SCOTS are pursuing a class action law suit expected to be the "highest value legal action" the nation has seen over claims Mercedes customers were misled about the emissions their vehicles produced.

Thompsons Solicitors, one of Scotland's leading legal firms, says they have already been contacted by dozens of Mercedes owners who are keen to pursue legal action through the Scottish courts and are already gathering evidence.

Mercedes-Benz is accused of fitting vehicles with similar technology used by Volkswagen, illegal under EU law in a separate dieselgate emissions scandal affecting thousands of customers in Scotland

In September 2015, Volkswagen Group announced that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, were affected, prompting a flurry of litigation around the world.

The claims, expected to run into multiple millions, surround allegations that Mercedes-Benz allegedly misled customers about the levels of emissions produced by certain models of its cars and vans, sold between 2007 and 2018.

Action being pursued in England alleges the issue affected 500,000 diesel vehicles. As current and former owners of affected vehicles legal experts say that as many as one million UK consumers could be eligible to claim.

Mercedes-Benz has already been fined £776m in a settlement with German prosecutors after 774,000 vehicles were recalled in 2018. In Britain, some drivers have received letters from Mercedes-Benz recalling certain vehicles for software updates which some lawyers claim are for the same 'offence'.

HeraldScotland:

Thompsons are citing a ruling from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, which found that Mercedes put "cheat software" in diesel engines that limited emissions readings.

Senior litigator Joel Shaw who heads up Thompsons dedicated vehicle emissions unit believes that given the value of the cars involved this will be the most high value law suit in Scottish legal history.

He said: "Mercedes diesel cars and commercial vehicles such as vans are a luxury purchase that hard working owners have saved tooth and nail to afford. For many who have bought or leased one of these vehicles to now be told their car’s value has been slashed is devastating. “The team which I lead are experts in handling mass litigation against car makers."

The firm is moving to the next stage of its case on behalf of 1,600 Volkswagen owners in what it describes as the current largest class action suit in Scottish legal history.

The firm hopes to win millions of pounds in compensation for drivers embroiled in the dieselgate scandal which comes in the wake of an English ruling that found that VW fitted a group of cars made using EA189 engines between 2007 and 2015 with 'defeat devices', which did not accurately reflect the volume of emissions the vehicles produced.

Some ninety thousand motorists who had affected VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars began action for compensation following the Dieselgate revelations five years ago.

Such devices detect when a car is taking part in an emissions test and alter the car's performance to make it pass. Other claims have zeroed in on the AdBlue technology in Mercedes vehicles.

Mr Shaw added: "The expertise developed by our pursuit of VW is invaluable when dealing with Mercedes.

“Given the value of the vehicles involved I have little doubt that our class action against Mercedes will become Scotland’s most high value class action law suit.

"The financial level of damages due is very substantial. Owners deserve to be fully compensated by one of the worlds most renowned luxury car makers."

Law firm PGMBM filed papers at the Liverpool High Court in may saying Mercedes-Benz allegedly misled customers about the levels of emissions produced by certain models of its cars and vans, sold between 2007 and 2018.

Two other law firms, Leigh Day and Slater and Gordon, are also investigating potential group claims against Mercedes-Benz over emissions. These claims would relate to BlueTec and AdBlue vehicles respectively.

In January, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz warned of a €1.5bn hit to 2019 profits because of legal costs related to the diesel emissions scandal.

The German group said it expected a 50% drop to €5.6bn in earnings before tax and interest, excluding legal expenses, the biggest slide since the height of the 2008 global financial crisis.

More than 200 institutional investors filed a claim in Germany in January seeking €900m in damages over the group's failure to disclose the use of emissions-cheating devices, news of which led to a share price fall.

A Daimler spokesman said: “We believe these claims are without merit, and will vigorously defend against any group action.”