Wheel Chasers

The 2012 Acura MDX: Luxury Performance and Towing Power Combined

The 2012 Acura MDX is a luxury mid-size SUV that delivers both comfort and performance. This exceptional automobile has an elegant design and offers state-of-the-art technology and features.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the engine specifications and performance, so you can decide whether this vehicle is right for you.

Engine Specifications

The 2012 Acura MDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters that allows for a smooth, efficient shift.

Furthermore, the engine is fitted with cylinder deactivation technology which aids in increasing fuel efficiency for the vehicle’s size.


The 2012 Acura MDX offers excellent performance and a comfortable ride quality. The SUV has an all-wheel-drive system that provides exceptional handling, making it enjoyable to drive even on winding roads.

Additionally, the vehicle comes with an active damper system that adapts to driving conditions, ensuring a smooth ride. The front suspension receives MacPherson struts with stabilizer bars, while the rear double wishbone provides superior stability during difficult turns.

The steering, as expected from an Acura flagship, is responsive, allowing for easy maneuvering in tight spaces or around corners.

Fuel Efficiency

The 2012 Acura MDX is a large vehicle. However, it’s equipped with a cylinder deactivation technology that conserves fuel consumption.

The estimated fuel economy for this SUV stands at an impressive 16 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. These are relatively high numbers, making ownership of an Acura MDX more practical compared to other similar-sized SUVs in its class.

Towing Capacity

The 2012 Acura MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This capacity is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who desire off-road adventures with toys such as jet skis, boats, and trailers.

Safety Features

The 2012 Acura MDX comes with top-of-the-line safety features. Among these is an advanced airbag system with dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags for the driver and front passenger.

Additionally, the vehicle is fitted with side-curtain airbags for both the first and second-row passengers. The car has antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, and a rearview camera that comes standard.

A blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control are also available to add-on to the vehicle’s safety features.

Comfort and Convenience

The Acura MDX is very accommodating, and this is further evidenced by the luxurious features that come standard with the vehicle. The interior is spacious, capable of seating up to seven people comfortably.

The front seats are heated and powered, while the rear seats come with their own climate controls. The infotainment system has an eight-inch display and includes satellite radio, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth capability.

Furthermore, the vehicle comes with tri-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, and a power liftgate for easy operation.


The 2012 Acura MDX is a powerful, comfortable, and luxurious SUV that delivers exceptional performance. The V6 engine with cylinder deactivation gives the SUV the necessary power to perform while conserving fuel.

The vehicle boasts an all-wheel-drive system that provides excellent handling and superior performance on winding roads. The safety features come standard, ensuring maximum safety for drivers and passengers, while comfort and convenience features make the driver’s and passenger’s ride comfortable and manageable.

If you’re in the market for a high-performance mid-size SUV, the 2012 Acura MDX is an excellent option for you.

Transmission Options

The 2012 Acura MDX comes with a standard transmission that provides a smooth, seamless transition between gears while driving. The six-speed automatic transmission has paddle shifters that allow drivers to take more control over their driving experience.

The paddle shifters can be used to manually shift gears, giving drivers the feel of a manual transmission while maintaining the convenience of an automatic transmission. The MDX also has a sport mode that alters the transmission’s shift points, providing quicker acceleration.

The sport mode is useful during highway passing maneuvers, while the manual paddle shifter mode is ideal if a driver wants the feeling of a race-inspired driving experience.

Towing Capabilities of the 2012 Acura MDX

One of the significant advantages of the 2012 Acura MDX is its tow capability. With a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the SUV can tow a wide variety of items such as boats, campers, and trailers.

The MDX is an excellent option for outdoor enthusiasts who want to bring along toys on their adventures.The MDX comes with a standard class III towing hitch, which is rated up to 3,500 pounds. Furthermore, an optional useable integrated trailer hitch provides more towing capacity, and the trailer hitch kit that comes standard on the Technology package can handle up to 5,000 pounds.

