I would be stunned if the Volkswagen emissions cheating is limited to Volkswagen. Volkswagen is not unique -- Cat and I think Cummins were busted a while back for the same thing. US automakers don't have a lot of exposure to diesels (except for pickup trucks) but my guess is that something similar was ubiquitous.
My thinking was that the Cat, Cummins, and VW cheating incidents all demonstrated that automakers had hit a wall on diesel emissions compliance -- the regulations had gone beyond what automakers could comply with and still provide consumers with an acceptable level of performance.
U.S. environmental regulators accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of using software that allowed illegal emissions in diesel-powered vehicles, the latest broadside in an unprecedented government crackdown on auto makers for alleged pollution transgressions.
The Environmental Protection Agency, days before the end of the Obama administration, delivered a violation notice to Fiat Chrysler accusing the auto maker of using illegal software that allowed 104,000 recent diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utilities and Ram pickup trucks to spew toxic emissions beyond legal limits. The affected vehicles have model years ranging between 2014 and 2016.
Regulatory compliance can be a royal pain in the *ss, but I comply with everything I know about and can figure out in my own business. There just is no percentage in cheating. Where regulation has made my business untenable, such as in certain parts of California, I have closed the affected parts of the business.
So if I see no good reason to cheat in my own business when the rents for doing so would flow directly into my own pocket, how in the hell do middle managers on a salary with little or no share in the marginal profitability gains of the company convince themselves to take these risks?