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Jefferios,

I have wondered whether you could obtain mechanical assistance from the smart centre in Thunder Bay, ON?

 

I am another Minnesotan.  I purchased my cabrio in February.  After I had purchased the car, the dealer told me that they were losing their smart franchise, but not to worry because MB would be supporting the smarts.

 

I had no idea that the nearest smart dealer would be in Madison!

 

As with other smart owners, strangers approach me frequently and ask about my car:  How much do I like it? Is that thing safe?;  What kind of mileage do i get?;  How do I possibly fit in it?; and finally, where is the dealer?

 

My answers:  I love the car, it is a blast to drive;  Yes!, It is made by MB and carries high marks for safety from the Insurance Institute - I think of it as a winterized Harley with a NASCAR rollcage;  My last three tanks of gas all exceeded 50 mpg;  I am 6'4" and I think this is the roomiest car that I have owned since my 1968 Chev; and finally -there is no dealer for hundreds of miles.

 

There is a Fiat dealer in town, but I have never seen a Fiat 500 on the road.  Now I see that Fiat thinks this is a good enough market to set up a second dealer in the Twin Cities.  I have personally contacted two of the MB dealers asking them to consider the smart franchise.  I hear from them that it may be six months before one of them acts on this.

 

I feel disappointed by the lack of support.

-Jim G

 

 

Jefferios said:

We need help in Minnesota. Right now I am seeing a hotfix for my transmission and I cannot find it anywhere.

The dealer who picked up the ball after Feldmann just had to send it back to you.

Minneapolis is a great market for your product. I live in Duluth and while MSP is 2.5 hours away I understand the commute I have to make but its better than 7 hours to Madison. There have been several dealers where local owners have approached to pick up the smart brand. We need your help!

How can we have a car rally without stopping by the local dealer to gather?

Claudia, The problem clutches were in the 08's

 

There was a material design change in 09 on the clutches.  Part of the problem was also the software.  Most of those having issues with the clutch not engaging have since been able to be fixed via software.

 

There are those out there with over 100K on the car with the original clutch.

 

But you are correct on many other points

claudia cieslik said:


MY SUGGESTIONS are as follows:

2) Offer a better alternative to the clutch instead of just replacing with the same new, weak clutch.



I may be in the minority but I am in complete agreement with Stephen Hokanson

It's very rare that I will buy something of this caliber on a whim, but that's just what I did. And sad to say I am now starting to regret it. The issue of the car itself is not the problem, as I just love the little guy, but the problem is with Mercedes-Benz, or whoever the parent corporation is of Smart USA.

As I mentioned I rarely buy anything on a whim. I was definitely attracted to the Smart the first time I saw one, but based on early reviews I was a little gun shy. I was down at the local Kia dealer in the Twin Cities to look at another car. One of the cars I was looking at was at their body shop, and when I and the salesman went over to look that's when I discovered their body shop was in the back of their smart dealership. I looked at a 2011 pure, and that fit my bill in every way for a second car to commute to work in. Also the price being drastically reduced was a great incentive. I was a little concerned with the short warranty, but being as Mercedes-Benz was behind it that alleviated some of that concern. One of the many pluses was the fact the salesperson informed me that they only needed service once a year or 10,000 miles. I live 140 miles from the dealer, in an area I am familiar with and I'm able to combine other tasks in the area with my once a year service or warranty work. I passed on the car I was originally looking at (Kia soul) and went with the smart. I added approximately $1200 worth of aftermarket options such as stereo, cruise control, floor mats etc. The last thing the salesperson told me was "see you back here in about a year".

After the customary few miles to familiarize myself with the car I came to like it more and more. I felt I had made the right choice. Great fuel mileage, fun to drive, etc. so what if it only held two people I've never traveled to work with anyone but myself, and it easily holds what I need to carry.

I also discovered the Smart community via several forums, including this one. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that I no longer had a Smart dealership within a reasonable distance (300 miles is not a reasonable distance).

I find that this is totally unacceptable. What Mercedes-Benz, a.k.a. SmartUsa did is in effect invalidated my warranty as this is totally not doable to travel 300 miles for warranty or service work, especially to a location where I have no other interests. Until a dealership is  est. in close proximity to where I purchased the car I will have all service work done either by myself, or an independent shop of my choosing. Any warranty work that would be too costly to absorb on my own I will contact SmartUsa and let them deal with it to their choosing, up to and including at their expense transporting the 300 miles to the nearest Smart dealership.

I will be relating my experiences with the car and its after sales service with all the curiosity seekers that asks about my car. I am even giving serious thought to unloading this automobile and possibly purchasing my first choice, which did have a very substantial warranty and dealer network. I hope it doesn't come to that as I really like the Smart.

I feel that SmartUsa is ethically and morally obligated to stand behind their warranty as purchased. Whether legally obligated that's a matter for future discussion. However I feel that SmartUsa owes it to the people that put their faith in their brand to provide a viable warranty, at least comparable to what was in place when the car was purchased.

I too am pretty disgusted.

