Autoblog had posted a while ago that many in the auto industry predicted that rival BMW would catch up with Mercedes-Benz and exceed the venerable German automaker this year.

Well now a new figure, Audi, has joined the maker of the Ultimate Driving Machine and both relegated MB to third place.

Speculation and explanation on MB's change of fortune are as rampant as General Motors' or Ford's next move. One explanation is that MB's well-publicized recalls of its vehicles have colored public opinion. The automaker is taking the explanation seriously and has announced greater scrutiny of its vehicles.

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