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That would be a nice reason Stephen, but sadly, we're not that close to a solution yet.  We're trying though.  Let's stay in touch.

Stephen C Hokonson said:

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.

Eric;

I appreciate your assistance, & not to be argumentative, but what you're saying is what we were told at the Dells rally in June. The rep said  ".....a new dealer would be in place in a matter of weeks, not months". Now its months later & still nothing. So far I've had absolutely no problems with the car, just the comfort level of a viable warranty.

I fully understand the situation with finding an MB franchisee to take on a niche item like the Smart, but hey, we put our faith & trust in your company & expect to be treated accordingly.

What would really help the situation here, in MN, & elsewhere with orphaned Smart owners, is to state, in detail, what MB will do for us in the event of a warrantable failure of our cars...... calling a phone number & hoping for the best is a very vaguely worded solution. I know you're doing your best in a tough situation but how about definitely stating what MB will & won't do. At least then we'll have the comfort of knowing we'll be taken care of, or we'll have to find an alternative solution.

Once again Eric thanks for the assistance, I'm sure everyone here appreciates it.

 

 

 

Corky,

 

No worries.  I know you are not being argumentative.  It's a situation we know is not great and want to find a solution for all of the reasons you have stated.

 

I will run your suggestion passed my team and see if that is something we can do for you for peace of mind.  Typically, we instruct our customers to call customer service since we handle each senario on a case by case basis.  As you can imagine, every customer has different needs, questions and special circumstances.  I will run it up the hill and let you know what I come back with.

Corky A Freeman said:

Eric;

I appreciate your assistance, & not to be argumentative, but what you're saying is what we were told at the Dells rally in June. The rep said  ".....a new dealer would be in place in a matter of weeks, not months". Now its months later & still nothing. So far I've had absolutely no problems with the car, just the comfort level of a viable warranty.

I fully understand the situation with finding an MB franchisee to take on a niche item like the Smart, but hey, we put our faith & trust in your company & expect to be treated accordingly.

What would really help the situation here, in MN, & elsewhere with orphaned Smart owners, is to state, in detail, what MB will do for us in the event of a warrantable failure of our cars...... calling a phone number & hoping for the best is a very vaguely worded solution. I know you're doing your best in a tough situation but how about definitely stating what MB will & won't do. At least then we'll have the comfort of knowing we'll be taken care of, or we'll have to find an alternative solution.

Once again Eric thanks for the assistance, I'm sure everyone here appreciates it.

 

 

 


i know a lot of owners work on their own cars and through a variety of forums we can gain a lot of information. If we had a local dealer in Minnesota I'm sure I would have called the dealer on a number of items that I have learned to research the forums about.  

 

My suggestion is simply this.  Since I have been told by a local MB dealer that it might be next year before any local dealer is available, would it be possible for MB to at least establish a designated phone number for Minnesota owners to call in the interim.  Like our president said, "We can't wait 14 months for the next election."  Orphaned owners, especially we "newer ones, are in a unique position and given the difficulty in establishing access to a local dealer maybe if MB notified us by e-mail or postal service of an alternative communication option it would help all of us in the extended "transition."  It would at least say, "we care."

 

back on July 30, 2011, I asked, "Now that Penske is out and Mercedes Benz has taken control of smart usa, will smart dealers assist or offer pre-'08 smart owners service and repair?"

There were also several additional email inquiries to smart usa and Mercedes Benz usa regarding this corporate policy.

It is now September 9, 2011 and STILL NO ANSWER!

Van Housen MB has officially announced that they are the official Smart dealer here in Sacramento.  Does that mean that the electronic maintenance records have been transferred from the Niello group?
Well, we actually have gotten the news that we can now order parts from the MB dealer, which was a good thing!  It would be great if we could actually get a shop manual.  It's an expensive proposition to log on tho their system to get the information you need to work on the car, although there are alternatives...  Remember whatever we get from MB is a gift because they didn't import the 450 into the states people did that on their own.  Personally I knew mine was going to be an orphan the day I bought it.  But MB, if you are listening, we'd REALLY like a manual -- pretty please!

belkin666 said:

back on July 30, 2011, I asked, "Now that Penske is out and Mercedes Benz has taken control of smart usa, will smart dealers assist or offer pre-'08 smart owners service and repair?"

