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But we still recall the 'matter of weeks' statement from last year. Don't get me wrong, I'd love an announcement, especially a positive one but....

Numbers have to be down since they aren't selling any in the area (not without a Dealer) and owners are selling them off for something with local support, They must be losing market share which means less interest in supporting the current owners... Please MB, prove me wrong!!!   Time will tell.

why they canned the previous smart dealers before something was in place is the most curious part.  What kind of plan is that? AFAIK, the previous dealers were all forced to stop, no?  Why not make an arrangement with the original support unit until something more 'permanent' is in place? Had they wanted, I'm sure they could have made it worth someone's time... had they wanted.

DVI needs to contact the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and clue them in.  Larry Printz, the auto writer for this paper, did an article on convertibles available for less than $40,000. Not only did he omit the smart fortwo cabriolet, he actually described the $19,500 Fiat 500C as "the least expensive convertible sold in America..." Never mind that the fortwo cabrio has an MSRP of $17,890 and there's a smart center just a few miles away.

Photos | Our 2012 convertible picks | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnlin...

 Hello all,

  I have a 2008 Passion that I purchased in the Twin Cities and do the service work myself which so far hasn't been a problem...yet. I dread the day when something electrical/electronic goes wrong and need the special equipment that my dearly departed dealer no longer has. The lies that MB continues to tell us about another servicing dealer coming  soon and the ridiculous service manual situation are beyond irresponsible. MB took over Smart sales for only one reason, the federal C.A.F.E. (corporate average fuel economy) standards. Bringing Smart into MB raised the MB fleet's average fuel economy figures and helps avoid Federal penalties. It wasn't to further advance the brand here in the US or to improve customer service and satisfaction. Smart is now an inconvenient necessity for complying with Federal standards...nothing more. Whether or not this ever changes with new models that MB dealers will WANT to sell and service is yet to be seen but the current Smart is a bastard step child and this fact isn't going to change.

  There needs to be a class action lawsuit brought forth due to breech of the Federal Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act and the lack of service information available plus the loss of resale value owners in this area are suffering due to the lack of parts & service support. MB's response to this problem is just lip service fed from their legal department hoping to fend off or at least stall negative press and legal action. A class action probably will never happen due to the small value of the products involved and the extreme difficulty in raising the funds to pay the attorneys needed to accomplish such a task. MB attorney's would use stall tactics to keep this out of a court room until we are all in the nursing home room wetting our beds and drooling on ourselves.

  The writing's on the wall for all of us to see if we really want to see it; our cars are orphans and will join the ranks of the Isetta, Messerschmitt and the Renault Dauphine and will become yard ornaments and museum oddities in the not so distant future. The problem I have is that I really love the car for all of the reasons most of you do and I want to keep it. We even considered buying a second one not long after the delivery of our '08 but trust me on this, there won't be another...ever.

  One last point, KAMAAL is either directly or indirectly a company stooge on this forum to defend the product from all of us "idiot owners". This "person" is as transparent as clean glass on a nice day. I used to do the same thing when I worked for a Fortune 500 company defending a Renault product that that company sold. I was to tell the dealers (and owners if they got their call through to me which I was to avoid) that there weren't any problems with the product as a whole and the problem they were experiencing was just an "isolated incident" forgetting the fact that over 40% of these vehicles had a failure that required towing. My job was to tow the company line and lie through my teeth if I had to (which was an hourly occurrence) to defend the company and product. I kept this job only long enough to find other employment because I do have a conscience. KAMAAL old buddy, I know you're reading this so I'll give you a nickel's worth of free advice because I have empathy for your thankless position. You need to agree with us idiots once in a while to keep yourself believable here, your defense of the company and product is way too over the top to be believable. Good luck Sunshine!

Thanks for reading my post, best wishes and good luck to all!

"4-Paws" from IOWA

I am not sure the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act would apply here as the warranty is a limited warranty that is very well written.  The only problem appears to be the distance one must travel to get warranty services.  I have read through the act, and I can not find a reference to the maximum number of miles.  

I agree the situation sucks..and the folks at smart are trying to get some dealer to take over the area, but they can not force any franchisee to step up...it appears there is just not a good business model based on expected sales/service.

At the Midwest smart rally in Red Wing, Minnesota, the DVI representative stated that there will be an announcement regarding sales and service of smarts in Minnesota within 60 days.  That means we will know on or before August 7, 2012.

I am patiently waiting to take action until after the stated announcement date.

Hello again, 

   I'll admit that I'm no attorney either but I have read things on this forum about others having warranty problems and being put off which is a no-no under that law. Many states have warranty and so called "lemon laws" (see * below) that could come into play here as well. One thing I've noticed is the "updates" done on owners' cars, some have had to pay and others have not. This could possibly be a "secret warranty" which is also known by the old adage "the squeaking wheel gets the grease warranty" which can be a violation of the M-M act and state lemon laws. If the owner of the updated car signed a statement that he/she is getting the work done as a "policy adjustment" to promote customer satisfaction and is a one time fix relating to the problem corrected and IS NOT a warranty or warranty extension either expressed or implied; then Daimler is off the hook so to speak. If the dealer paid for the update in a gesture of good will to their customer, no violation will have occurred. If the dealer is paid for their update work by Daimler and then charged the customer for the work thus getting paid twice; the dealer is a crook and is committing fraud which is a definite violation of their franchise-sales/service agreements with the manufacturer. There's a lot of "gray" area in the various laws and some states have arbitration to settle such matters but most motor companies will try to settle out of court as jury's tend to favor the vehicle owners.

