How many repairs should I tolerate? (one month of ownership) - Page 3 - Smart Car Forums
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post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Suze View Post
Well, powerofvoodoo, I'll try to be more supportive and not read your posts as whining. ok?

Maybe it read that way because you being young and this your first car you had expectations that weren't met. It's life and it happens. It really sounds more like minor issues and communication problems with the dealer. These can all be overcome with a lot less freaking out about it. I know, because I'm a big freaker-outer, myself! :eek: Talk with your dealer - service manager or GM. These people want you to be happy - it's their job.
I've asked about most of the problems I've had in posts to get advice whether or not it is user error or if there's a larger underlying issue. I'm not intending any of this to be whining, only expressing my frustration with the fact that I'm the lucky one to experience most of the common problems with one car.
The larger problem that I was posting about is the fact that I did inform my dealer of all of the problems and he said "So what's the problem?" and only tried to help me after I informed him that I hadn't completed my survey yet.
I came here with the timeline for everything because my mom is pushing me to e-mail "smart" and tell them what I've gone through. This post was basically asking if I should do that or if this was normal considering the car has only been in the US for 2 years (my previous excuse every time I took the car to the dealer).

For everyone else, these problems are in no way a deal breaker and there's no way I'm selling or trading in my car for anything else. The problems, minor or not, and visits to the dealer have mostly just taken away the excitement from the fact that I just bought my first car and it's a car I've wanted for years. Stating that I should have gotten a used Honda was kind of tongue-in-cheek considering the Honda I was going to get had a bad transmission and it probably would have needed to get replaced while I owned it.
I was lucky to get the smart - I had a $12,000 budget (the car is completely paid for), and the only way I was able to afford a brand new ANYTHING was with cash for clunkers.
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post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:36 AM
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The question to ask yourself if you e-mail SmartUSA: what do you expect to gain?

Are you looking for a different new smart? Financial compensation? Free repairs? [That doesn't work, they're already free.] A free t-shirt or coffee mug? [I think you already received a mug, hat, and jacket.] A gas card? Someone to say "I'm truly sorry?" A flat tow and free return when your headlights need alignment?

What could SmartUSA do to keep you from picketing the dealership? And then which dealership would you picket?

Decide what you want. If you want nothing, the e-mail will probably have little response. If you want the world in exchange for your troubles, you will probably have little response. If what you ask for is reasonable, there's no reason you shouldn't have a good outcome from the exchange.

For your first new car, your "dream car" - completely paid off - I can understand wanting perfection. I can understand not wanting major problems with your new vehicle. You're caught in the middle ground where you're not ecstatic yet your car is and has been 100% driveable (unless auto mode and/or the center shifter also failed you).

Is there more that you'd like from the dealership where you purchased the car?
Is there more that you'd like from the dealership performing the service?
Is there more that you'd like from the manufacturer?
Is there more that you'd like from us on the forum?

Personally, I don't see you as a whiner, I see you as frustrated with the car not meeting your elevated expectations. I also wouldn't like to visit the dealership each week.

Last edited by John_H; 09-02-2009 at 06:39 AM.
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post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:47 AM
 
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Well said John

I too do not see a "whiner", just utter frustration

It seems he has a beef with the dealership(s) just "blowing him off". They should be trying to make things right for him. The economy is bad enough; and to add insult to injury will only eventually kill the dealership

SOMETHING THEY MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER :eek:


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post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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Voodoo. I don't see you as a whiner either.

It looks like we must continue pound Smart INC to get these QC problems solved. I am furious that so many of the same problems We had with our early, Jan 08, car are still occurring in the 09's. Even GM does better than this.

I love the car as it is fun to drive, but ours was going back to the dealer so often in it's early months that we just set it aside, and now drive it strictly for fun, It's become just a toy

While many think Voodoo's problems are minor the fact he has to keep bringing the car back to the dealer becomes a big PIA and a total waste of time.

One of Smart's problems is the ultra short warranty. Owners must try to get every little thing fixed in a short time, as they fear they will be left with big expense when the clock runs out.

And no, we don't expect to find all these bugs in a second year model of any car. Our SX4 (june 09 ) @ 7k miles, by comparison, has not had to return to the dealer except for an oil change. A2Jack

Last edited by a2jack; 09-02-2009 at 07:29 AM.
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post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by John_H View Post
The question to ask yourself if you e-mail SmartUSA: what do you expect to gain?
I don't expect to gain anything which is why I haven't written to them even though I have the contact information. The only reason I'm considering it is so that they know that they're selling cars that have had numerous problems. That was also the reason why I called my dealer in the first place - so that they would know - not so that they would throw free stuff at me. (The only reason I accepted the things that I did was because it was stuff that I was contemplating buying anyway.)
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post #26 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by chieftmc View Post
It seems she has a beef with the dealership(s) just "blowing her off". They should be trying to make things right for her. The economy is bad enough; and to add insult to injury will only eventually kill the dealership
I love when a dealership is responsive and seriously takes ownership. Too often the sales people are the ones fielding the calls from existing owners and the people who should be listening are primarily the General Manager and secondarily the Service manager.

