I stayed up late last night. Well, into the early hours of this morning to be precise.

Usually I reserve this for major sporting events. For example, I remember an 11-year-old me getting up to watch the 1986 Australian Grand Prix, hoping for my hero Nigel Mansell to clinch the Formula 1 title and watching in disbelief as his tyre blew on the main straight.

On this occasion, though, it wasn’t sport that kept me glued to my laptop screen, but Volkswagen, which has just suffered a blow-up of a very different kind.

Click here to read the latest news on the VW emissions scandal

The German manufacturer became embroiled in a massive scandal over fudged emissions tests during the weekend.

I bet some of the key European execs breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t blow up a few days earlier at the start of the Frankfurt motor show.

Their Volkswagen of America colleagues were not so fortunate. Yesterday in the docklands area of Brooklyn, New York there was an event to launch the facelifted 2016 US-spec Passat.

Previous iterations of the Passat fitted with the 2.0-litre TDI engine are at the heart of the emissions cheating scandal, but Volkswagen had flown in guests from all over the world, so couldn’t exactly cancel the shindig despite the emerging crisis.