Please don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting any other companies are engaging in similar practices, but let's look at just how 'opportune' it might be for some companies to use similar practices to what VW™ allegedly used in some of their diesel vehicles.
Software is computer code, right? Lines of code can do many things, and many lines of code can also be rather difficult to discern overall 'integrity' and 'honor' and similar attributes, because computer code is confusing to anyone but a programmer (or perhaps a computer).
In addition, when consumers purchase products with computer chips and associated software (code), they have no idea what that code 'instructs' the product to do, beyond what they would 'expect' it to do, that is.
For example, how difficult would it be for a programmer to design planned-obsolescence or failure into certain products or parts of products, so they would 'fail' at a particular time (like a month after the manufacturer's warranty is over!)?
How would consumers know, unless everyone who owned a particular product experienced exactly the same things, and somehow the news got out. But software can be instructed to 'randomize' the fail-dates so they're not too 'suspicious', I would expect.
What kind of regulations or assurance measures are in place to prevent these tactics from being used?
How do consumers know they are not being exploited for profit by some companies (or those 'rogue employees') that might also be 'capable of playing that game' with software?