Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda had voluntarily agreed to recognize California's vehicle emissions standards, clashing with the White House.
The election underscores the challenges unions still face in organizing workers in the South.
At stake are 1,700 potential members and a major foothold in an area not friendly to unions.
The cute-as-a-bug car carried everyone from Hitler to hippies.
The last Beetle will be produced next summer, VW announced.
Martin Winterkorn resigned soon after the scandal became public in 2015.
BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen have distanced themselves from the studies or apologized.
States can spend as much as 15 percent of their payout to subsidize construction of public charging stations for electric cars.
“This crime ... attacks and destroys the very foundation of our economic system,” the judge said.
Amazingly, the van can reach speeds of 100 mph.
"VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts.”
"Dieselgate" was already expected to end 60 lives early in the U.S. alone.
VW has paid a deservedly high price for its emission scandal, with more than $20 billion in total fines, having suffered