Re: The Volkswagen saga
It is a version of something I have noticed in the interaction between engineers and economists (used broadly here). Engineers tend to not have any agenda when doing calculations or presenting possibilities, but while in the economists world every thing has. So when an engineer provides and estimate, or presents any other kind of work, to an economist, the economist thinks it is something that can be negotiated. Not of course realizing that he or she is trying to negotiate with the laws of physics. "No, I can't both make this solid steel and float."
This of course works the other way. When doing their calculations engineers take data presented to them as fact, even though they come from economists. Not realizing that when they calculate that something will be too expensive the supplier had added 200% on the prize on all building cost to have some room for negotiating. This of course screws both parties as it won't be built, cheating the engineer of the contract and the supplier of supplying the goods needed.