There were also several additional email inquiries to smart usa and Mercedes Benz usa regarding this corporate policy.

It is now September 9, 2011 and STILL NO ANSWER!

Corky:  just to kind of say what i think is the point Eric is getting at.... figured i'd chime in.  A while back, here in Eastern PA, a lot of us Smarties were in roughly the same situation.  The dealer i bought my Smart from, which is already an hour drive away.... closed down.  At the time... we heard NOTHING from pretty much anybody.  Believe it was shortly after that, with our local car club, that we were greeted with the presence of Chris Duffner, who was the regional manager for the northeast US.  A few times we also got the line along the tone of a solution coming soon, but it still took a while.  In the meantime, the nearest dealership was nearly double the distance away.  Granted, an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes is nothing compared to what you're experiencing... but even that extra time made it much harder to make trips to the dealer, not to mention that service from the dealers we were orphaned to has not yet lived up to that of the original Smart Center Devon.

 

The point i'm getting at is... when it comes to the franchise locations... even if there's something VAGUELY in the works, it's probably somewhat in MB's best interest to not really let anyone outside the company know any details until the deal is nearly done.  If they came out now and said that they have a location lined up and it should be opening soon... and then a week.... 2 weeks... a month later, say that the previously mentioned location won't be opening, would you be delighted to hear that there was a possibility, or even MORE aggravated having known that yet again something hasn't come to pass?

 

a while after Devon closed (and i believe it was a few months after).... Smart Center Trevose opened... which unfortunately was still about an hour and a half away, but at least it didn't require crossing state lines as well.  Service with them was a nightmare, and has taught me to never go to a Faulkner dealership again, even with a different car.  When the MB takeover was coming up, Trevose basically gave up on even bothering with trying to do any service from my, and other's, experiences... and we were yet again left in the dark about what would be opening to take ITS place.  I believe at the time i was having a bit of a conversation with Jill... after having no help with Trevose and voicing my issues directly with her rather than going lower down the totem pole.  She let me know something was really close, but couldn't give any details at that time... and i believe about a week later she informed me that they were re-opening a smart center back in Devon.

 

So yea... there COULD be something in the works... but in some scenario's, it's seen that the less information that's given, the better.  I know.... it sucks... but just hang in there.  Hell, i've been trying to get the dents in my wheels straightened ever since the FIRST Smart Center Devon closed... and only now was told by the sales manager at the NEW Devon to try calling the wheel & tire warranty company myself to see what they could do, simply because of the fact that i can hardly ever find the time to drive all the way down there, and it's not cheap to go, either. 

"Well, we actually have gotten the news that we can now order parts from the MB dealer,....."
 
News from who? Not from MBUSA. My local MB dealer won't do it. My local smart dealer won't do it.

It was posted on the smart forum.  They said all you needed to provide was that your car was registered in the US (registration should be in the glove-box).  They posted is maybe a week ago, so maybe it takes time to get through the system?  I don't know for sure as I have not tried it.  One of the smart car forum guys has already ordered parts from his 450 from the dealer.

The thread is here:

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f69/450-owners-us-parts-thr...

I haven't tried it as my smart only has like 4000 miles on it!  I haven't needed any parts yet, so I haven't personally tried it! Maybe the MB folks posting on here could confirm that this is now possible, but I know it's been done by someone.

 

belkin666 said:

"Well, we actually have gotten the news that we can now order parts from the MB dealer,....."
 
News from who? Not from MBUSA. My local MB dealer won't do it. My local smart dealer won't do it.

Any work or parts ordered from MB dealers will cost an arm and a leg! 

 

When we did our test drives in November 2007 (for those of us that had been on waiting lists) were told that MB dealers would offer substantially lower repair fees for our wee little cars. ha ha ha ha!

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