According to a National Post story by Paul Brent:
General Motor’s plans to rechristen the Canadian-built Buick Regal passenger car as the Buick LaCrosse have hit a snag: In Québécois youth culture, the word is slang for masturbation, among other things.
U.S. focus groups said the name lends the car a sophisticated European air, but the world’s largest automaker discovered in focus groups in Quebec that it generated giggles among young participants.
“I speak French as taught in Switzerland and as taught in France, I spent three years in Paris functioning in the French system, and I thought I knew every expression existing in the French language for self-gratification, including the crudest ones known to man,” said a GM vice-chairman…
Stew Low, a GM Canada spokesman, said in Quebec youth culture the word is a slang term “that means a couple of things, either to masturbate or ‘I just got screwed,’ or ‘I just got taken.’”
Sure enough, Le Dictionnaire québécois says:
(Se) crosser se branler (le “branler” de France, je vous fais pas un dessin).
(Thanks to Bonnie for the story.)