Volkswagen will pay Oklahoma $8.5 million as part of a settlement over false and deceptive advertising tied to the automaker's diesel emissions violations.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish approved the settlement on Wednesday after the state sued Volkswagen Group of America, former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG and the Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen brands in June 2016.
The state said the company intentionally installed illegal software in diesel vehicles to skirt laboratory emissions tests so vehicles would temporarily meet environmental standards.
Outside of the test lab and in real-world driving conditions, the emissions systems deactivated and emitted as much as nearly 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxide permitted in the U.S., the Oklahoma State Attorney General's Office said in a statement.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the lawsuit was necessary to uphold the state's consumer protection laws.
"VW purposefully misled consumers in one of the most egregious cases of false advertising the automobile industry has ever seen," Hunter said in the statement. "The company's fraudulent marketing practices deceived thousands of Oklahomans who believed they were buying a vehicle that was good for the environment. Our lawsuit was about holding the company accountable for these practices."
Michael Tolbert, a spokesman for Volkswagen Group of America, said the company's agreement with Oklahoma "resolves all claims asserted by the state related to the diesel matter and is another important step forward for our company and our stakeholders."
Funds from the settlement will be steered to uphold consumer protection laws in the state. The deal is separate from a previous $21 million settlement between the automaker, the Department of Justice and other states and private parties which covered a vehicle buyback program and up to $10,000 for those who purchased deficient vehicles.