  In my former position at the fore mentioned Fortune 500 company, we had only a few more dealers nationwide than Smart has. Dealers are independent businesspersons that can charge and do most anything they see fit and sometimes the dealer's best interest conflicts with the manufactures best interests. The manufactures has no say in what a dealer charges for cars, parts or service which is something we customers sometimes have trouble wrapping our head around but it's reality. Our product at the time had mechanical problems that were not safety related unless you count hitch hiking a ride after the vehicle crapped out along the Interstate somewhere in the boonies but the "Center for Auto Safety" in Washington D.C. took it on. This is a group that was founded by Ralph Nader and was run then (and possibly still) by Clarence Ditlow. He and his organization helped facilitate a class action against the manufacturer and had several thousand in the class. He also managed to get the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation on the limited and exclusive parts availability by the manufacturer to only their dealer body. Attorneys for the manufactures disqualified nearly 60% of the class plaintiffs due to policy adjustment waivers signed by the owners to get repairs done to their vehicles in the past. The class action fell apart and the manufacturer was off the hook but this pretty much hastened the end of that particular product line. The FTC never did rule on this and dismissed the complaint. The point I'm trying to make here is that taking on Daimler for their irresponsibility would be difficult at best.

  There is another warranty on our cars that we all have and some don't realize. It's the federally mandated 5 year - 50,000 emission warranty that applies to all components/systems that effect air quality such as (but not limited to) catalytic converters, exhaust gas recirculating systems and fuel delivery systems. The manufacturer I worked for REALLY liked to forget this one unless the customer and/or their attorney reminded us of our responsibility. We owners need to keep this warranty in mind when repairs are needed.

  As far as the August 7th date goes, I'll believe it when I see it come to fruition. They've peddled this line to us before; don't loose sight that lower level customer relations people tend to tell people what they WANT to hear and not necessarily reflect reality. In my former post, I alluded to my former job where I was paid to do just that. That was back in the 80's when we didn't really have a name for lies to protect thee company's position and reputation. Today we call it "Spin"; "Lie" seems to be a word that today is just too severe and accusatory but I guess I'm "old school" on this one. "Spin" in my book is just a fancy double-speak word for lie. This person may be telling it like it is and I hope it's true but their track record on this is poor...only time will tell.

(*) Lemon Laws vary from state to state that have them on the books but the main points are mandatory buy back of the vehicle if a warrantable repair has kept the vehicle from being used after 30 days or longer from the date of notification. The other main theme is mandatory buy back if a vehicle has had 3 or more unsuccessful attempts in being repaired. There are many more features to the laws and one must look at the laws in their own state for specifics.

Have a good one y'all,

"4-Paws" from Iowa



Dave Levin said:

I am not sure the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act would apply here as the warranty is a limited warranty that is very well written.  The only problem appears to be the distance one must travel to get warranty services.  I have read through the act, and I can not find a reference to the maximum number of miles.  

I agree the situation sucks..and the folks at smart are trying to get some dealer to take over the area, but they can not force any franchisee to step up...it appears there is just not a good business model based on expected sales/service.

Thanks jwight. I let our PR team know. Thanks to you and Jill for jumping in and stating the facts.

jwight said:

DVI needs to contact the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and clue them in.  Larry Printz, the auto writer for this paper, did an article on convertibles available for less than $40,000. Not only did he omit the smart fortwo cabriolet, he actually described the $19,500 Fiat 500C as "the least expensive convertible sold in America..." Never mind that the fortwo cabrio has an MSRP of $17,890 and there's a smart center just a few miles away.

Photos | Our 2012 convertible picks | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnlin...

The newspaper article is probably correct if you consider cars that are widely available in America.  There are many (most) places that smarts are not available.  FIAT dealers are much more widely distributed around the country.

jwight said:

DVI needs to contact the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and clue them in.  Larry Printz, the auto writer for this paper, did an article on convertibles available for less than $40,000. Not only did he omit the smart fortwo cabriolet, he actually described the $19,500 Fiat 500C as "the least expensive convertible sold in America..." Never mind that the fortwo cabrio has an MSRP of $17,890 and there's a smart center just a few miles away.
Photos | Our 2012 convertible picks | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnlin...

Jim, this has nothing to do with dealer networks or your specific gripe with the lack of a MN smart center.  The article makes the statement that the Fiat 500C is the least expensive convertible sold in America.  That statement is not correct - it is false.  It's hard for something to be "probably" correct - either it is or it isn't.

Jim Gausman said:

The newspaper article is probably correct if you consider cars that are widely available in America.  There are many (most) places that smarts are not available.  FIAT dealers are much more widely distributed around the country.

jwight said:

DVI needs to contact the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and clue them in.  Larry Printz, the auto writer for this paper, did an article on convertibles available for less than $40,000. Not only did he omit the smart fortwo cabriolet, he actually described the $19,500 Fiat 500C as "the least expensive convertible sold in America..." Never mind that the fortwo cabrio has an MSRP of $17,890 and there's a smart center just a few miles away.
Photos | Our 2012 convertible picks | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnlin...

jwight,

I believe you missed the point -- it was just a dig about no dealer in his area... again.

You think.....?  :D

Kenny Andersen said:

jwight,

I believe you missed the point -- it was just a dig about no dealer in his area... again.

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