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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2014 Smart ED convertible on a three-year lease the first year of which will be over this Saturday.

At the beginning of April I got a pretty disconcerting message on the dash display, while the car was parked at work: "Brake Malfunction -> Workshop" after which I called MB-Roadside Assistance to have it towed to the closest Smart Center, about 12 miles away. Although service confirmed the malfunction message, they said they were unable to diagnose the problem, because the message wasn't showing live on the display when it was in the shop. They kept it for a week and drove it all over town to coax the error into showing again, but to no avail.

A week and a day later I got it back without anything being done to it by Smart service. I was told to get it back to them with the message showing on the display, i.e. not turning off the "ignition".

I thought to myself, do I really want to drive a vehicle with a "Brake Malfunction" message?

So, the message showed a few more times after that, but always at very inopportune times like late at night, or when I didn't have enough juice left to make it to the dealer.

Eventually, in the middle of May, timing was perfect though, on my way home from work the message showed up again and I drove straight to the Smart Center. I noticed that power-braking wasn't working, so I was extra careful and drove with even more foresight than usual. Rarely did I need to really use the friction brakes; I was able to brake with recuperation 95% of the way.

So, I got to the dealer, making sure not to turn it off when I got there, and instructing the valets to not touch it, and my service rep at the dealership personally drove it into service.

So, great, I think, finally they can figure it out and fix it.

A week later I got it back, with the following description in the paperwork:

Verified complaint of brake malfunction on in cluster. Performed short test, found codes C212B11 for brake vacuum pump short to ground and C212B16 for brake vacuum pump supply not ok. Performed guided test, tested vacuum pump actuation, found no activation. Replaced vacuum pump as per SDS guided test. Performed multiple road test (...).
Directly from the dealership I drove a mile and a half down the road, stopped to grab a couple of things from the grocery store and when I was ready to leave the same error message showed up again as soon as I started it. So, back I went to the dealer.

Another week later and I got it back again, that was May 29th. This week Wednesday, 6/10, the message was back again and the spiel of driving it back to the dealer repeated itself.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if this is ever going to get fixed and if not, what options do I have?

I'm not too concerned about safety, as I am prepared to expect power-braking to be out whenever the message comes back and to adjust driving accordingly. It's just a big PITA to have to drive to the dealer every so many weeks, even though they give me nice Mercedes loaners every time. But I got the electric to NOT spend on gas, and those savings are null and void every time I get one of those big vibrating cars with the three-spoke star. I really like my ED.

Can anyone enlighten me how the lemon law works in situations like these? What does it mean in practice? Will Mercedes take it back only when I tell/ask them to, will they give me a replacement, will the lease on the replacement be for another three years or whatever is remaining on my current lease? Will I make a loss? Will I gain anything? Are there even ED's available currently to serve as a replacement? Do I need to get a lawyer?

All in all, I've had my ED in service for 24 days now (and counting) because of the same problem, though the initial 8 days nothing was done to it, as they weren't able to diagnose the problem.

I'm not quite there yet, but I have a hunch I will have to familiarize myself with the lemon law. What am I up against?
 

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I have a 2014 Smart ED convertible on a three-year lease the first year of which will be over this Saturday.

At the beginning of April I got a pretty disconcerting message on the dash display, while the car was parked at work: "Brake Malfunction -> Workshop" after which I called MB-Roadside Assistance to have it towed to the closest Smart Center, about 12 miles away. Although service confirmed the malfunction message, they said they were unable to diagnose the problem, because the message wasn't showing live on the display when it was in the shop. They kept it for a week and drove it all over town to coax the error into showing again, but to no avail.

A week and a day later I got it back without anything being done to it by Smart service. I was told to get it back to them with the message showing on the display, i.e. not turning off the "ignition".

I thought to myself, do I really want to drive a vehicle with a "Brake Malfunction" message?

So, the message showed a few more times after that, but always at very inopportune times like late at night, or when I didn't have enough juice left to make it to the dealer.

Eventually, in the middle of May, timing was perfect though, on my way home from work the message showed up again and I drove straight to the Smart Center. I noticed that power-braking wasn't working, so I was extra careful and drove with even more foresight than usual. Rarely did I need to really use the friction brakes; I was able to brake with recuperation 95% of the way.

So, I got to the dealer, making sure not to turn it off when I got there, and instructing the valets to not touch it, and my service rep at the dealership personally drove it into service.

So, great, I think, finally they can figure it out and fix it.

A week later I got it back, with the following description in the paperwork:



Directly from the dealership I drove a mile and a half down the road, stopped to grab a couple of things from the grocery store and when I was ready to leave the same error message showed up again as soon as I started it. So, back I went to the dealer.

Another week later and I got it back again, that was May 29th. This week Wednesday, 6/10, the message was back again and the spiel of driving it back to the dealer repeated itself.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if this is ever going to get fixed and if not, what options do I have?

I'm not too concerned about safety, as I am prepared to expect power-braking to be out whenever the message comes back and to adjust driving accordingly. It's just a big PITA to have to drive to the dealer every so many weeks, even though they give me nice Mercedes loaners every time. But I got the electric to NOT spend on gas, and those savings are null and void every time I get one of those big vibrating cars with the three-spoke star. I really like my ED.

