The four-day-old federal government shutdown is already being felt by the auto industry and the impact could force manufacturers, among other things to delay the launch of some of their newest vehicles.
The highly politicized budget impasse has forced about 800,000 federal workers to be furloughed, halting many services described as "nonessential." But that could be a matter of debate to the auto industry.
(Read more: Despite shutdown, US debt downgrade unlikely: S&P)
Among those services currently on hold are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing programs used to determine the mileage ratings of new vehicles as well as field crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
That could cause headaches as the investigation continues into precisely why a Tesla Model S battery car caught fire earlier this week in a Seattle suburb. Normally NHTSA researchers would be working alongside Tesla investigators to determine the cause of what has been tentatively blamed on road debris puncturing part of the sedan's 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
(More from The Detroit Bureau: Tesla fire gives chills to investors)
In turn, were the government to discover a serious flaw in the Model S design, that might lead to a recall or other service action.