2010 Buick LaCrosse First Drive

2010 Buick LaCrosse First Drive

Among automotive journalists and other obsessive car types, the concept of the "public beta" form of vehicle release is a common one. Rather than testing a car to completion, manufacturers sometimes let a car loose that's only about 85% finished, letting the public find the rest of the flaws and quirks. Not so with the 2010 Buick LaCrosse.

That was nearly the case, however. About 300-400 examples of the all-new 2010 LaCrosse were shipped last month, but further deliveries are being held until GM can chase down some lingering quality issues, according to vice president of U.S. sales Mark LaNeve.

As usual, GM isn't releasing details of the "quality issues" it's concerned with. During Motor Authority's first drive of the 2010 LaCrosse, Susan Docherty made it clear that the rollout of the car - which hadn't yet received a solid date - would only take place when production of the car was up to snuff, so today's announcement means only that GM may have jumped the gun with the August shipments, not that plans for the LaCrosse have changed.

The delay may not be all bad, says LaNeve, as GM still needs to get the word out that the LaCrosse is not business as usual for the brand, but a completely new direction. As we noted in our first drive review back in mid-July, and as many other outlets are beginning to realize, the LaCrosse isn't just the equal of its competition - in most cases, it's better.

[ABC News]