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Hi, Guys. It's been a minute since I've posted. We still have our three original 2008 Smarts, have even bought and sold another pair of 08's, for a daughter who keeps moving back and forth to Europe. These have been truly great little cars to own and operate.

My other daughter got hit by a tractor trailer yesterday. She was turning right, he was in the center lane, no signal, and did a wide right, and crushed her against the curb, damaging the entire driver's side.

Other than being scared spitless, because she couldn't get his attention and he kept pushing her over, she is fine. I was an insurance agent for years, and saw many similar claims. I can't believe that the damage was so cosmetically minor.

She was literally on her way out of town to meet a friend to fly to Panama for a month, so I quickly loaned her my cabrio and told her I'd deal with her insurance on this end.

The car actually looks great, but it tore the driver's mirror clean off, damaged four panels, the rocker panel, and the tail gate, the door grinds when opening/closing,and there is a moderate dent in the safety cage. I'm worried that with age and mileage (113k), the insurance will total it.

She loves her Passion, well, passionately (ha!), and will be heartbroken if it's totaled.

If the safety cage is damaged, does that affect the structural integrity? Or can the safety cage be easily repaired? Would we want the safety cage to be repaired if they offer to do so?

Any advice appreciated.

We are super happy. The cage did exactly what it was supposed to do.
 

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Sorry to hear but so glad she was ok. That looks pretty minor but a body shop will assess properly and hopefully will be able to fix it up for you. You can always look at the 2017 models. The cage is reportedly even stronger than the 451 model.
 

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At that age and mileage, your insurance will be sure to total it. That said, the tridion cell might be salvageable. The cell has an outer skin over the actual structure. If you're lucky, the actual structure might be undamaged, and just the skin needs replacing.

I know another member replaced an entire section of the tridion cell's skin by cutting out the damage and welding in fresh metal.
 

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The tridion cell (frame) is covered in automotive grade steel - it looks like that may be damaged. The underlying cell is touted to be stronger than steel, and difficult to damage.

If the outer covering is damaged, a body shop may be able to pull that out, fill and repaint. Otherwise the other issues look cosmetic. An auto body shop person told me it is not good to weld new sheet metal to original sheet metal - this could create a path to future rust. Has to do with the original anti-rust treated metal mixed with untreated metal.

You can pick up replacement parts online - one option is Autobahnsmart.
 

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First off, Glad she was not hurt! these cars are quite capable of protecting the occupants. I know I am thankful myself!

Somewhere there has to be a list of guidelines for totaling out a car. I have never been able to figure it out. Seems to me I heard someplace that if the Trideon cell was damaged, they automatically total the car. However, it looks like the impact point was on the cell itself so that is a whole different matter. If the door doesn't close or open right, Usually that is a good indication that something is bent badly. (unless it is from where it was hit in your case)

The problem being that these lil guys just don't have a lot of book value and repairs add up quickly so they get the "Totaled" rubber stamp.

One thing to be careful about if you have it fixed or do the Buy it back " from the insurance company is that some insurance companies won't insure or have rules as to if they can be insured after an accident.
 

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My understanding of what "totaled" means is the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the repaired car. This happened to me years ago with a 1966 Corvair in 1978. Car hit me from behind and shoved me into the car in front of me. It bend the rear fender and front hood/bumper. I opined to have it repaired for what the insurance company paid me for value.

MLogan
2014 Passion
Smyrna, TN
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, everyone. I had no idea the black was a "skin" over the safety cage. I thought it was the cage!

We dropped it off for the "express" repair. They will appraise, and either repair, or notify us if it can't be repaired.

I was an insurance agent for many years. You are correct, if the cost of repairs exceeds the book value of the car, it is considered a total. On older cars, some companies will use a different formula, but it is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Georgia has very strict laws regarding "salvage" titles. The law was intended to eliminate junkers, but at the same stroke, they unintentionally eliminated keeping a car with simple cosmetic damage as well. You have to repair the vehicle, make an appointment (can take as long as six months), have it TOWED to one of two or three inspections in the state, provide repair receipts, and then they inspect test it to make sure it still retains it's structural integrity or safety or whatever. I used to have fits explaining this to my insurance customers, who couldn't understand why they couldn't take a slightly lower check, and keep the car as well. Oh, boy!

The lady who checked us in said they had some experience with Smarts. She said that, because there was scrapes to the wheel, they would be required to measure to make sure the frame wasn't bent, and something about doing a laser scan or measurement of the dent, to see if it was more or less than Smart's recommended tolerance for repair. She felt that after eyeballing it, they might go ahead and fix it.

TBH, we test drove the 2017 Smart during the road trip campaign, and both loved it, but we've had five 2008's and have had such outstanding luck with the things, I would be halfway tempted to find another '08. The old ones have such great personalities. We are as attached to them as we are the dog, lol.
 

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I can only hope to have as many smarts as you one day, have a whole warehouse full of them!

My mid-life crisis car will totally be a smart roadster. :)

As for your door, I bet the hinges could be bent, though anything can cause poor door alignment, including a bent frame. Hopefully that hasn't happened here.
 

