Jalopnik has a good round-up of how the shutdown could hurt the auto industry. Among the potential problems:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will not be issuing new recalls, and it won't be updating its website with manufacturers' recalls.
- The agency also will not conduct crash-safety tests, which could delay new models from getting to market if the shutdown drags on for a while.
- The Environmental Protection Agency will not be giving out emissions certificates for some new models that have yet to go through testing, which, again, would only cause severe industry harm if the shutdown is lengthy.
- There's also the possibility that economic uncertainty brought on by government instability could affect consumers' car-buying decisons (and the million or so furloughed workers aren't likely to be looking for a new ride with government-mandated free time).