In addition to the substantial towing performance, the Acura MDX also has a trailer stability assist feature that helps keep the trailer stable, even during windy conditions, making safe towing an essential part of the vehicle’s design. The Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) aids drivers in protecting their vehicle, their passengers and trailers.

The system operates by using the vehicle sensors to continuously monitor the trailer’s stability and detect any sway that occurs. Once detected, the TSA system will reduce engine torque and apply brake pressure to the individual wheel to stabilize the trailer and tow safely.

The system operates automatically and is continually adjusting its response to maintain the optimal towing experience. In addition to TSA, other towing features of the Acura MDX include a high-capacity radiator with dual fans that maintains engine temperature during prolonged towing.

The vehicle comes with a standard trailer hitch with wiring that allows for fast and easy trailer hookup. The MDX comes with a Trailer Hitch Tongue Weight rating of up to 500 pounds, which complements the Gross Trailer Weight rating of up to 5,000 pounds.


The addition above provides in-depth information about the 2012 Acura MDX’s transmission options and its towing capabilities which are significant factors in choosing a vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts looking to tow their ‘toys’ with them. These features’ benefits include significant towing capacity, trailer stability assist (TSA), high-capacity radiator, and towing hitch tongue weight rating, to mention just a few.

Types of Trailers that can be Towed

The 2012 Acura MDX is a versatile vehicle that can tow a vast array of trailers. Here are some of the trailer types that the MDX is capable of towing:


Boat Trailers – The Acura MDX is ideal for towing a wide range of boats, from small fishing boats and ski boats to larger cabin cruisers. 2.

Travel Trailers – The MDX is capable of towing a range of travel trailers, which are popular among outdoor enthusiasts. 3.

car trailers – The MDX can tow car trailers and utility trailers with ease, making it ideal for those who need to transport a vehicle for track days or car shows. 4.

camper trailers – The 2012 Acura MDX has a 500-pound tongue weight capacity and a 5,000-pound towing capacity, making it an excellent choice for towing camper trailers of various sizes. 5.

ATV Trailers – The MDX can tow ATV trailers, which makes it an ideal option for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take their off-road vehicles with them on leisure trips.

Hitch Options and Installation

The 2012 Acura MDX comes equipped with a standard Class III tow hitch, which can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The towing hitch kit is included in the Technology Package and can handle up to 5,000 pounds.

A Built-In Hitch ball option is available for additional towing capability, which can be used to tow heavier cargo like camping trailers, boats, and recreational vehicles. There are a few types of hitches that are available for the 2012 Acura MDX, such as:


Recurve R3 – A well-crafted hitch perfect for towing crowd favorites like travel trailers and campers. It’s well-suited for Acura MDXs due to its easy installation, powerful anti-sway technology, and ability to be removed when needed.

2. Weight Distribution Hitch – This type of hitch evenly distributes the weight and provides a smoother ride quality when towing larger trailers.

It is highly recommended for those towing larger trailers like caravans or boats. When it comes to installing hitches on the 2012 Acura MDX, there are a few essential things to consider.

One of the significant factors to consider is the tow hitch installation directions. The directions explain in detail how to install the hitch onto the Acura MDX, taking into account the mounting of fasteners, bolts, or other hardware.

Another aspect to keep in mind is the vehicle’s weight. The weight of the installed towing hitch and what you want to tow, along with their weight together, must be within the MDX’s maximum towing capacity not to put undue strain on the vehicle.


In conclusion, the 2012 Acura MDX is a powerful vehicle with a high towing capacity, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who need to tow a variety of trailers. The vehicle is capable of towing a wide range of trailers, including boat trailers, travel trailers, and even ATV trailers.

Acura MDX also has different types of hitch options that can accommodate varying trailer types. Still, it’s necessary to install a hitch that is within the recommended weight distribution capacity to prevent undue strain or wear on the vehicle.

Safety Features and Considerations

The 2012 Acura MDX is a high-performing SUV that prioritizes safety. Its advanced safety features give drivers and passengers peace of mind while on the road.

The SUV comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, and front-seat side airbags. The vehicle also has side curtain airbags that deploy in the event of a collision.

