(Reuters) - Shares in European car manufacturers dropped on Wednesday, led by declines in major brands such as Volkswagen and BMW, ahead of possible lawsuits in Britain over emissions tests that could cost companies over $7.5 billion.

Lawyers for the claimants, owners of diesel vehicles, told London's High Court on Tuesday some of the world's biggest carmakers are facing 1.5 million lawsuits in Britain.

The claims highlight the ongoing fallout for automakers from a scandal that erupted in 2015 when Volkswagen admitted to using "defeat devices" to change diesel vehicles' emissions levels during testing.

On Tuesday, spokespeople for Mercedes Benz and U.S. carmaker Ford said they saw "no merit" in the claims.

The STOXX carmakers index was last down 0.24%, having fallen as much as 1% earlier. Volkswagen and BMW, down 0.6-0.7%, are among the worst performers of Germany's blue chip index. Luxury German manufacturer Porsche Holding was down over 5% as it traded ex-dividend.

($1 = 0.7848 pounds)

(Reporting by Tristan Veyet in Gdansk; Editing by Amanda Cooper and Louise Heavens)