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Auto blogThu, 21 Mar 2013 07:59:00 EST
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued recalls for the 2013 Buick LaCrosse and 2013 Cadillac SRX due to a problem with the software for the transmission controller. On about 27,000 SRX and LaCrosse models, the transmission could accidentally be shifted to Sport mode, which would reduce the amount of engine braking drivers experience.
NHTSA says this could increase the risk of a crash, but, fortunately, the required fix is simply an update to the software.
While we're on the subject of General Motors vehicle recalls, a small number (48) of compressed natural gas versions of the 2011 Chevrolet Express are also being recalled for a potential risk of fire or explosion. Yikes. Both official recall notices are posted below.
Ignored On Arrival, But Coming On Strong
An image exists out there that perfectly conveys the fate we thought would befall the Buick Encore after its world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The shot shows the just-unveiled Encore on stage, basking in the glow of spotlights but surrounded by a large display area that's bereft of both cars and people. Two journalists are sitting on a couch over to the side, both facing the Encore but ignoring it as they inspect their swag, and a solitary custodial engineer pushes a vacuum back and forth across a sea of gray carpet.
Like a kid with his birthday cake at a party no one came to, this little crossover's debut was largely, almost cruelly, ignored. Who can blame us, though? Two shows ago, the Motor City's main stage welcomed the redesigned Aston Martin-esque Ford Fusion, the 3 Series-assassin ATS from Cadillac and the return of Dodge to the small car game with the Dart. A fourth model for the wayward Buick brand, especially one so arguably un-Buick in form and function, did not seem to deserve the attention paid to its peers that year.
Back in September, General Motors promised nine new or refreshed models for its Buick and GMC brands within 12 months, and while we've already seen what the updated 2014 GMC Sierra will look like, we're now getting our first look at what appears to be the facelifted 2014 Buick LaCrosse. Judging by a set of spy shots posted on Autohome showing a Chinese-market model, the updated sedan is getting a pretty big makeover, including a completely redesigned interior and a refreshed exterior.
From the outside, all of the usual midcycle updates have been made to the LaCrosse, including new lights and fascias. The new front end features a larger, reshaped seven-sided grille, LED-trimmed headlights and Buick's signature portholes are now mounted on the side edges of the hood to be more visible. The rear view has similarly small yet refined changes such as the new decklid with a chrome brow that stretches the full width of the car, to a more squared-off rear fascia with exhaust outlets pushed out to the corners. From the single shot we can see, the LaCrosse's new rump looks very similar to the Hyundai Equus.
The second-generation LaCrosse helped reestablish Buick as a near-premium automaker with its interior quality, and the next model could very well up the stakes even more. The new cabin design ditches the wraparound wood trim on the instrument panel and door panels for a smoother, more contemporary look. While it's hard to make out all of the changes, we can instantly see that the center stack is now more upright with fewer buttons, but the biggest news might be the cabin technology the 2014 LaCrosse might offer. Checking out the shot of the center console, we see what looks to be a pad similar to the handwriting recognition technology used by Audi, which would make this a first for GM.