I'm working on-site at Toyota's development facility in Ann Arbor right now, for the 2018 Avalon.
Automotive companies are HUGE. I do not expect that upper management at VW knew of the emissions deal. The powertrain group and their mid-level management knew. They sold it to their upper management how clean the vehicles were. Remember the dealers doing the handkerchief test on the tailpipes?
Living in Michigan, it was ridiculous when people called for Governor Snyder's head due to the Flint water crisis. Yeah, like he had anything to do with it, or had any knowledge. But people want vengeance. Not justice, but vengeance.