My smart has started doing this thing where it won't go in gear, usually when I first start it, and go to put it in gear, the only things that show up in the display are park and neutral, when I put it in reverse or drive it stays blank has anyone had this happen to them??

Tags: drive, gear, park, reverse, shifting

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My '08 Passion also won't engage the gears on occasion.

I had the two year service last week, and they said a clutch needs to be replaced. It is scheduled to be done next week under warranty. (They didn't have the part in stock.)

As explained to me, it was a design fault that was corrected in the '09 models.
I had the same problem and had to have the shift assembly and the clutch replaced two weeks ago. Works better than every now. Take it to your dealer they'll get it done under warranty.
yeah, I stopped by today and made an appointment she said mostly likely it was one of those and luckily she has both parts in stock!!
I took mine in for the 1 year/10,000 mile service, and reported the same problem. They checked it out, and couldn't find any error code and the car went into reverse properly (for them). I have been having a once a day, usually first thing in the morning, won't go into reverse issue. If I put it in "D" and drive forward, then put it in reverse, it will work. Except for the times when I have to put it in "P", switch it off, and then start up again. Mine is an early 2009 model. I guess I will have to return to the dealer a few more times to get them to actually correct the problem. Mine was probably built in late 2008, but as a 2009 model, so the dealer is claiming that they've never seen the issue in a 2009. This may take a while to have fixed, meanwhile I hope that the car doesn't leave me stranded someplace.
Update: had the problem again, returned to smart center San Francisco, where they installed a new clutch under warranty. Shifts great now, mine was built 10/08, sold 2/09... so I'm happy, hope your car has been fixed too, by now.
Very nice to hear they replaced the clutch under warranty. My car is at the SF dealer as I write this. I'm into the extended warranty by now, and the tech told me he hasn't been able to get any of the clutch work for his smart customers approved for warranty work as it is a "wear" item. By any chance, Mike B, do you remember the name of your tech?

MikeB said:
Update: had the problem again, returned to smart center San Francisco, where they installed a new clutch under warranty. Shifts great now, mine was built 10/08, sold 2/09... so I'm happy, hope your car has been fixed too, by now.
Forest - thank you very much. I had visited the site and even the clutch poll, but maybe I didn't drill down far enough to get as much evidence as I just got. Update: thanks to the smart user forums I did have enough ammo to get really really upset when the dealer told me it was the clutch and it would not be covered by the extended warranty. We had a nice chat about the difference between design defects and "wear". I told him just close up the car and I'll pick it up. The tech called me several hours later with the news that the manufacturer will replace the clutch at no cost. Interesting, huh. thanks again.

Forest said:
Check this thread
http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/clutch-poll-29119/index...
It should give you plenty of examples of Clutches replaced under Warranty and even outside of Warranty due to a defect in the clutch and Grease.

Kathleen Salvia said:
Very nice to hear they replaced the clutch under warranty. My car is at the SF dealer as I write this. I'm into the extended warranty by now, and the tech told me he hasn't been able to get any of the clutch work for his smart customers approved for warranty work as it is a "wear" item. By any chance, Mike B, do you remember the name of your tech?

MikeB said:
Update: had the problem again, returned to smart center San Francisco, where they installed a new clutch under warranty. Shifts great now, mine was built 10/08, sold 2/09... so I'm happy, hope your car has been fixed too, by now.
finally got the issue resolved, was in and out of smart center VA Beach my entire shifting system is mostly brand new now, but smart in mich in the beginning said that the clutch (going by the ser. no.) was the up to date one, turns out after about $8,000 of parts changed out they were wrong it was the clutch the whole time, so now things are going great :)
Glad you got it fixed. Hope they didn't make you pay for it. I think SmartUSA is pulling a "Toyota" on these clutches.
no it's all under warranty

Kathleen Salvia said:
Glad you got it fixed. Hope they didn't make you pay for it. I think SmartUSA is pulling a "Toyota" on these clutches.
I have an early 2008 with this Reverse problem. When I told the dealer about it, they told me they could only fix it if I paid since the car was over the amount of miles in the warranty. (It was still less than two years old at the time.)

So, this is a DESIGN defect and they need to fix it for free even if it's been more than two years and the car has more than the number of miles in the warranty?

I've resorted to badmouthing the SMART car to everyone who asks me about it. And people ask me every day.
Why not just go over your dealers head, call the 800 number, Ask them why the known defect will not be covered just because it didn't show itself to you before the waranty period was up.

With a little luck you could be praising smart for stepping up and slamming your dealer for poor Customer service.
Some have had the clutch replaces at over 70,000 miles for nothing before


Teresa Gaspar said:
I have an early 2008 with this Reverse problem. When I told the dealer about it, they told me they could only fix it if I paid since the car was over the amount of miles in the warranty. (It was still less than two years old at the time.)

So, this is a DESIGN defect and they need to fix it for free even if it's been more than two years and the car has more than the number of miles in the warranty?

I've resorted to badmouthing the SMART car to everyone who asks me about it. And people ask me every day.

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