Another important safety feature of the Acura MDX is its Blind Spot Information System. This system uses sensors to detect vehicles in the MDX’s blind spots, and it sends visual warnings to the driver if a vehicle is detected, keeping the driver informed about any potential risks while towing.

The vehicle also comes standard with a rearview camera that provides a clear view of the area behind the MDX. This feature is particularly helpful when backing up, especially when towing a trailer or RV.

Additionally, the MDX’s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system uses radar technology to maintain a safe distance from the car in front, slowing down as necessary. The ACC system is especially useful when towing heavy items and driving on busy highways.

Handling and Maneuverability while Towing

The 2012 Acura MDX offers superior handling and maneuverability, making it an excellent option for towing various trailers. The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system provides stability and traction, making towing safer and easier.

The MDX has a tight turning radius, making it more maneuverable in tight spaces. Additionally, the SUV has a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, which provides more responsive steering, making the vehicle more agile on the road.

Furthermore, the Acura MDX’s performance-based suspension system provides excellent handling when towing, reducing body roll and instability. The MDX’s independent suspension gives a more stable and comfortable ride, even on bumpy roads.

It’s essential to note that when towing a trailer, the total weight of the vehicle and trailer can make it more challenging to stop, speed up and make turns in crowded or narrow spaces. Therefore, extra caution is necessary while towing, and drivers must keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

When towing a trailer, backing up can be difficult. The 2012 Acura MDX comes with a standard rearview camera, which assists drivers in maneuvering their vehicle easier when reversing.

The camera provides a clear view of the area behind the vehicle, making it easier to position the vehicle and trailer when backing up. Another essential factor when towing a trailer is weight distribution.

Distributing the weight evenly across the trailer and the vehicle can considerably improve the vehicle and trailer’s handling. Overweighting the trailer’s front or rear may cause the trailer to sway, which creates an unsafe and unstable towing environment.


The Acura MDX is a high performing SUV that is superb for towing a range of trailers, making it an ideal option for outdoor enthusiasts with varied trailer towing needs. The vehicle’s safety features, such as the Blind Spot Information System, rearview camera, and Adaptive Cruise Control, work together to enhance the safety of both the driver and passengers while towing trailers.

The car’s power-assisted rack and pinion steering and performance-based suspension systems, coupled with the all-wheel-drive system, make it highly maneuverable and agile. Safety in towing is essential, and an evenly distributed trailer weight improves the MDX’s handling.

When towing a trailer, drivers must always be cautious and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to prevent undue strain on the vehicle and ensure safety when on the road.

Fuel Economy while Towing

When it comes to fuel economy, it’s important to consider that towing additional weight with any vehicle can have an impact on fuel efficiency. This is true for the 2012 Acura MDX as well.

While the MDX is equipped with a powerful engine and cylinder deactivation technology to help conserve fuel, towing a trailer will require the engine to work harder, resulting in increased fuel consumption. The exact fuel economy while towing will depend on various factors, including the weight of the trailer, wind resistance, driving conditions, and driving habits.

On average, when towing a trailer, the 2012 Acura MDX can see a decrease in fuel efficiency of around 10-15% compared to its typical non-towing fuel economy. It’s important for owners of the MDX to plan accordingly and be prepared for the potential decrease in fuel efficiency when towing.

This may entail factoring in additional fuel costs for long-distance trips or adjusting travel plans to accommodate more frequent refueling stops.

Maintenance and Upkeep for Towing Vehicles

Towing puts additional stress on a vehicle, which means that proper maintenance and upkeep are crucial for both the longevity of the towing vehicle and the safety of the driver and passengers. Here are some important maintenance considerations for towing vehicles like the 2012 Acura MDX:


Transmission Fluid: Towing places extra strain on a vehicle’s transmission. Checking and changing the transmission fluid at regular intervals is essential to ensure its longevity and function.

Consult the owner’s manual for specific recommendations regarding transmission servicing. 2.

