The UK’s first major mass litigation has begun, with about 100,000 motorists seeking redress from Volkswagen over the “dieselgate” emissions scandal.

Lawyers representing owners of VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars told the High Court the German firm misled consumers.

In 2015, VW admitted 11 million cars worldwide – including 1.2 million in the UK – were fitted with software that cut emission readings in tests.

But it denies deceiving regulators, despite rulings against it elsewhere.

The carmaker also says that, whatever the merits of the case, the UK drivers seeking compensation faced no losses.

Lawyers for the British claimants say VW installed software that was designed to detect when vehicles were being tested and switch engines to a cleaner mode in an attempt to “cheat clean air

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