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.
I just got my ED back from Mercedes dealer : I have experienced the exact same problem as everyone else : corrosion on the contacts to the vacuum pump. The dealer replaced the parts and made some design change: "PERFORMED A SMALL HOLE IN BATTERY TRAY, INSTALLED GROMENT, INSTALLED NEW FUSE HOLDER AND CONNECTORS 60A / 40A ,RETAPED HARNESS, RELOCATED FUSES AWAY FROM BOTTOM OF TRAY.
So there you go, my car is ok now but I don't trust it anymore, I pay a lot of attention to buzzing signals/dash warnings. I made an official complaint to Canada's Transport dept (our NHTSA) (thanks to jwight for the cue)
And I made it clear with the service rep that was a real problem and he told me it did go up to Mercedes head offices in Toronto.
Now let's see if that problem will end up a recall, I would not be surprised.
Anyone with the same problem SHOULD write to NHTSA or Transport Canada : it's our first line of fire and probably a much better than just letting the dealer know about it. It takes about 6 minutes to fill the info.
We just had another problem with our Smart ED. This time it turned itself completely off - while driving!!! Luckily it was only in a residential area going around 25 mph with no one behind us. That is unbelievable dangerous and I wonder what could have happened on the freeway at 65 mph. The display showed Drive Sys. – Engine off
The car is now with the dealer. Today no one in the service department was available to look at it. I won't be surprised if it is again a problem with the fuse box. This time they won't be able to blame it on us - as we are diligent about never transporting any fluids in our Smart. We will see ... Last time they charged us close to $400 to fix their design problem. I have a suspicion that it was not fixed but they only replaced corroded parts that are now again corroded - and it is just another fuse that shut something off. Last time the brakes and this time the engine.
We now have lost trust in the car and don't feel safe in it. We will have to work with MB to end the lease. At best our car is a lemon - at worst the car design is faulty and puts its drivers at unacceptable risks.
It would be nice to hear from smart about this. Occasional spills are inevitable and I hate to have to pull the car apart looking for wet patches.
Our Smart ED was for a week with the dealer. They did two software upgrades and assured us that would fix the sudden unexpected engine shut off. We didn't really feel very confident, but took the car back. Sure enough we had another engine shut off. My wife was absolutely scared when the car shut itself off in the middle of driving it (and then immediately braked) without any pre-warning. She refuses now to drive in the Smart ED which makes the car essentially useless to us. It is now once again at the dealer. I still suspect corrosion of the fuse box. Last time the dealer refused to look at that and insisted in just doing the software updates. Obviously that didn't fix the problem and they sent us back on the road with the car in this dangerous state. What would happen if it shuts itself off on the freeway at 65 mph with a truck close behind that can't break in time? Unthinkable.
Let's see whether they will look this time at the fuse box. We really don't want the car any longer as we feel it is just too dangerous if you can loose all of a sudden power to the engine or loose all of a sudden your braking ability like we had last year.
I got the "Brake Malfunction" message on my ED's dash on 3/26 at lunch time. Had it towed to Mercedes-Benz Tampa. When the tow truck came, the message did not show on the dash any more. The dealer kept it for a week, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. They said, they needed that very message to appear again to be able to diagnose the problem. So, I got my ED back a week and a day later, they told me, I should drive it to them if/when I get the message show up on the dash again. Who wants to drive a vehicle with a "Brake Malfunction" message?
I can report that I certainly did not have any liquid spill in my vehicle, so I'm uncertain what to think. Is it the Florida humidity? I got the vehicle new about 10 months ago. Although the "Brake Malfunction" message came up a couple of more times since I got it back, it was at inopportune times, either after business hours or when I didn't have enough battery charge left to make it to the dealership.
Never buy a Smart ED....It stands for "erectile dysfunction" and has no lasting power, in range......
Hahaha! I'm actually having lots of fun scooting around in our smart ED, and I haven't felt any loss of virility. It is our city car and putting some juice in the battery a couple of times each week takes care of it.