Top-down security

Thursday, 27 November 2003, 3:14 PM EST

I’m sure the look on my face was incredulous, but the inspector was resolute. “Yep,” he said, “the ball joint.”

And thus it was that the Commonwealth of Virginia decreed that my nearly new car was unsafe to drive on public roads. I called the BMW dealership and conversed about this new development. On the way home from the dealership, having left my formerly beloved vehicle to have its entire front suspension replaced, I directed my rental car into an Acura dealership. Four-figure repair fees were at the top of my mind.

Before long, we were tooling around in a snazzy new Acura TL, when the salesman pointed out the hands-free options on the car’s communications menu. “It uses Bluetooth,” he noted. “That means the car will sync with your phone, understand your spoken commands, and make your calls for you.” He said it would also act as a hands-free speaker phone.

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