Several car manufacturers are facing fines in the UK due to possible manipulation of emissions values in diesel vehicles.

A total of 1.5 million lawsuits have been filed against some of the world's largest car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Ford, lawyers for the plaintiffs explained at a hearing at London's High Court on Tuesday. The British owners of cars with diesel engines accuse the manufacturers of cheating in emissions tests. The legal disputes could cost the car manufacturers at least six billion pounds (7.1 billion euros), the lawyers calculated.

Mercedes-Benz - which is facing around 300,000 lawsuits - said in a statement: "We continue to believe that the lawsuits against Mercedes-Benz are without merit". The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer will vigorously defend itself with the necessary legal means. A Ford spokesman said: "We see no basis for these claims and will defend ourselves vigorously against them. Our vehicles and engines comply with all applicable emissions regulations."

The "Dieselgate" scandal unleashed by Volkswagen in 2015 has already cost the Wolfsburg-based carmaker more than 32 billion euros in retrofits, fines and legal costs. In 2022, Volkswagen agreed to pay 193 million pounds to settle claims from around 91,000 British drivers without admitting liability.

(Report by Sam Tobin, written by Ralf Banser, edited by Birgit Mittwollen. If you have any queries, please contact the editorial team at (for politics and the economy) or (for business and markets).)