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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-19-2017 03:53 PM
Smart Bob From what I have observed, some owner's have allowed the insulation in the engine compartment to sag and rest against the engine or the exhaust system. I have also observed a few 08's -09's where oil vapors have been coming out around the PCV valve grommet and soaking the thin cardboard or paper insulation. One vehicle was consuming quite a bit of oil & the owner just kept adding oil. The insulation was soaked and when he pulled into a service station to refuel, the insulation started to smolder. He was able to quickly wet down the insulation and remove it from the engine compartment. The other vehicle displayed similar symptoms and due to the insulation coming in contact with the exhaust system, smoke was observed coming out of the engine compartment. If the owner's were not with their vehicle and quickly took steps to get the insulation cooled down and soaked with water, these cars may have caught fire. Once a smart car would catch fire, the insulation would be consumed in the fire and there would not be any evidence that the insulation was the cause after becoming oil saturated. I would suggest that owner's periodically inspect the insulation in their engine compartment and make sure it has not come loose. I have re-attached mine using contact cement and clothes pins to hold the insulation in place. If your car is misting oil vapors into the engine compartment, time to figure out what is the cause & not continue to drive the car. Some owner/operator diligence will go along way to prevent these types of issues.
09-19-2017 01:19 PM
Miss Mercedes Well, this is awkward, the investigation is not going so well.

Smart Fortwo under NHTSA Investigation for Engine Fires ? News ? Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog
09-19-2017 07:53 AM
smark My 2008 seatbelt, failed too. Drivers side. Wouldn't latch. It was covered under warranty 7 year 70,000 mile safety restraint, though smart.
Was really surprise, they fixed it free. Smart at the time, offered a a crappy 2 year warranty. The car was about 5 years old, at that time.
09-19-2017 05:40 AM
jimvw57 Not uncommon in auto manufacturers. My Dad had one of the infamous Ford LTD wagons that would jump out of park and into reverse occasionally. We found out when he put it in park and opened the door to retrieve a time slip at a parking facility and it jumped in to reverse jamming the door against the attendant booth. Ford's recall got him a Mylar sticker on the dash saying to set the parking brake when putting the car in park. Not much of a fix....
09-19-2017 04:50 AM
Miss Mercedes My 2012 caught on fire due to hemorrhaging oil. I think the source of ignition was the cat. It's nice and hot with some air circulating around it. The fire smothered itself out after cooking the engine and its internals. Yet, the car prevails today!

2008s also have an issue where a coolant hose rubs a frame rail.

In all though, convincing smart USA to do anything is a waste of time. If you do get through to them, they'll either make it worse or they'll find a way to make it a "feature", not a defect.

If you look in the 453 section on this site, you'll find a several page long thread about us 453 owners angry/confused that the fuel tanks appear smaller than advertised or just broken.

Two years of failures on behalf of smart USA (some people having their tank replaced several times, only making the issues worse) later and suddenly smart USA concludes that the tank is that small by design.

Then not long later they killed the petrol smart anyway, thus also effectively killing interest in actually fixing the fuel tanks.
09-18-2017 08:16 PM
Originally Posted by den458 View Post
NHTSA is ept


In Canada many complaints had to be made to Transport Canada to force smart Canada to deal with the failures of door latches in the 450. The replacement unit by all accounts is worse than the original.

If a 2008 is not worth having the fuel leak repaired, remove all nonessentials and drive it till it burns to the ground.
09-18-2017 07:51 PM
den458 I might mention, for the right price, any of those parties may let it idle at a location of their choice & let it self-destruct, in real-time. Load it full of sensors, get multi-angle video cameras recording, & light the fuse (just turn it on & let it idle). Autopsy it pre & post-fire. That should put the issue to bed, I'd think. I'm rooting for Smart USA or MB to do the right thing, but I'm guilty of a lot of wishful thinking. Failing that, I have to hope NHTSA is ept (is that the opposite of inept?). Manufacturers or government doing the right thing? Call me a wishful thinker....
09-18-2017 07:39 PM
den458 This evening I contacted Smart USA, MB USA, the NHTSA & my local Smart dealership by email, offering each an opportunity to examine my pre-fire, gasoline-leaking 2008 Pure to further the general understanding of why the '08-09 is fire-prone. It's no surprise that "NHTSA said in documents that Mercedes investigated only two of the fires but could not find a cause". In a box of plastics, little survives a good fire. It’s self-evident that gasoline liquid or vapor moving rearward towards the exhaust manifold while in forward motion represents a significant fire hazard. I very much hope one (or more) will take the initiative to examine mine soon. It's sat unused about 4 months as I'm afraid to drive it. Recharged the battery & fired it up only to try to chase the leak at idle. I imagine letting it idle long enough would set it off eventually, I don't plan to find out. If started, I'll move it immediately out of the driveway to the street, a safe distance from the house. There's a handy fire hydrant in my front parkway. Will sit on it a little longer in hopes maybe at least the NHTSA has a genuine interest in a ready-to-burn candidate. Will post any response activity if & when. Wish me luck.
09-18-2017 01:33 PM
Miss Mercedes Those fires are currently being investigated in a federal probe.

The agency said 19 of the fires happened since January of 2015, a sign that the problem is becoming more frequent as the vehicles age.
Now that is concerning, though again, it's important to know that it's 19 out of 43,000.

Federal probe finds 27 engine fires in tiny Smart cars - ABC News
09-18-2017 01:24 PM
den458 Still, there are an awful lot of fires associated with Smart cars. There must be a basis, for some, like a fuel leak. I'd like to see some leverage put on Smart/MB to minimize the apparent fire risks. I think NHTSA is the right place to influence that leverage.
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