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2004 Acura TL is First North American Vehicle to Feature A Standard Hands-Free Phone System Torrance, Calif. - 9/3/2003

The 2004 Acura TL performance luxury sedan will feature a Bluetooth hands-free phone system as standard equipment when it goes on sale in October at Acura dealers nationwide. The HandsFreeLink™ system enables a Bluetooth wireless connection between compatible mobile phones and the TL, allowing hands-free calls to be made and received from the car. With legislation pending in many states to ban the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving, the HandsFreeLink system is a timely addition to the TL's already considerable list of standard luxury features.

"We think the HandsFreeLink system is the most effective, most convenient hands-free vehicle phone system available," said Tom Elliott, Executive Vice President, Auto Operations. "And we are proud to offer it as standard equipment on all TLs."

HandsFreeLink utilizes a Bluetooth wireless interface with compatible mobile phones (Bluetooth-enabled phones with a hands-free profile), enabling drivers to place and receive calls

using the TL's voice recognition and audio interfaces. Compatible phones are available from leading manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericcson and Siemens. Unlike some wireless protocols, Bluetooth does not require line of site, so phones can be stored in backpacks, briefcases or in a pocket inside the TL's passenger cabin while connected to the HandsFreeLink system.

The system's voice recognition function is controlled by two buttons, labeled "talk" and "back" respectively, mounted on the steering wheel. The "talk" button is used to answer incoming calls, start the voice recognition process and to confirm system commands. The "back" button is used to end a call and to scroll back through system commands. The system's microphone is located in the overhead console and shared with the TL's optional navigation system.

Phone information is shown on two displays within the cabin, both of which can be easily seen from the driver's seat. When HandsFreeLink is activated, an icon appears on the center console LCD indicating that the system is ready to use. When HandsFreeLink is in use, the Multi-Info Display, located on the instrument panel beneath the fuel gauge, can show phone signal strength, battery level, phone mode and the status of the call (dialing, phone number of incoming call, etc.).

After an initial "pairing" process, which links the HandsFreeLink system with the driver's mobile phone, the system links with that phone whenever it is turned on within 30 feet of the car. To place a call the driver pushes the "talk" button, says "call" or "dial," then says the number to be called or indicates an entry (for example, "Matt at Work") stored in the system's phone book. HandsFreeLink confirms the number to be dialed on the Multi-Info Display and through the TL's audio system, and reads back the available options. The user can then place the call by pressing and holding the "talk" button or by saying, "call" or "dial."

The innovative HandsFreeLink system includes an assortment of features that make it easy and intuitive to use. These include:

  • A phone book capable of storing up to 50 phone numbers
  • A "transfer" feature that allows calls to be transferred from a mobile phone to the HandsFreeLink system or vice versa while the call is in progress
  • The ability to select a male or female voice for prompts
  • Linkage with the navigation system that enables hands-free dialing to over 7million points of interest
  • A security mode for privacy

Like all Acura models, the 2004 TL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.

For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please visit www.acuranews.com.