If we even can't secure reliable data on car emissions then environmental regulators throughout the world are in trouble.
An obsession with metrics has led to a business culture in many industries that is more concerned with meeting targets than the wider good the measure was intended to represent.
For business ethics to be effective they must be pushed onto corporations against their will. Business ethics is democratic, not corporate.
Australia and New Zealand have unique legislative regimes protecting consumers, which differ from almost every other affected country.
Why do companies devote so much energy to ingenuity that causes harm?
Computers control much of an engine's performance these days. And it's surprisingly easy to tweak the software to bypass emissions controls, as done by Volkswagen.
Volkswagen's command and control approach has not helped its global response to the emissions scandal, with Australian customers left waiting for more than two weeks.
Governments are just as much to blame when it comes to letting car manufacturers get away with dodging regulation requirements, as the companies themselves.
Australia is literally years behind European and US vehicle emissions standards, allowing car-makers to sell more polluting cars.
It's likely that many people knew Volkswagen was cheating on emissions tests, including the engineers who built the 'defeat device'. But why did no-one at the car maker blow the whistle?
Why would anyone accept that corporations could possibly be responsible and ethical in the first place?
Volkswagen's emissions cheat didn't just anger owners and regulators; the cost to human health from violating air quality rules exceeds US$100 million.
Volkswagen's emissions deception and a case of alleged price-gouging around pharmaceuticals are part of a troubling trend of businesspeople who operate with little regard for ethics.
The impact of Volkswagen's deceit will spread far beyond its German headquarters. Customers and suppliers will face losses just as steep or steeper.
Can VW rebuild public trust? Its survival may depend on repairing the image damage caused by deception over clean diesels.
The scandal around the German car maker is all the more galling for a company that created arguably the best advertising in history.
The market reaction to the VW emissions scandal is just like that of a jilted lover.
Why the culture of a company is so important for combatting climate change and how this needs courageous leadership from the top.
If some good can come out of the Volkswagen scandal, it's that public will be more clued up about air pollution from cars.
The sensational confessions of the car-manufacturing giant have sent shockwaves through the industry and have wider implications for the whole corporate sector.