As I pulled into my garage tonight the dash display read "Brake Failure - Workshop" just as I parked it. I turned the car back on and it displayed it again just as I put it in gear. The breaks did indeed not work. Is it from snow? Cold weather? Do I really need to get it serviced?

I'll try to let it warm up in the garage for a few hours and try again.

Tags: Brakes, Drive, Electric, display., failure

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If you have no brakes, it is time for a call to the dealer..Do not drive until it is repaired.

Yes but do not drive it have it towed as you do not want to cause a crash or get yourself killed. Or have someone come to your place to get it fixed, but never drive with no brakes. Be safe first always!

Yup, called Mercedes Roadside assistance. They sent out a tow truck and took it to the dealer last night. The message was Brake Malfunction - Workshop, not Brake Failure.

what is the difference between brake malfunction and brake failure

A word. Makes a big difference when searching Google to get an answer. The dealer has had a day and doesn't know what is wrong.

The dealer has had the vehicle in the shop for three full days and they are clueless as to what is wrong. According to the service lady the technicians have pulled out over half the wiring to locate the short and have found nothing. I pick up a loaner on Saturday. I hope it is a nice Mercedes :)

If you have good insurance, crash it into a big tree...You will get a new one, and the crash won't hurt you......

On the sixth day I got the car back. Apparently two months ago when "someone" spilled iced coffee on the passenger floor it went through the carpet and began to corrode the fuses. Once the technician replaced the fuses and cleaned out the fuse holder it was all good. I am so happy because the Smart 5 speed they loaned me was horrible. The stock transmission is the worst thing I ever drove. In order to keep it from lurching I had to use the paddle shifters all the time.

Might have aided their troubleshooting to have mentioned the coffee spill up front.  smarts in general, being computers on wheels, don't handle spilled liquids very well.

Jonathan Gourd said:

On the sixth day I got the car back. Apparently two months ago when "someone" spilled iced coffee on the passenger floor it went through the carpet and began to corrode the fuses. Once the technician replaced the fuses and cleaned out the fuse holder it was all good. I am so happy because the Smart 5 speed they loaned me was horrible. The stock transmission is the worst thing I ever drove. In order to keep it from lurching I had to use the paddle shifters all the time.

Jonathan,

Did you get billed for the repair? My new Smart ED has exactly the same problem. Brake Malfunktion. The technician found the problem right away - the wet fuse box under the passenger carpet. The problem is we never spilled anything there. It took a while to find out that at some point some water was spilled in the trunk with no visible signs - besides a couple of drops on the carpet. All the water ran inside the car down to the fuse box under the passenger mat and the problem occured way later when the fuses corroded. Our Smart is now already for 7 days at the dealership and we are told it might be another week before the parts arrive from Germany. We were also told that this is potentially a very expensive repair. I can not believe that.

What happend in your case? This looks like a serious design flaw to me. There is no warning in the handbook from the manufacturer, there are no warnings from the dealer. Basically if you spill any fluid anywhere in the car - even the trunk - you need to have the fluid removed right away from the lowest point (at the fuse box) or you will run into this problem and get potentially an expensive bill. 

In my case the dealership told me that they wrote it up in such a way that would get them paid by Smart and they charged me nothing.

Jonathan,

Thanks for your reply. My dealer just informed me after 10 days that the car is now repaired and it will cost me  $441.43. I'm completely stumped by this. This seems to be a serious design flaw. I almost had an accident with another car when I got the BRAKE MALFUNCTION warning because my Smart ED was indeed not braking. Every Smart ED owner needs to know about this problem. If anyone spills any fluid anywhere in the car your brakes will most likely at one point not work. When some water was spilled in our trunk we were not aware that the water ran inside the car under the carpet down to the fuse box. It looked like the water had dripped out of the tail gate while driving. Who could have known this? There is no information, no warning from MB about this problem. My dealer makes it sound like our fault and wants to be paid over $400 and we are not sure how safe it is to continue driving this car.

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