Re: Natural Law v Governmental Law
First of all, Volkswagen, together with some other European car manufacturers, actually lobbied IN FAVOR of tightening these emission norms. That is because they viewed their ability to pass these stringent tests as a competitive advantage over less technologically sophisticated manufacturers from lower-cost countries. That alone is why I have absolutely zero sympathy for Volkswagen in this case.
Second, there is one huge caveat in what you said - these tests cannot be passed by a reasonably designed DIESEL engine. But cars do not have to be diesel, and petrol-fueled cars can pass the emission tests fair and square. In fact just 40 years ago very few people in Europe owned a diesel-fueled car. To this day, few people do in the US (sub-5%, IIRC). The usage of diesel for ordinary passenger vehicles only took off after European governments scared by the oil price rise started promoting its development*. Then the European car companies, being the only ones with this new "nice diesel" technology, started promoting it worldwide. Volkswagen are very much promoting diesel in their marketing. Which is why my sympathy for them is not just zero, but actually negative.
*Just look at this graph and let the implications sink in: http://www.turnermason.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Graph_Page_1.jpg