President Joe Biden, vowing to "do right by U.S. auto workers," launched an investigation this week into whether Chinese-made vehicles could be used to spy on Americans, a far-off threat given the few such cars on U.S. roads now.

The White House announced the probe Thursday citing national-security risks about "connected" cars creating "new avenues for espionage and sabotage."

Biden is campaigning for re-election, and U.S. automakers have voiced fear bordering on panic about having to compete at home with Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). An auto lobbying group recently said this could cause an "extinction event."