New shield

big shieldThe NHTSA declared today that it found no defect in the Model S, after investigators spent the past few months staring at the undercarriage, confused. For investors, this no-defect announcement swats the mosquito that’s been buzzing around the room since last fall. An elemental design flaw would have sent Tesla back not just to the drawing board, but to Staples — to buy a whole new drawing board. Tesla says it’s now installing a new anti-scare apparatus on the Model S at the factory, and will offer retrofits on request. Like the original Tesla shield from the Cold War, this is all about phantom risk. Unfounded spooks tend to dog us in the United States, you might have noticed. Consider the recent Toyota acceleration farce, the Audi acceleration farce of the mid-80s and the Chevy Silverado gas tank farce of the early-90s. We’re not award-winning drivers, but we’re repeat gold medalists in the 500-meter worry and the 1000-meter sue.

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