A Better Benz? and Toyota's Recall Headache

Friday, 19 Jan 2007 | 9:34 AM ET

A Better Benz?

It's strange to think an entry level car is an important model for a luxury car company, but the new c-class is just that for Mercedes Benz. When Mercedes unveiled the C-class Thursday afternoon, the company touted better performance, more refinement, and a more aggressive look.

It's hard to tell from video tape fed from Germany if Mercedes optimism is well founded, or false bravado. For Mercedes sake, the C-class needs to deliver. Last year, C-class sales dropped 16% and in the entry level luxury car market, the C-class has fallen behind the Lexus IS, BMW 3 Series, and Cadillac CTS. Yes, the C-class is very important for Mercedes.

Tundra Recalls
Toyota is recalling more than 500,000 Tundra pick-ups and Sequoia SUV's due to steering problems that cause the vehicles to not stay in their lane. This recall comes at a bad time for Toyota. With the new Tundra pick-up rolling in to showrooms in the next couple months, Toyota is pushing it's full size pick-up as being just as tough any from the big 3.

The recall is not for current model Tundras. Still, Toyota does not need customers questioning if the truck can stand up to the big 3.

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.