I too, agree with Steve and I will be one of those that he can include when he says "we". 

-Jim

Corky A Freeman said:


I may be in the minority but I am in complete agreement with Stephen Hokanson


 

belkin666 said:

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?

Thanks

 

I want to second this! At least stock consumables and order other parts. It would really by nice if you train your tech's on all of the models. How about parts to fix your smart up? Like Ford does with their Ford Racing brand. Offer Brabus parts.

Forest, thank you for that clarification! I honestly thought it was all of the clutches. I wish I could go back and edit my comment to not include that point anymore, then :(
I recently had to take my 2009 Brabus Coupe in because the AC/Heater fan had gotten erratic and quit.  That is a major issue when the temperatures are 100+.  The Georgetown Texas MB dealer took my call and scheduled me an appointment.  The only hesitancy they had was that they were not prepared to accept Smart warranty work however since I had purchased the extended warranty and I was out of warranty, they could take my car in for repairs.  When I arrived they took care of the preliminary paperwork quickly and had a C300 loaner waiting for me to drive until mine was repaired.  Once they determined that it was the fan motor, they ordered it and it was received the next day and repair completed promptly.  There was a minor issue with the correct deductible for repair but that has since been resolved.  So, in summary my first encounter with Smart ForTwo support at the Mercedes Benz dealer was a positive one.
Since they are up and running as an authorized smart center I wonder what their issue is with smart warranty work?  After all, that's one of the things smart centers are supposed to handle.

CW Clark said:
I recently had to take my 2009 Brabus Coupe in because the AC/Heater fan had gotten erratic and quit.  That is a major issue when the temperatures are 100+.  The Georgetown Texas MB dealer took my call and scheduled me an appointment.  The only hesitancy they had was that they were not prepared to accept Smart warranty work however since I had purchased the extended warranty and I was out of warranty, they could take my car in for repairs.  When I arrived they took care of the preliminary paperwork quickly and had a C300 loaner waiting for me to drive until mine was repaired.  Once they determined that it was the fan motor, they ordered it and it was received the next day and repair completed promptly.  There was a minor issue with the correct deductible for repair but that has since been resolved.  So, in summary my first encounter with Smart ForTwo support at the Mercedes Benz dealer was a positive one.
They claimed it was a State of Texas registration/paperwork issue; but I didn't pursue it since it didn't matter to me. 

jwight said:
Since they are up and running as an authorized smart center I wonder what their issue is with smart warranty work?  After all, that's one of the things smart centers are supposed to handle.

CW Clark said:
I recently had to take my 2009 Brabus Coupe in because the AC/Heater fan had gotten erratic and quit.  That is a major issue when the temperatures are 100+.  The Georgetown Texas MB dealer took my call and scheduled me an appointment.  The only hesitancy they had was that they were not prepared to accept Smart warranty work however since I had purchased the extended warranty and I was out of warranty, they could take my car in for repairs.  When I arrived they took care of the preliminary paperwork quickly and had a C300 loaner waiting for me to drive until mine was repaired.  Once they determined that it was the fan motor, they ordered it and it was received the next day and repair completed promptly.  There was a minor issue with the correct deductible for repair but that has since been resolved.  So, in summary my first encounter with Smart ForTwo support at the Mercedes Benz dealer was a positive one.
I guess I am lucky to live in San Antonio, TX. Been hearing a lot of good things about MBSA and the service that people have been receiving on their Smarts.
I was going to buy a 2011 from MBSA, and when I went to the dealership, I was told that they did not have a lot of info about the car, as they had just taken over the brand. It should be good for MB as the new CAFE standards will be tough to meet, without a small fuel efficient car. I did not buy a new Smart, but ended up buying a 2008 with 4000 miles on the clock. The only problem I have had with it is that once it did not want to go into reverse, and I read that this is a software (firmware) update, and I should take it to the dealer to have it updated. So I will be making an appointment with MBSA to see about having that done. Love the car, just hope the service will be as good as the service that I get on my two Volkswagen New Beetles.
yeah, I'm lucky to be in Ft Worth as we have a deal in Ft. Worth AND Dallas; but, I have a 2004 450.  AFAIK the MB/smart sealer won't touch them.  Will MB continue to give us the fist or at least allow us to order parts?  Heck personally I could do the work myself -- I just need the parts!  So far the 450 seems to be pretty reliable, but you never know what it MIGHT need down the road...
Since the 450s were not imported by M-B USA and were extensively modified by G&K prior to sale, it's unlikely M-B USA would be open to supporting them now.  You never know, but you'll probably find parts easier to get from Canadian or EU sources.

Kenny Andersen said:
yeah, I'm lucky to be in Ft Worth as we have a deal in Ft. Worth AND Dallas; but, I have a 2004 450.  AFAIK the MB/smart sealer won't touch them.  Will MB continue to give us the fist or at least allow us to order parts?  Heck personally I could do the work myself -- I just need the parts!  So far the 450 seems to be pretty reliable, but you never know what it MIGHT need down the road...

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