It is very shameful that Volkswagen decided to put money and profits above and beyond the lives of human beings. Volkswagen's actions were extremely unethical and despicable. They should face major punitive damage to prevent themselves and other auto manufacturers from committing this same kind of atrocity in the future.
It is sad that the main goal of the automotive industry is to make money by any means necessary, even at the expense of the paying public. We see it time and time again where recalls are not pursued by the company until investigations are completed by the government and they are forced to recall damaged vehicles. They are willing to pay multi million dollar fines rather than do the thing in the first place. In the meantime, it is our lives on the line.
While toting the banner of low emissions, Volkswagen was cheating the system the whole time. By installing a "defeat device" they made it possible for their vehicles to pass the EPA's emissions tests when the should have scored poorly or in some cases failed entirely . This is a direct reflection of the car industry's ethics as the thought in many minds is, "If VW got away with cheating for so long what are other companies getting away with?"
Governments have made it almost impossible to build a car, given all of the regulations that they have to comply with. I can't really blame the car companies for doing all that they think they have to in order to actually put a car on the market. They can only do so much. Cars still have to be affordable for the people.