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Auto blogWed, 05 Jun 2013 16:30:00 EST
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.
A Nice, New Buick Aims For Middle Of The Road
Any time someone describes some portion of a car or a driving experience as being "nice," I want to either A) throttle them or B) run as fast and as far as I can from that vehicle. "Nice" is among the most insidious words in the English language - at best it's vague, and at worst, it conveys the exact opposite of its literal meaning. Yet it seems to be used with damnable frequency when it comes to verbally illustrating vehicles. "It looks really nice," or "These seats feel nice," or, heaven forefend, "It's got a nice ride," are all windy signifiers of absolutely nothing resembling a concrete opinion. "Nice" is the adjectival equivalent of meekly smiling and nodding your head.
Of course, I'm as guilty as the next person of having thrown English's least powerful descriptor around. There's even a chance that, rant aside, you'll catch me making nice in reviews to come. That's fine, but you should know that when you stumble upon such usage, past or future, that you've found a sentence in which I'm simply applying a bare minimum of effort to the task.
For a company with a long tradition of grand touring convertibles, it's almost unseemly that General Motors doesn't offer a properly relaxed four-seat convertible in North America. There's the Chevrolet Camaro, of course, but it's not big on rear-seat space and it doesn't offer that sort of serene demeanor that many open-air buyers crave. We're thinking of something more refined and, dare we say, elegant. Something a bit closer to the Opel Cascada.
The General's front-wheel drive convertible went on sale in Europe this year, and while it seemed like a natural fit for its Buick brand in America, it's never been sold here. That may be about to change, however. Back in June, CEO Dan Akerson hinted he'd like to see the Cascada available in the US, and now there's word from Edmunds that importation "could happen soon." That's according to an unnamed insider at the company.
It's almost unseemly that GM doesn't offer a relaxed four-seat convertible.