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Hi,

I am leasing a 2015 Smart For Two Pure, with about 16K miles. Recently ran into the following dilemma : The car was being driving on city streets when it started sputtering and losing power, then stalled and wouldn't start. The check engine light was lit at that point.

I had it towed home, scanned the codes, and not only was there a coolant low error, but the 3rd cylinder was misfiring. I eventually found the leak in the coolant system: it was caused by a hose laying on top of the steering column, instead of being clasped into place underneath it like it should be. The hose was placed there at the factory because it has never had any work done with either the coolant system or steering. It took 3 years for the hose to be worn through by the turning steering column, because of the low mileage, but it eventually did. I had the car towed down to the dealership and told them what the problem was. They examined it, and confirmed what I had described.

Now the really bad part: Even though the car is under 3 years old, and under 36K miles, they are telling me that Mercedes Benz is denying warranty coverage and slapped me with a repair estimate of $10,100.00 to replace the engine. They claim that the hose was not installed properly, and that I was the one who did it. The service rep at the dealership claims he is backing up my claim, but MB says the service center is the source of their information leading to the denial.

I have to return the lease in May. Any suggestions on what I can do to prove that I never have disconnected the hose?

Thanks for any help...
 

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Welcome to SCoA! :)

Good start would be verifying all the work the dealer performed. Next, have the service manager talk with the dealership general manger to back you up. Would not hurt to have some legal advice as well.
 

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Did you or didn’t mess with the hose? That’s the question. Is your finger prints on it? Can MB prove you messed with it. If a hose worked it’s way off. The cars under warranty. MB should fix it. I would have never hooked a scan gauge to it. Never had tried to self diagnose the problem. I would have it towed to the dealership, when the engine check lamp went on immediately.

Get a lawyer.
 

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Did you or didn’t mess with the hose? That’s the question. Is your finger prints on it? Can MB prove you messed with it. If a hose worked it’s way off. The cars under warranty. MB should fix it. I would have never hooked a scan gauge to it. Never had tried to self diagnose the problem. I would have it towed to the dealership, when the engine check lamp went on immediately.

Get a lawyer.
I agree 100%!!!!
 

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Hate to say it but you may have messed up by doing the investigating yourself. If a car is under warranty, or lease, I wouldn't touch it and take it to the dealer. Hope it works out for you!
 

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Did you or didn’t mess with the hose? That’s the question. Is your finger prints on it? Can MB prove you messed with it. If a hose worked it’s way off. The cars under warranty. MB should fix it. I would have never hooked a scan gauge to it. Never had tried to self diagnose the problem. I would have it towed to the dealership, when the engine check lamp went on immediately.

Get a lawyer.
I Would have to agree with part of this but not with the "get a lawyer".
I do warranty repairs for a number of large company's.
We have a saying between my wife and I that "attitude affects warranty policy".
While this is not legal, nothing get's the hair on the back of my neck to rise faster than when someone mentions that "well I'll just get a lawyer and see how that goes"!.
When someone mentions that to me that's the end of any conversion.
There are many options that don't cost anything and there are many times when all it takes is for someone to mention Lawyer and a Company simply says "OK" here's the number of our Corporate Lawyer, see ya.
Is that right? No, but a lot of company's don't/won't take a chance any more.
Maybe bring the service writer a box of donuts, and smile.
Hiring a Lawyer to deal with a large company such as MB is not cheap!
 

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I Would have to agree with part of this but not with the "get a lawyer".
Welcome to SCoA - sorry for your misfortune. If you have a warranty (ESPECIALLY if you are leasing) and engine light comes on it's usually best to ask them to tow THEIR VEHICLE back to the closest service center. Oh, and you get NO CREDIT for DIY CSI work!

FACT - smartUSA has a building in Atlanta with likely a floor dedicated to their Legal Staff. :argue:

FACT - you don't!

Lawyer is the last resort and then only if you want to purchase his/her next M-B?

And as SLIVERS points out, "a box of donuts and smile" won't cost nearly as much.
 

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I have a 2008 Passion and my smart blew a head gasket. Engine started sputtering, lost power, blew out a huge cloud of white smoke. I had the car towed to the MB/smart dealership and they had to replace the head a cost to me of $5700. The engine never ran hot or leaked coolant. Of course it was well out of warranty as I had 128000 miles on the car. The car runs great now but my mileage dropped 3-5 mpg and the only thing I can think of that cause this is the spark plugs which they replaced when they replaced the head.
As a leased vehicle and still under warranty, the dealership should convince smart to replace the engine at no cost to you. $10000 is more than half the cost of a new car. Plead your case again to the dealership.
 

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I've found that San Francisco Mercedes/Smart is very fair. Last year, when my Check Engine Light came on, on my 2009 coupe, I had it flat bed towed to them. They diagnosed that it needed a new cylinder head, to the tune of $5,500.00. When I politely expressed my dismay, the service advisor told me that he would have the manager talk to "Corporate", and they got back to me, saying that they would split the cost between corporate and the dealership, and I would have to pay $500.00. (Which, if I had an extended warranty, is what I would have paid anyway.) They were accommodating because the car was sold by them, serviced by them, and as one of the admins on this forum explained it, they were doing it as a "soft recall." I'll have my car back in with them for its annual checkup and service soon. (I don't drive many miles a year, so yearly service is all it needs.) I've only ever leased a car once, and would not recommend working on a leased car oneself. The service record is an important thing when it's time to turn the car in at the end of the lease. Good luck, I would not say a word about getting a lawyer...that will kill off any good will that might happen.
 
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