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Auto blogSun, 17 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST
Buick teased the arrival of the China-market Envision last month and gave us a few specs, now it's teasing the midsize crossover's interior and features. Having said it will "set a new benchmark in terms of space, safety, performance and specifications," we're told that equipment like the heated leather steering wheel and Bose-sourced active noise cancellation are market firsts in the segment.
Elsewhere, light will shine on occupants through the panoramic roof during the day and via ice blue ambient lighting at night, and seating surfaces are being shown off with dual-stitched leather. Lane departure warning and parking assist help keep the bodywork in order, stop/start ignition fitted to the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 256 horsepower and 260 pound-feet will help keep fuel economy up. One more convenience for the model's core buyers: a tailgate that can be partially opened.
The Normal, Tour, Sport and Off-Road driving modes come courtesy of FlexRide, that last one - meant for extra-light-duty dirt work, naturally - appearing on a Buick for the first time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pondering whether to dramatically upscale a pair of airbag recalls on General Motors vehicles. The two existing campaigns, one launched in the fall of 2012 and the other in January of this year covered just 6,845 vehicles, but the government agency is considering whether to boost the recall to around 400,000 units.
The existing recalls involve the the closely related 2012 Buick Verano (shown) and Chevrolet Cruze sedans, along with Sonic and Camaro models. The root of the problem is a shorting bar in the inflator module of the steering-wheel-mounted airbag that may contact the primary state airbag terminal, a condition that could prevent deployment in an accident. Dealer technicians have been replacing the steering wheel airbag coils to fix the issue.
According to a post on NHTSA's website, the root cause, said to be a production issue, may not have been completely isolated - particularly for the second recall, which was for the Camaro. According to Automotive News, GM says it is cooperating with the government investigation, but won't say whether or not it knows the true origin of the problem.
General Motors and its Chinese partners have announced their second recall in the People's Republic this year, following a 2,653-unit recall of the Cadillac SRX earlier this year. This latest recall affects nearly 1.5 million cars built between 2006 and 2012. It's not explicitly stated, but as there's no movement from the US NHTSA, we suspect that the cars in question were all Chinese-built rather than imports.
The vast majority of the affected vehicles are Buick Excelles (pictured), with 1.2 million units being recalled over a faulty bracket that's meant to secure the fuel pump. The Excelles in question were built between 2006 and 2012, while an additional 250,000 Chevrolet Sail superminis, built between April 2009 and October 2011, are being recalled for a similar reason.
According to the PRC's Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the faulty bracket could crack and potentially cause a fuel leak.