Brake System: Towing adds weight to the vehicle, making it crucial to maintain the brake system for optimal stopping power. Regular inspections of brake pads, rotors, and fluid levels should be conducted, and any signs of wear or deterioration should be addressed promptly.

3. Coolant System: Towing increases the load on the engine, leading to additional heat buildup.

Regularly checking and servicing the cooling system, including the radiator, coolant levels, and hoses, is important to prevent overheating and maintain optimal engine performance. 4.

Suspension and Tires: The additional weight of towing puts strain on the suspension system and tires. Regular inspections of the suspension components, including shocks, springs, and control arms, will help identify and address any issues.

Additionally, ensuring proper tire pressure and tread depth is crucial for safe towing. 5.

Electrical System: Towing often requires using electrical connectors and trailer wiring. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the electrical system, including connections, fuses, and wiring, is important to ensure proper functionality of lights, brakes, and other electrical components.

6. Regular Servicing: Following the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule is essential for any vehicle, but it becomes even more important for towing vehicles.

Regular servicing, including oil changes, filter replacements, and overall inspections, helps maintain the overall health and performance of the towing vehicle. 7.

Weight Distribution: When towing, it’s crucial to distribute the weight of the trailer correctly. Improper weight distribution can strain the towing vehicle and affect its handling and braking capabilities.

Understanding and adhering to weight distribution guidelines provided by the manufacturer is essential for safe towing. By prioritizing routine maintenance and regular inspections, owners of the 2012 Acura MDX and other towing vehicles can ensure reliability, performance, and safety while towing.

Promptly addressing any issues or concerns identified during maintenance checks will help prevent more significant and costly problems down the line.


While towing with the 2012 Acura MDX can result in a decrease in fuel economy, proper maintenance and upkeep are essential for both the vehicle’s longevity and the safety of the driver and passengers. Being aware of the potential decrease in fuel efficiency while towing and planning accordingly can help manage expectations and minimize any inconveniences.

Regular maintenance, including checking and servicing the transmission fluid, brakes, coolant system, suspension, tires, electrical system, and adhering to weight distribution guidelines, will help ensure the vehicle performs optimally while towing. By prioritizing maintenance and addressing any issues promptly, owners of towing vehicles can enjoy safer and more reliable towing experiences.

Comparisons to Other SUVs in Its Class

When considering the 2012 Acura MDX for towing purposes, it’s important to compare it to other SUVs in its class to determine its strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few key comparisons to help you make an informed decision:


Towing Capacity: The 2012 Acura MDX has an impressive towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. This puts it in line with other mid-size luxury SUVs in its class, such as the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7, which also offer similar towing capacities.

However, it’s important to note that certain trims or additional packages may be required to achieve the maximum towing capacity. 2.

Performance: The MDX’s 3.7-liter V6 engine provides a powerful and smooth driving experience, comparable to its competitors. The vehicle’s handling and all-wheel-drive system contribute to its excellent performance while towing.

However, some rivals may offer a slightly more refined driving experience or more advanced suspension systems. 3.

Interior Space and Comfort: The Acura MDX provides ample interior space, comfortably seating up to seven passengers. It also offers a user-friendly infotainment system and a luxurious cabin.

When compared to its competitors, the MDX may have a slight advantage in terms of interior space and cargo capacity. 4.

Fuel Efficiency: The 2012 Acura MDX’s fuel efficiency is average for its class. While its cylinder deactivation technology helps conserve fuel, towing heavy loads can decrease fuel efficiency.

Models such as the Lexus RX Hybrid or the Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC may offer better fuel economy options, especially for those concerned about fuel consumption during long-distance towing trips.

Tips for Safe and Efficient Towing

1. Know Your

Towing Capacity: Before towing, it is crucial to understand the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle.

Exceeding this capacity can result in unsafe driving conditions and potential damage to your vehicle. Always consult the owner’s manual or contact a professional to determine the towing limitations for your specific model.

2. Weight Distribution: Proper weight distribution is critical for safe towing.

Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed between the trailer and towing vehicle to prevent swaying and maintain stability on the road. Use appropriate weight distribution systems, such as sway control bars or weight distribution hitches, to achieve proper weight distribution.

