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Nearly 7,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles are being recalled for potentially leaky fuel filters. Included under the recall are diesel (read: Bluetec) versions of the 2011 E-Class, GL-Class, M-Class, and R-Class, as well as the 2012 S-Class.

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Tornadoes are wreaking havoc in the southern United States, causing Mercedes-Benz and Toyota to put the brakes on production at each of their respective Alabama manufacturing facilities. Mercedes-Benz builds GL-Class, M-Class and R-Class vehicles in Tuscaloosa, while Toyota's Huntsville plant produces V6 and V8 engines for the Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks and the Sequoia sport utility vehicle.

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Lincoln MKZ - Click above for a high-res image gallery

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The R-Class won a design award, went on tour with the Rolling Stones, was dropped in price, and still sold so poorly that Mercedes admitted the car was a failure. Yet M-B head man Dieter Zetsche said the car isn't going away, so as one does with continuing product, the R-Class is getting some face and tail work done. Those who whisper about such things indicate that the car will end up looking more like the B-Class. We're not sure that will help it, since it looks much like the B-Class already a

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After selling only 18,168 samples of their R-Class in 2007, even after dropping the base price by $5,000, Mercedes will try taking the uber-wagon downmarket in 2008.

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With Audi and Mercedes rampantly trying to fill every conceivable segment, BMW has been stepping up development of its own niche vehicles, including the X6 CUV and now, a contender in the it's-not-a-minivan crowd, the V-Series.

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Click image for photo gallery

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