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Originally Posted by a2jack View Post
While many think Voodoo's problems are minor the fact she has to keep bringing the car back to the dealer becomes a big PIA and a total waste of time.

One of Smart's problems is the ultra short warranty.
It may be better to wait a little while if the problems aren't severe to take care of several nagging issues at once. We do have 2 years (except, perhaps, for the clutch at one year). The short warranty was probably partly for SmartUSA to reduce their exposure to unknown warranty costs. I'd like to see this extended as they get a better idea of the reliability of the 451 over time. It's SmartUSA footing the warranty bill so I'm surprised there isn't more pressure to get the folks in Hambach to improve their QC on the frequent problems (e.g. microwave sensor?!) and reduce the exposure to warranty costs. Having a QC pass for every car in the dealership would be another way to approach this but that's more of a dealer issue unless SmartUSA starts paying for that time, too.

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Originally Posted by powerofvoodoo View Post
The only reason I'm considering it is so that they know that they're selling cars that have had numerous problems.
The best way to get them to know about the problems is to do as you have: get the problems fixed under warranty. The costs bite SmartUSA in the bottom (line) and SHOULD be reason enough for them to push back on France (or Germany).

I'd suggest calling SmartUSA and asking if they'd be willing to do the tow to handle the next service issue(s) since you've been in so much so early. This is further pain for that parent company.

Last edited by John_H; 09-02-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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post #27 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 10:13 AM
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I can't believe someone branded you a whiner. I'm sure that they have ordered something from a fast food joint, and when it wasn't exactly to their liking they returned it. You are simply asking the dealer/company to make good on the contract they entered with you. Whatever amount you spent on your Smart, you should be completely satisfied. We have had ours for 2 months now and have put 3000 miles on it with no issues. We've received no fewer than 3 calls from the Smart Center in Tulsa ensuring that we are happy with the car. Stick to your guns and keep on the dealer!

I would like John H to explain what he means by "elevated expectations".
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post #28 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 10:25 AM
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I can't believe someone branded you a whiner. I'm sure that they have ordered something from a fast food joint, and when it wasn't exactly to their liking they returned it. You are simply asking the dealer/company to make good on the contract they entered with you. Whatever amount you spent on your Smart, you should be completely satisfied. We have had ours for 2 months now and have put 3000 miles on it with no issues. We've received no fewer than 3 calls from the Smart Center in Tulsa ensuring that we are happy with the car. Stick to your guns and keep on the dealer!

I would like John H to explain what he means by "elevated expectations".
Let's not be harsh. I didn't brand her a whiner. I said that to me the post read as whining. Then I went on to add a supportive message, once a 2nd post by voodoo made her situation more clear to me.
Now you've branded me a whiner-brander - not fair!!!.... (that was a whine - )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suze View Post
Well, powerofvoodoo, I'll try to be more supportive and not read your posts as whining. ok?

Maybe it read that way because you being young and this your first car you had expectations that weren't met. It's life and it happens. It really sounds more like minor issues and communication problems with the dealer. These can all be overcome with a lot less freaking out about it. I know, because I'm a big freaker-outer, myself! :eek: Talk with your dealer - service manager or GM. These people want you to be happy - it's their job.


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post #29 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 10:34 AM
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I would like John H to explain what he means by "elevated expectations".
This is her first new car - her dream car. It reads to me that she very much wanted (and rather expected) the car to be flawless and not have to revisit the dealership until the first oil change. Perhaps that's not what she was expecting but that's what I saw.

We would all like our new purchases to be flawless whether small items or major purchases. Most people would expect a complicated piece of machinery to have issues though we'd like them to be few and far between.

I would not have been as disheartened as our original poster with the problems she's had. My expectations aren't at the same level as hers. While the regular trip for service could get to be annoying, I like my smart enough that I do enjoy the opportunity to drive to a place where there are more smarts and interest in them by the people around me whether potential customers, existing owners getting service, folks selling the cars, or the service people interested in taking care of the owners.

Do you expect the new car experience to be perfection? Would a glove box that doesn't properly lock make your new-car experience frustrating? Or would it be a matter of acceptance that "these things will happen" and that you're taken care of?

I wish the best experience for all new car owners!
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post #30 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 10:43 AM
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Now I'm a whiner-brander-brander? All is good here!
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