A LEGAL firm is preparing to launch a class action for thousands of customers in Scotland against Volkswagen over the “dieselgate” emissions scandal.

Volkswagen Group announced in September 2015 that 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, were affected, which prompted a flurry of litigation around the world. The scandal has seen VW pay out more than 30 billion euros (£26 billion) in fines, recall costs and civil settlements, and has led to criminal charges by German prosecutors against current and former senior employees.

Law firm Slater and Gordon said legislation enabling group litigation in Scotland is expected to come into force this summer, and it is gearing up to run a claim on behalf of Scottish customers.

The firm represented more than 70,000 motorists in a case in England and Wales, and is acting for more than 2500 in Scotland.

Stuart Cochran, of Slater and Gordon, said: “Customers in Scotland will soon have the chance to hold Volkswagen properly to account for one of the greatest environmental and consumer scandals in recent history. This case will have huge significance. It will show Volkswagen – and all large corporations – they are not above the law.

“We believe at least 100,000 customers might be eligible to join a claim and this could mean VW is liable for tens of millions of pounds of compensation.”

Last month, a High Court judge in England ruled that Volkswagen installed unlawful “defeat devices” in thousands of its diesel vehicles and ordered the firm to pay more than £3m in legal fees.

A Volkswagen spokesperson said: “The Volkswagen Group has consistently said that there is no legal basis for the claims.

“Scottish customers, like others in the UK, have not suffered any loss or damage as a result of the NOx issue.

“The Volkswagen Group will defend itself robustly throughout the course of any action.”