What Does This Button Do?

With LED headlights powerful enough to guide a 747 jumbo jet through San Francisco fog, the 2013 Acura RLX has another worthy feature more fitting to the aviation world. The Acura's Assist button located in the upper ceiling of the RLX is a fairly standard feature in luxury cars with advanced roadside assistance connectivity.

What's unique is the button's missile-launching arming switch cover. Occupants must first reach up and flip the cover open to access the button. It's impossible to do so without wanting to hit Assist and make rocket launching noises like you're sitting in a fighter jet's cockpit about to send a barrage of missiles into the distance. 

OK, back to being grounded in reality: AcuraLink's integrated emergency response system monitors airbag deployment, wheel speed, brake usage and velocity. The system automatically calls Acura's emergency response center when an accident is detected. The Assist button comes into play when the call center needs to be reached manually in the case of an emergency that wouldn't automatically trigger a response. If necessary, the plastic cover can be broken through to use the Assist feature.

The RLX's onboard cellular transceiver connects with the subscription-based AcuraLink for emergency response and one-touch-button roadside assistance, which won't work if you're not a paid subscriber of the service.

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Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.  Email Joe