A federal judge refused to step down from a “clean diesel” fraud trial against Volkswagen next week, calling the plaintiffs’ concerns of bias an “abrupt about-face” from their previous arguments.

Lawyers for 10 plaintiffs pursuing fraud damages had filed a motion to disqualify the Northern District of California judge, Charles Breyer, based on “concerns about appearance of bias.” They cited his ruling this month to make the trial’s first phase, slated to begin Monday, a bench trial focused on the fairness of the “clean diesel” settlements, the same ones that he approved.

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