News Briefs: Feb. 20, 2012

Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • As Mazda's new CX-5 compact crossover goes on sale, the automaker has teamed up with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment to cross-promote its vehicle and "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," which opens in theaters March 2, said the automaker. The 30- and 45-second ads feature a cartoonized Mazda CX-5 traveling through the film's imaginary “Truffula Valley,” as the Seuss characters describe the benefits of Mazda's SkyActiv engine technology.
  • Once the CX-5 goes on sale, Mazda will discontinue the CX-7 crossover for the U.S., according to Automotive News. The automaker stopped producing the CX-7 for the U.S. in December and is currently selling down its remaining inventory, a Mazda spokeswoman told Automotive News. The CX-5 will be more profitable than the CX-7, says Mazda's CEO; he expects to produce and sell 160,000 CX-5s globally a year.
  • Attorneys-general from five states, including California and Texas, have asked for a delay in a settlement for a class-action lawsuit regarding Honda Civic Hybrids, according to The Detroit Bureau. The case involves the stated fuel-economy figures of the Honda Civic Hybrid versus its real-life fuel efficiency, which plaintiffs say translates into higher fuel costs and lower trade-in values than originally expected for the hybrid owners. So far, the settlement would give 200,000 owners about $100 to $200 in cash and coupons worth $500 to $1,500 toward the purchase of another Honda. The delay comes after Honda lost a small-claims lawsuit over the same issue from an individual owner who circumvented the class-action lawsuit.
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