3. Maintain Safe Speeds: When towing, it’s essential to drive at safe and reasonable speeds.

Decrease your speed and allow for longer stopping distances, especially when towing heavy or large loads. Adhering to speed limits and adjusting your driving style to account for the added weight will help ensure a safe towing experience.

4. Monitor Tire Pressure: Maintain proper tire pressure in both the towing vehicle and the trailer.

Underinflated tires can affect handling, braking, and fuel efficiency. Regularly inspect and adjust the tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure optimal performance and safety.

5. Brake Control: Utilize the trailer’s braking system if equipped or consider installing a trailer brake controller if necessary.

This helps distribute braking forces between the towing vehicle and the trailer, reducing strain on the towing vehicle’s brakes and promoting safer braking. 6.

Anticipate Acceleration and Braking: Remember that towing adds extra weight and length to your setup, which affects acceleration and braking times. Allow for increased acceleration distances and plan your braking in advance to ensure a safe and controlled experience.

7. Regular Inspections: Prioritize regular maintenance inspections to ensure that all towing components, including brakes, suspension, tires, and electrical systems, are in proper working order.

Address any wear or issues promptly to maintain the safety and longevity of your towing setup. 8.

Practice Maneuvering: Familiarize yourself with the handling characteristics of your setup by practicing maneuvering, turning, and backing up in a safe and open space before embarking on a long trip. This will increase your confidence and help you understand the limitations and capabilities of your towing setup.

9. Observe Trailer Visibility: Ensure that your side-view mirrors are adjusted correctly to provide adequate visibility of the trailer and surrounding traffic.

If necessary, consider using extended side-view mirrors to enhance visibility and minimize blind spots. 10.

Plan Ahead: Before towing, plan your route carefully, considering factors such as road conditions, potential steep inclines or declines, and areas with limited maneuvering space. Avoid congested areas, if possible, and be aware of any weight or height restrictions on certain roads or bridges.

By following these tips, you can ensure a safer and more efficient towing experience with your 2012 Acura MDX or any other towing vehicle. Prioritizing safety, preparation, and proper maintenance will enhance your confidence and enjoyment while towing.

Towing Accessories and Options

When it comes to towing with the 2012 Acura MDX, there are several accessories and options available to enhance the towing experience. These accessories can improve convenience, safety, and overall functionality.

Here are some towing accessories and options to consider:

1. Tow Hitch: The 2012 Acura MDX comes with a standard Class III tow hitch, which provides a solid foundation for towing trailers.

However, depending on your specific towing needs, you may want to consider upgrading to a higher-capacity hitch option. Acura offers an optional useable integrated trailer hitch that increases the MDX’s towing capacity and improves towing performance.

2. Trailer Wiring Harness: A trailer wiring harness is a necessary accessory for towing trailers with lights.

It allows the MDX to supply power to the trailer lights, including turn signals, brake lights, and running lights. Trailer wiring harnesses are available as factory or aftermarket options and can be easily installed.

3. Weight Distribution Hitch: A weight distribution hitch is a valuable accessory for towing heavier loads.

It helps distribute the weight more evenly between the towing vehicle and the trailer, improving stability and handling. This type of hitch is especially useful for towing large trailers or when the tongue weight exceeds the vehicle’s recommended limits.

4. Sway Control: Sway control devices help minimize trailer sway, which can occur during towing due to wind resistance, uneven weight distribution, or sudden maneuvers.

These devices work by applying friction or utilizing specialized mechanisms to counteract swaying and provide a safer towing experience. 5.

Trailer Brakes: If you’re towing a heavier trailer, it’s important to consider installing a trailer brake system. This accessory allows the trailer to have its own braking system, reducing stress on the MDX’s brakes and improving overall stopping power.

Trailer brake controllers can be installed in the towing vehicle to regulate the trailer’s braking. 6.

Extended Side-View Mirrors: Towing a wider trailer can restrict your view from the side mirrors. Extended side-view mirrors attach to the existing mirrors of the MDX, providing a wider field of view and better visibility of the trailer and surrounding traffic.

