[...]Engineers: struggle for ages.
In pub: Well, we could enable a special testing mode to pass the tests?
In work: Shall we do this -> up the chain. Original context is half forgotten. Approved.
Changes made. Software specs made. Timebomb implemented.
I'd go one step further and suggest that the pub has people from several auto manufacturers and they realise that the problem is common in the industry, therefore would work out well if everyone used the same solution. This way, when the scandal comes to light, the explanation is "everyone is doing it" and it's best to protect the industry (under the threat of job losses) by changing regulations elsewhere. It's not too different from the LIBOR rates rigging by some UK banks.
I read in the Guardian that there will be re-testing of emissions to ensure that now the numbers will be right. If a few million cars from several manufacturers go up one or two tax tiers and the car manufacturers pay a fine, it's a decent result.