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Robert Newman said:
Then go buy a Chevy Aero and be happy!
Corky Freeman said:
For one, the Aero was not on my list, & I can't swap for one that was as I put my money into a SmartCar. I would consider trading for a car with a viable warranty but I'm sure now that Smart has pulled out of MN the trade-in or resale value is in the crapper. I love the car, but what MB has done is unconscionable. Yes I will tell people that inquire what a great little car it is, but avoid it like the plague as it doesn't have a workable warranty. Now go drink your kool-aid.
I thought this was supposed to be suggestions to MB on what they could do to improve their marketing, service, etc. But instead it has become a typical gripe and grumble session. Yes, ALL German cars are expensive to operate and repair. At least most of you had a two year warranty. I bought mine used, so all repairs are on me. So I set aside money each month for any needed repairs. I have three German made autos so I am prepared to spend money. And I guess you didn't know about the 2 year warranty . . . or did you? Or did you just see the the car and say "I want that!", and now you blame MB because you made a boneheaded decision. If you feel MB is too expensive then sell the Smart. I know you will have to take a hit on the resale, but that's life. I really am sorry that they closed the only dealership near you guys, that is a true bummer. But with the economy the way it is, it is going to happen to more vehicles. Maybe instead of griping you might give MB some positive input, after all they just took Smart over last month. I takes time to get things rolling. I don't blame them for not responding to this forum as it is just become negative. I wish that they would just re-authorize the dealerships that had the warranty prior to their taking over. That would at least give you a place to get your warranty work done, as well as out of warranty if the diagnostic computer were returned to the dealership. This would be a temporary fix until they set up a dealership in the area. Or you could move to Texas.

Hi Robert,

I think that you are misunderstanding Corky's plight.  He purchased a new smart from the Minnesota smart dealer.  MB pulled the plug on the Minnesota dealer and did nothing to support the current owners.  If one needs a warranty repair or for that matter any repair that requires the dealer (i.e. software fixes) the nearest dealer to Minnesota is hundreds of miles away. 

 

In effect MB has nullified their warranty and in my opinion Corky has every right to be upset.

 

Positive input for MB:  Restore a dealership or at the very least a factory authorized repair garage in Minnesota and you may find happy customers once more.  Happy customers spread the word and increase sales.  Unhappy customers may affect even MB's other products in an adverse manner.



Robert Newman said:
I thought this was supposed to be suggestions to MB on what they could do to improve their marketing, service, etc. But instead it has become a typical gripe and grumble session. Yes, ALL German cars are expensive to operate and repair. At least most of you had a two year warranty. I bought mine used, so all repairs are on me. So I set aside money each month for any needed repairs. I have three German made autos so I am prepared to spend money. And I guess you didn't know about the 2 year warranty . . . or did you? Or did you just see the the car and say "I want that!", and now you blame MB because you made a boneheaded decision. If you feel MB is too expensive then sell the Smart. I know you will have to take a hit on the resale, but that's life. I really am sorry that they closed the only dealership near you guys, that is a true bummer. But with the economy the way it is, it is going to happen to more vehicles. Maybe instead of griping you might give MB some positive input, after all they just took Smart over last month. I takes time to get things rolling. I don't blame them for not responding to this forum as it is just become negative. I wish that they would just re-authorize the dealerships that had the warranty prior to their taking over. That would at least give you a place to get your warranty work done, as well as out of warranty if the diagnostic computer were returned to the dealership. This would be a temporary fix until they set up a dealership in the area. Or you could move to Texas.
Corky says:
Apparently you didn't read my reply thoroughly. I bought a brand new car, BRAND NEW, with a warranty. You know, like when you buy BRAND NEW. The salesperson made it perfectly clear that a BRAND NEW SmartFortwo had a 2 year warranty. They also made it clear that they would service my BRAND NEW car & cover the warranty.
As far as negativity, what do you expect when you screw a whole bunch of people that bought BRAND NEW or late model cars by invalidating their warranty?
As far as moving to TX, that idea is ludicrous as the nearest Smart dealer is only 300 miles away & its a thousand to TX. BTW I used to live in TX so moving there is a nice thought.
Further more, how do you know my thought process in purchasing this car? You don't know me. You haven't read my posts explaining my decision to purchase this particular automobile.
Singing a companies praises after they shafted a whole lot of people is whats "boneheaded"
My apologies to Corky, I did not realize that it was new.  However, I did state that MB needs to step up to the plate, and authorize SOMEONE in the area to do warranty repairs, or pay for shipment of the Smart to a repair facility, and back.  I think that otherwise it would seem to me (with only a few semesters of law courses) that this would be a breech of contract.  Hope things work out for the better.

