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The Buick Cascada Has Two Sets of Taillights

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: the Buick Cascada has two sets of taillights. In fact, it has taillights hidden under its taillights. It sounds like I’m making this up, or I’m playing some sort of word game, but I’m not. It literally has taillights under its taillights.

Here’s the longer explanation. Federal regulations prevent automakers from sticking a vehicle’s brake lights on a movable piece of body work. This makes sense: The theory is if you’ve got your trunk or your tailgate up because you’re hauling a large object, and your brake lights are mounted on your trunk or tailgate, no one will see them if you slow down. So nearly all cars mount their brake lights on a fixed body panel.

There are, however, a few exceptions, and the Buick Cascada is one of them. The Cascada has a massive trunk, because it must hold the car’s convertible top when it’s in place — so there’s no room for a set of brake lights mounted to fixed bodywork. The result? When you open the Buick Cascada’s trunk, you lift up its taillights — and, according to the government, that’s not allowed. So Buick got creative.

In fact, Buick got very creative. Owing to this rule, Buick decided the best course of action would be to mount a second set of taillights under the trunk, which turn on when the trunk is opened. This is sort of like the Audi Q5 and Lincoln MKC, which have additional taillights in the bumper for when their tailgate is opened — but while the second set of lights is always visible in those cars, it’s not visible in the Cascada unless the trunk is actually opened. Open the trunk and you’ll see Buick’s compliance with the rule in the form of a second set of brake lights, sitting right there to continue the illumination you lose when the trunk is up. Most people would never notice this, of course, but I think it’s a neat little piece of design on an unusual little car. Find a Buick Cascada for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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14 COMMENTS

    • Yes just for tail lights. You are never going to drive around with your hood open, but a lot of people drive with the trunk open to haul things they shouldn’t

  1. Another addition to my automotive neuroticism; Finding cars with ‘moveable taillights’ and how they comply. Newer Mini Clubmen have these too. These Cascada ones are most amusing though; they appear to have replicated reverse lights too. 

    • “Clubmen” hahahha

      The Audi Q5 and Q7 have them, too, as does the Ferrari California and at least a couple Lincoln SUVs (MKC, MKX).
  2. So Ferrari very easily COULD have used those large, obvious lights on top of the rear quarters of the California… but didn’t.

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