Why The TLX Might Be The Most Important Acura Ever

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Matt and Travis are in Budapest on a secret mission for the CIA, so I'll be bringing the magic shift action to you this week. Oh, the fun we'll have.


1st Gear: The TLX Is A Really Big Deal

Grumpy and under-caffeinated on Detroit Auto Show coffee, I once said the Acura TLX was evidence the brand was slowly committing suicide. I stand by the fact that it's a lazy design and not the bold product statement they desperately need, but Acura sees the car as the key to their revival.

As such, they're giving it the biggest ad campaign in Acura's history, according to Automotive News.

Mike Accavitti, Acura's brand manager, hopes the car and its big-budget campaign will help revive a brand image that has gone stale. "It's not like we have a bad reputation that we need to overcome," he said. "It's just we have a nondescript reputation."

The TLX's ad campaign will be Acura's biggest ever, surpassing last year's launch campaign for the redesigned MDX, Acura's top seller. "TLX is a brand-new nameplate," Accavitti said. "We have to tell consumers what a TLX is, and we have to spend more."


The ads will highlight the car's technology and "sporty performance." Isn't that the same as all the other luxury car ads?

2nd Gear: Look How Nice This Hyundai Dealership Is


There was a time when a Hyundai dealership wasn't an especially nice place to be, a place where salesmen slung cheap Korean econoboxes at people who couldn't afford much else. Hyundai isn't that kind of company anymore, so they're revamping how their dealerships look worldwide, especially in emerging markets.

Automotive News says the new global dealership design features "an open, airy showroom with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass topped by a bronze-colored roof structure." U.S. dealers got revamped a few years back with that blue cube roof design, so they're not the priority at the moment, but it will happen eventually.


3rd Gear: What, You Thought The GM Recalls Were Over?


We didn't get to this one on Friday, but that evening General Motors announced the recall of about 269,000 more vehicles for a variety of issues.

They include 202,000 Saturn VUEs from 2002-2004 for ignition issues, linked to two possible crashes, about 48,000 2013 Cadillac ATS-es ad Buick Encore for seat belt problems, and more. Click the link to see the full list.


4th Gear: GM Loses Bid To Dismiss New Death Lawsuit


The reason the world even knows about the ignition switch defect in GM cars is because it came out during a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman killed in a Chevrolet Cobalt crash in 2010.

The parents of Brooke Melton sued GM and settled for a reported $5 million in 2013, but now they seek to withdraw the settlement and sue again based on all the new information that has come out in the last year.


GM sought to block that new lawsuit, but on Saturday, they weren't successful. From Reuters:

GM had argued that the case should be dismissed because it had already settled the Meltons' claims over Brooke Melton's death. But Tanksley said on Saturday that the case could move forward, according to GM.

The company said it was disappointed in the decision and continued to believe the lawsuit was blocked by terms of the 2013 settlement. "GM will review the court's order once it is entered and will evaluate its options," spokesman Pat Morrissey said in an email.


5th Gear: Oh Hey Look, More Recalls


These recalls come from Volkswagen, who are recalling more than 189,000 Tiguan SUVs in North America for potential stalling. Again from Reuters:

The German automaker said gas bubbles may form in the fuel system in the affected vehicles from model years 2009 through 2014 when winterized fuel with high vapor pressures is used in warmer areas or during months with higher temperatures.

That could lead to reduced fuel pump performance and pressure, potentially resulting in vehicle stalling and could lead to an accident. VW said no accident or injuries related to the issue have been reported.


Get your Tiguans squared away, all of you.


On this day in 1973, "American Graffiti," a nostalgic coming-of-age tale set on the streets and steeped in the car-centric culture of suburban California, is released in theaters across the United States. The movie went on to become a sleeper hit.



Neutral: So Can The TLX Save Acura?

Is the TLX a solid product that will appeal to Acura's base, or does it not go far enough?

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