Jim Gausman said:

Hi Robert,

I think that you are misunderstanding Corky's plight.  He purchased a new smart from the Minnesota smart dealer.  MB pulled the plug on the Minnesota dealer and did nothing to support the current owners.  If one needs a warranty repair or for that matter any repair that requires the dealer (i.e. software fixes) the nearest dealer to Minnesota is hundreds of miles away. 

 

In effect MB has nullified their warranty and in my opinion Corky has every right to be upset.

 

Positive input for MB:  Restore a dealership or at the very least a factory authorized repair garage in Minnesota and you may find happy customers once more.  Happy customers spread the word and increase sales.  Unhappy customers may affect even MB's other products in an adverse manner.

I'll probably regret this but how is it a breach of contract?  If a smart car in Minnesota is still under warranty smart USA/DVI will repair it.  Yes, it sucks that there's no dealer there now - that's really an issue with local M-B dealers, not with smart USA/DVI.  Yes, getting warranty work on the car will be inconvenient and that sucks too.  But unless smart USA/DVI flat out refuses to repair a car under the conditions of the warranty I can't see breach of contract standing up in court (and that's with zero semesters of law school - but I have watched a lot of Law and Order over the years.)

 

This in no way minimizes the frustration and unhappiness Corky and others in Minnesota are feeling, but there's a long way between the very real emotions involved and a case for legal action.

I suppose that it could be argued (and argument come from different views), that if it were inconvenient enough (and costly enough (time, lost wages, etc) that the owner couldn't practically use the warranty that it didn't exist.  In practical terms, it just means more pissed off customers and less sales, but for those in a dead zone it's particularly disappointing.

 

 I bought a 450 and ALWAYS knew I'd have an orphan.  However, was pleasantly surprised to here that I can now order parts if needed from any MB dealer.  Of course my situation is different because no warranty is involved.

So then if making a warranty unusable  is legal, then I can see a whole Pandora box of breaches based on that fact. Read the post about the article in "whistle blower" about the sucker that called Smart USA about a problem & was told "they" would determine if was a warranty issue & if "they" determined it wasn't, then he would be stuck with the repair bill & the towing charges. A hefty bill for a cheap little car.

Smart has said if a warranty issue arises call them & they would take care of it. According to that whistle blower story that whats they did....to their advantage.

What happens when the other dealers ride off (not if) into the sunset? At what distance can they make you go to collect on a warranty? I'm no legal scholar either but I'm sure at some point, if not already, they will cross into shaky legal ground.

At this point its a moot issue as the little guy is running like a top, but if & when it ceases to & its still under warranty, & there's still not a dealer within a reasonable distance, I will be consulting with an attorney.

At this point all I'm going to do is give them as much bad publicity as I legally can until they step up to the plate & fulfill their obligation.

I agree with Robert. All MB would have to do is make arrangements  to take of the cars still under warranty......at least till the warranty expires. And don't threaten people with large bills if you don't agree with the assessment. The issue should be settled before having to tow it.

Hey everyone.

 

I have read this thread now from top to bottom and I see where we have some challenges, opportunities and great feedback.   I see ideas concerning the warranty being extended beyond 2 years/24K to parts availability woes to overall coverage of our dealer network.  

 

All of your comments are being looked at.  As izzy stated when this thread was started, we can't make promises, but we will do our very best to address what we can.  This is why I am now posting this message to all of you.  We are here and we are listening.

 

Hopefully through Deirdre's posts, you can see that we are adding smart centers quite regularly and in the case of Minnesota, we definitely hear you.  

 

Getting the situation in Minnesota handled is at the top of our list -- we're working on it now.  Franchises, though, are sometimes complicated and we're going to need for you to continue to bear with us.  In the interim, we have people at our customer assistance center who will make every attempt to assist with any urgent situations.  Please call us at 1-800-smart-USA if you haven't already.

 

Along those lines too, if you have a pressing need with your smart whether service related or otherwise, your local smart center and our customer service center are there for you.

 

I will look to respond further to this thread and address what I can and encourage all of you to keep the dialog going.  

 

Thanks for being passionate "smarties."

 

-E

 

 

Thank you for your post Eric!

Eric Angeloro said:

 

Getting the situation in Minnesota handled is at the top of our list -- we're working on it now.  .

 

 

Ditto, Jim's response above.  It's so important to get feedback from MB.  

 

Yesterday morning I called Chris, at MB in Madison, Wi, about setting up an appt. for my first 10,000 maintenance.  He didn't call me back yet and I hoped it might be because something was going to open up in Minnesota soon.  I only have 8,000 on my smart, but had to drive that direction in the next week and thought I might try to "do it" early.

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