These mirrors are particularly useful when changing lanes or backing up. 7.

Towing Accessories Kit: A towing accessories kit can be a convenient option, especially for those new to towing. These kits often include essential towing accessories such as hitch locks, hitch covers, trailer hitch balls, and ball mounts.

They provide a comprehensive package, ensuring you have all the necessary accessories for a smooth towing experience.

Interior and Exterior Features of the 2012 Acura MDX

The 2012 Acura MDX offers a range of interior and exterior features designed to enhance comfort, convenience, and overall driving experience. Here are some notable features of the MDX:

Interior Features:

– Spacious and Luxurious Cabin: The MDX features a well-designed interior with high-quality materials and comfortable seating for up to seven passengers.

The seats are supportive and offer ample legroom, even for adults in the third row. – Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control: The MDX comes equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control, allowing the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers to set their desired temperature for optimal comfort.

– Power-Adjustable Front Seats: The front seats are power-adjustable and heated, providing personalized comfort and convenience for the driver and front passenger. – Advanced Infotainment System: The MDX boasts an advanced infotainment system with an eight-inch display screen.

It includes features like satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera for enhanced convenience and safety. Exterior Features:

– Stylish Design: The exterior design of the MDX showcases Acura’s signature stylish and sleek lines.

It exudes a sophisticated and modern look that stands out on the road. – Power Liftgate: The MDX comes equipped with a power liftgate, making it convenient to access the cargo area.

It can be opened and closed with the touch of a button, providing easy access to the rear storage space. – Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights: The MDX features Xenon HID headlights that provide enhanced illumination and visibility, ensuring better road visibility during nighttime driving.

– Power Moonroof: The MDX includes a power moonroof, allowing natural light to flood the cabin and providing a sense of openness and airiness to the interior.

Safety Features:

– Advanced

Safety Features: The MDX is equipped with a range of safety features, including antilock brakes, stability control, and front-seat side airbags. It also comes with side curtain airbags for enhanced protection in the event of a collision.

– Blind Spot Information System: The MDX offers a blind spot information system that helps to detect vehicles in the blind spot. It provides visual warnings to the driver, increasing awareness and reducing the risk of accidents.

The combination of these interior and exterior features contributes to the overall appeal and driving experience of the 2012 Acura MDX. Whether it’s the comfortable and tech-savvy interior or the stylish and practical exterior, the MDX offers a well-rounded package that caters to both driver and passenger needs.

Cost and Value Proposition of the 2012 Acura MDX

When considering the purchase of a 2012 Acura MDX, it is important to evaluate the cost of the vehicle and understand its value proposition. By examining factors such as pricing, reliability, features, and ownership costs, buyers can determine if the MDX provides a compelling value proposition.

Let’s delve into these aspects in detail:

Pricing: In 2012, the Acura MDX was positioned as a luxury mid-size SUV, offering a range of standard features and advanced technologies. The pricing of the MDX varied depending on the trim level and optional packages.

However, compared to its competitors in the luxury SUV segment, such as the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the MDX often offered a more affordable price point. This allowed buyers to access a high-quality, well-equipped luxury SUV at a competitive price.

Reliability: Acura has a reputation for manufacturing vehicles with strong reliability, and the 2012 MDX is no exception. It received high ratings for dependability from various industry sources, including J.D. Power.

This means that owners can expect a lower likelihood of encountering major mechanical issues or breakdowns, resulting in reduced ownership costs over time. Features: The 2012 Acura MDX comes generously equipped with a wide range of standard features.

These include leather upholstery, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, an advanced infotainment system with satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera. The MDX also offers available upgrades such as a technology package, which adds features like navigation, a premium sound system, and advanced safety features like a blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control.

Compared to its competitors, the MDX provides a strong offering of features for the price, enhancing its overall value proposition. Ownership Costs: When evaluating the value proposition of any vehicle, it’s important to consider the long-term ownership costs beyond the initial purchase price.

Fortunately, the 2012

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