the world’s biggest automakers are facing 1.5 million lawsuits in Britain for allegedly cheating emissions tests, which could cost them at least 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion), claimants’ lawyers told London’s High Court on Tuesday.

The lawsuits, filed by diesel car owners, show the ongoing effects for automakers from a 2015 scandal in which Volkswagen accepted using “defeat devices” to manipulate diesel vehicles’ pollution levels during testing.

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Furthermore, it is alleged that automakers Mercedes-Benz and Ford, both of which deny the allegations, misled customers about certain vehicles’ compliance with nitrogen oxide emissions standards.

A representative for Mercedes-Benz, which is facing about 300,000 claims, stated in a statement, “We continue to believe that the claims against Mercedes-Benz are without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves against them or any group action with the necessary legal means.”

A Ford representative stated, We see no merit in these claims and are robustly defending against them. Our vehicles and engines meet all applicable emissions requirements.”

Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” scandal has cost the automaker over 32 billion euros ($34 billion) in vehicle repairs, penalties and legal fees.

Without any admission of liability, the German company agreed to pay 193 million pounds in 2022 to resolve claims from almost 91,000 British drivers.