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I love that Roadster, and would have one myself in a heartbeat if they reintroduced them. Jeremy Clarkson actually gave it a really good writeup review back in the day. Something to the effect that it wasn't a Ferrari, but it was a lot cheaper, more accessible, and more fun.
 

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Glad your daughter is OK. Unfortunately her smart will be totaled. With the age 2008 and mileage 113k , I have seen newer smarts with less damage totaled.
I understand the safety cell may not have suffered any damage and it is covered with automotive steel. That said, the smart fortwo tridion safety cell is a non-repairable item as far as insurance companies go. A person MAY be able to make it look right and fit but, it will never have the original strength as a non damaged piece. Unless there is additional strengthening support added.
 

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If the outside cover was damaged, but not the internal structure, there is no reason that wouldn't be as strong a s original. That is why the place he took it to is using a laser to verify the frame integrity. sounds like he took it to the right place for evaluation and repair. Especially noticing the wheel was hit and knowing that a wheel damage can cause frame damage on a smart. That is what they were designed to do.
 

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Happy she made it ...

Hi, Guys. It's been a minute since I've posted. We still have our three original 2008 Smarts, have even bought and sold another pair of 08's, for a daughter who keeps moving back and forth to Europe. These have been truly great little cars to own and operate.

My other daughter got hit by a tractor trailer yesterday. She was turning right, he was in the center lane, no signal, and did a wide right, and crushed her against the curb, damaging the entire driver's side.

Other than being scared spitless, because she couldn't get his attention and he kept pushing her over, she is fine. I was an insurance agent for years, and saw many similar claims. I can't believe that the damage was so cosmetically minor.

She was literally on her way out of town to meet a friend to fly to Panama for a month, so I quickly loaned her my cabrio and told her I'd deal with her insurance on this end.

The car actually looks great, but it tore the driver's mirror clean off, damaged four panels, the rocker panel, and the tail gate, the door grinds when opening/closing,and there is a moderate dent in the safety cage. I'm worried that with age and mileage (113k), the insurance will total it.

She loves her Passion, well, passionately (ha!), and will be heartbroken if it's totaled.

If the safety cage is damaged, does that affect the structural integrity? Or can the safety cage be easily repaired? Would we want the safety cage to be repaired if they offer to do so?

Any advice appreciated.

We are super happy. The cage did exactly what it was supposed to do.
That sounded like a rough accident. The pics are great. I am extremely happy she is ok. Two daughters here. Being a parent is leaving your life behind. Everything is them. I'm glad you made it through the phone call received.

Thank you for asking about any damage to the cage, many will be interested in that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, repairs were over $3200, so their insurance company totaled the car. Shockingly, it looks like they can take the money they received, add a couple thousand, and buy a much later model with under 20k miles. Like I told my son-in-law, people buy them and either love them or hate them. Those that love them, drive them for evvvvvvver, and those that don't, well they dump them. And those that truly love them, well they replace a dearly departed Smart with yet another one, as the kids plan to do!
 

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Smart Car, still love it, 21 days in .....

I tried to get a Smart for years. I am so happy with it, I enjoy it and want to drive again. I am considering keeping the gas Smart rather than getting the electric but I have ordered an electric from my dealer in case.

I read a rumor about the 2017 Smart Electric. They might skip a year, instead, resuming in 2018. That was done with the F, skipping 2014, resuming 2015.

Regardless, the Smart handles like a sports car, at least for me. Nice flat corners, short lock to lock steering wheel, it starts, it looks so nice, I almost feel guilty driving it.

It was well worth the trip to get it, even the turn in fee for the other lease I paid after balking at first. I was not informed before the sale, people had already died in that model, via metal shards. Not that car but many like it. I never would have even looked at it.

Two low air tires, broken stems, damaged wheel computers, with enough air not to damage the tires. Had it flatbed towed to the dealer. Old lease.

I was told, six air bags had to be replaced. Only the steering wheel airbag was. All were made by the same company. When talking to the manufacturer, she asked me, please do not repeat that to anyone, it would make us go broke, huh?

I started to get dunning letters from the lessor, I didn't want to ever see their the dealer's face again again, so I just paid the return fee. The guy who I called, knocked the tax off the 350$, which he did not have to do, but I profusely thanked him for the accommodation and kind gesture.

Oh, after checking the height of the Smart, it went through perfectly without tire damage and the hammer banging sounds made by the cloth strips on the previous lease.

I really love just looking at it.

I have so many questions but I will try to look them up before asking. Here is one.

Why doesn't my remote key lock/unlock work with gloves on? I have looked making sure my finger was square on the button. I also felt the click. When I take the glove off, it works. If it has a heat sensor in it, my level of satisfaction will just keep going through the roof.

I am being careful to stay within forum guidelines, please inform me of any wrong doings other than, grammar, spelling, construction, not learning how to diagram a sentence in high school and too many words.

Thank you all.
 

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Wow, never had trouble with my remote wearing gloves, but it is just a push button inside, no heat sensor or anything.

You didn't say what your previous car was but the main thing is you are in a car you seem to enjoy! Welcome to the asylum... we are all a bit crazy about these little cars! You will notice that you will take the long route to the store, work, or wherever just to drive a little more...
 
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