Volkswagen has settled a lawsuit brought by a North Carolina man whose car was equipped with software that concealed excess diesel emissions right before the case was set to go to trial.
The trial could have featured testimony from current and former VW executives and would likely have caused a spate of bad press for the automaker regarding the Dieselgate scandal.
Before the settlement on Friday, Virginia state court judge, Bruce D. White, rejected a request by the German automaker to delay the trial because of “inflammatory” comments made by a lawyer representing the affected car owners.
David Doar bought a 2014 diesel Jetta for $23,700 and had rejected a settlement offer from a 2016 class-action agreement that would have reimbursed him for the value of the vehicle. He had sought $725,000 plus lawyers’ fees in legal filings.
Volkswagen said early this month that its case has been prejudiced by recent publicity about how the company financed research, in which monkeys were exposed to diesel exhaust.
Nearly all American owners of affected cars agreed to take part in a $25 billion settlement in 2016 that addressed claims from them, environmental regulators, states and dealers. The settlement included buyback offers and additional compensation for about 500,000 owners.