Originally Posted by melz10
1. The shift motor had not failed the car recognized it was on its way to failing. Like how your car can recognize their is low air pressure in your tires. But in this case, instead of giving you a visual warning, it shuts your car down. Can you imagine if your car got three bars of death and shut down every time your tire pressure was only at 80%?
Which gets to your #3
Check engine, I brought this up to dealer. When I asked if my situation really warranted the car completely shutting down in the middle of driving or really a check engine light or other type of light indicator on dash, I got a blank look and then a yes, not back enough response. When I tried to ask Smart directly when I called, I got the "we can't talk about any car but your own" response and even then they refused to talk about it.
So for those of us who lurk on the forums and and our cars are getting old in age and mileage, I don't think this issue is a dead horse. If anything, people should be encouraged to talk about their experiences.
The "3 bars of death" error means the shift unit has encountered a fatal error.
Like the "Blue Screen of Death" on a Windows computer, it either means there is a hardware error, or the computer encountered a software anomaly it wasn't programmed to handle. Either way, a fatal error will cause function to cease, with the only recovery being a restart. This is what you get with a computerized car.
Likewise, the car does have redundant systems, your brakes and steering should still work if the engine or transmission encounters a fatal error... You can also restart operation while still moving. Just shift into Neutral, start the car, then shift back into gear...(of course, if the fault is a hardware error, the car will be coming to a stop) and you're on your way!
Since we're talking about aged cars here, there won't be a recall. As much as it sucks, the manufacturer is off the hook now.