I've had my smart fortwo cabrio since May 5th 2008. The first 5 days were blissfull but I was quickly snapped back into reality. The gear shift locked up and my car was stuck in D/N which meant I could not back up or remove the key from the ignition. Not a big deal, smart has 24 hr roadside assistance. I live 80 miles away from the dealership. I had the car towed in and they fixed it within a day and then said I could pick it up at anytime.... "WHAT?" I'm 80 miles away with no vehicle, how am I supposed to pick up this car which broke down in the first week? The dealership reluctantly agreed to bring the car back to me "this time." Little did I know I would have to have it there two more times within the next three months. The next thing was the check engine light... no biggie there, I arranged to have the car brought there by my Mother, who lives much closer to the dealership than me. When I picked up the car and drove home, the very next day the gear shift locked up again. I had it towed back to the dealership... again!!!

Has anyone else had problems with their smart? How about with the dealership? I've found that smartcenter cary is difficult to deal with for a customer who lives 80 miles away. They are not accomodating to my needs at all, especially with a new car that is nothing but trouble. This smart owner sure feels dumb!

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Sounds like you just don't like the car... The 30 to 40 owners that I've met don't seem to have your "issues" and mine has never been a problem in the 8000 miles I've put on it.
Brian, I know this is not what you want to hear, BUT I like other "satisfied" owners have had no problems. Of course I only live 10 miles from the dealership wouldn't you know it? I have worked on cars most of my life and there are a few that are problems. Then others are trouble free. I think that smart is attempting to keep people from waiting so long and when that happens QC is sacrificed. This is not a good thing. Not for them, and especially not for the owners, especially with the dealer network they have. If I were 50 miles or farther from the nearest dealership, I would have had a problem considering the car. I wanted on so badly, though I probably would still have overlooked it. When I move, and that could be at anytime, I will be at least 180 miles from the nearest dealership. I am hoping that any problems I have will have surfaced by then and have been resolved. I could work on many of these things, IF they would publish a service manual. Cars delivered in the USA are supposed to have that information available to the general public, smart has not done that as of yet. I knew of the shifter problem and when I was at the dealership, I was shown how to disassemble the shifter and lube it myself. I like my smart so much it just hurts when I hear of someone that is unhappy with theirs. They should put a smile on everyone's face, especially the owner.
Brian- I've had both problems crop up- our cars were probably built around the same time. The shifter locked up for good when I was visiting the dealer so we pt it into service right then and they loaned me a smart for the weekend. The engine light was smog sensor related and also fixed promptly-again the dealer supplied a loaner- this time a C-Class Mercedes.

I've have not had a re-occurance of the lock-up. It seems to be a lubrication issue. The engine light has not happened again either.

On balance I think smart is doing a pretty decent job- I've had problems with Fords and problems with Mercedes but the real test for me is the willingness of the dealer and company to resolve the issue. Hope you have better luck from here on out !
Bummer! I feel your pain...but count my blessings that my glitches have been minor, and I've put 8500 miles and driven cross-country in my smartie. I did have a recurring problem with the engine light, and the dealer replaced some filter...no problems since. I also had a passenger seat belt that kept locking tighter & tighter, until it nearly choked you, and wouldn't release! So, they replaced that too. The only time they needed to keep the car overnight was to replace the front windshield (cracked by a stone--not the car's fault), and they loaned me a big Mercedes--felt like a boat! My dealer (in Chicago) has been great all-around. Hope your troubles are over & fixed now--hang in there, it's a fun little car!
Sounds like you just have bad luck or you really don't like the car period and you are just trying to justify a reason to yourself so you won't feel as bad when you send it on to the next owner.

That being said, I can understand how you may be frustrated if you were expecting perfection and didn't get it. I've been very lucky so far (knock on wood), just turned over 18,500 trouble free miles on my Smart today.
I’ve had the shifter replaced, the roof replaced and the sun screen replaced. All done without any drama and was treated very professionally by our dealership. It’s just things that happen with a new design and all covered by warranty. I haven’t heard that there are S/Bs for these and the other issues as yet, except the roof replacement.

When I went in to purchase the cargo cover, our salesperson saw me at the parts counter; he then carried out the cover, removed it from the box and installed it for me. That was great service and really just common courtesy; but so often missing in this day and age. I can’t say anything negative at all about our dealership or the people there. They bring me home with a courtesy van and one time the salesman drove me home himself. Of course, I don’t live 80 miles away.
I have had a few problems also. some the same as you and a few different. I had the trany replaced in mine. they had it fixed it 3 days. The Smart Center of Lavista NE is the best!!!!!! Shawn and Josh in service are the best also. I have almost 14000 miles on my Smart. I would not trade it for anything. I am sorry you are having so much trubble with yours, but hang in there!!!! they are a great car. you may have some inconvenaces but the fun you can have with the Smart is well worth it. If you have not tried a Rally yet give one a try they are a blast..... just some of my mind....Jim
Many of the early 08's had the same problems, and more.

Our build date was 1-08 and we had all of the above + stop light switch failure (which also locked the shifter in park).

Have faith, all those problems are minor, but the PIA is having to take it to the dealer.

Wife and I learned early how to flip the release and unlock the shifter,so at least we could drive it to the dealer.

We now have 21,000 miles and have had no more problems. A2Jack.
Reply for A2Jack,
I wonder "when" manuals or some help for the "do-it-yourself" guy's out here.
will be available to us. I was under the understanding that all cars sold in the USA had to have basic things available to the general public. I know that independent shops have to have the information available to them, but sometimes that information is not free. I am a mechanic by trade although retired now, I worked on Mercedes Benz for 25+ years and know that they prevent the "shade tree" mechanics from working on their own cars by intimidation. Now consider whom had a part in the development of the smart.
I have over come my fear of all the computers on the smart. I was really concerned about adding anything electrical. Since I sat down and decided that if I would run from the battery and not some relay or fuse box, I could bypass these "potential" problems. Since I have found this out, I have completed my trailer and now have LED lights all around on it. I have completed my trailer hitch and have wired my lights for towing this trailer. And today I ordered a cruise control that I feel I can install doing these same things and save myself in the "ball park" of $800. I know there is a lot of engine, and transmission management done by computers on this car, but if I stay out of the fuse box and do all my wiring directly to the battery I see no problems.
Brian welcome to the club..check for my discussions and you will know what I am talking about..I thought I was the only one...The good thing..I got a nissan rent-car
after I complain..otherwise they wouldn't give me or offering one...

I just picked the car tonite and I think still needs some adjusments...they had to change the "TRANSMISSION" cause it was making a weird noise...

Welcome and share the experiences!!

Brian I can feel for you. I live in Foley Alabama my nearest dealer is 300 miles away.
I have had only one problem the roof shade, the selling dealer in Atlanta shipped a new one to me and ask me to remove the gear shift and make sure it had plenty of lube, I did and added more Lube. The roof shade is a joke. I bought a cover that goes under the roof shade and blocks out the heat from the sun I never open the roof shade. I installed a Pioneer Gps Dvd radio did the 2 wire bypass to the radio and added 2 speaker above the dash in the post where the mirror are. Installed cruise control added the button to open the rear lid. My car was built in May 2008. I have no complaints at all.
Well... here I am again, my smart being towed back to Smartcenter Cary. This time it wouldn't start and the dashboard display shows three horizontal lines that look like E without the I -- In the owners manual that symbal means transmission trouble and suggests sending it in for service.

Anyone else had this trouble before??

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