Can anyone enlighten me how the lemon law works in situations like these? What does it mean in practice? Will Mercedes take it back only when I tell/ask them to, will they give me a replacement, will the lease on the replacement be for another three years or whatever is remaining on my current lease? Will I make a loss? Will I gain anything? Are there even ED's available currently to serve as a replacement? Do I need to get a lawyer?

All in all, I've had my ED in service for 24 days now (and counting) because of the same problem, though the initial 8 days nothing was done to it, as they weren't able to diagnose the problem.

I'm not quite there yet, but I have a hunch I will have to familiarize myself with the lemon law. What am I up against?
You will need to familiarize yourself with your states lemon law. Generally it's 4 times for the same repair without properly fixing it. You will need to get a lawyer involved, and MB WILL fight you the whole way. Auto manufactures hate that law because it holds them accountable. The will make every excuse in the book attempting to get you to not use that law.

I was going to use that law quite a few years ago on a first year Dodge Stratus I had bought, in the end, it ended up being cheaper(and less hassle) to just unload the car, and take the hit on depreciation and get somethng else. Luckily, I was able to make a pretty good deal on a Pontiac Grand Am, and the repairs to the Stratus hadn't been logged in the system, so they had no clue what they were getting. I felt sorry for whomever the poor sucker was that got that car after me... That car was in the shop 27 times in 13 months. Not only was I told by the Chrysler factory rep that they would not just give me another car, but they assured me that if I gave them time, they could fix it... They claimed there was no such thing as a car that couldn't be repaired...:eek:

Good luck with your fight, because it will be one...
 

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many dealers don't want the hassle of a court battle and will swap out the car if possible. Since it is a lease car,, you should talk to the lease company too.
 

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Lemon laws aside, the dealer is feeding you lies.

There is no such thing as a fault message that is not stored in the computer these days.
So whether or not the warning was or is present, the fault is recorded and stored.

I had some abs faults, and they played the same game with me, telling me to come back with the fault on.

First time the car jockey got in the car and immediately switched off the key (against instructions 5 seconds earlier) to attach a repair tag.
So they sent me away.
I came back next time, and refused to get out of the car until a tech moved it into his bay.
I waited an hour, and was sent on my way - they told me "no faults found"

But the tech left a 10 page printout of the error codes from every computer module... And EVERY ONE of the previous faults was there in black and white with time, date and kms, - sheesh.... And the guys behind the service desks wonder why there is mistrust.

I would find a way to escalate the issue. Make a deal that the loaner comes with a gas card. And make a deal with the actual service manager as to what they will do if the fault re-occurs. Get it in writing, write it down your self and have the service manager sign it if you have to.

Get the name, cell phone number, and email address of the service manager, and the traveling dude that authorizes special repairs...
Making the brakes work should not be rocket science...
 

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Hate to say this as I have been on the other end of this but.. Th squeaky wheel gets the grease...especially on a item concerned with the ability of stopping. When talking to them, raise the volume up a bit more, and try to do it on the showroom floor with other potential customers within earshot. Ask for a copy of the repair files done so far on your car.Tell them you want to send them in for a review. They will either scramble to get it fixed, or run and hide. either wy you will have a clear indication of your next step.

My dealing with smart was always good and they went out of their way to be helpful, but that was in 2009. Things have most certainly changed since the early days.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I have an update to report that seems quite promising.

Today, I picked up my smart again and the repair report says they found a short in the wiring. It's quite a lengthy report, and I don't understand it all, the important bits are:

(..) Eliminated components to trace short to ground, disconnected N127 (drivetrain control unit), found short still present. removed k109, found short still present. Disconnected x26 and found short still present on motor side of harness. Inspected harness and found harness chaffing on bolt on frame. Opened wiring harness loom and found exposed wire. Performed wire repair and resecured wiring harness, reassembled, cleared codes, ok. Performed multiple road test (..)
So, hopefully, this is the fix that was needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did they provide you with a loaner car??
They sure did. I've been getting from them some late model Mercedes (C300, GLK 350, ...) every time as a loaner, one uglier than the next.

Back in January when I went to the Smart Center Tampa for the first time because the heater module was broken, they gave me a gas smart. What a traumatic experience. I wrote a separate post on that.

The second time I went in I asked them to please not give me gas smart again. Anything but that. So, ever since then I get to drive one of their Mercedes when my ED is in for service.
 

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Don't know how I've managed to live with three gas smart in a row since 2008 - if I'd only known...:rolleyes:

PS - but then I'd still be on my way home from St. Louis in an ED. >:D
 

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I've been getting from them some late model Mercedes (C300, GLK 350, ...) every time as a loaner <snip>
The second time I went in I asked them to please not give me gas smart again
We've got a 300HP Mercedes AMG in the driveway that I won't drive (unless I have to) in preference to my Smart ED. First world problems.

I swear, it won't be long and we'll trade the MB for a Tesla, it's just a matter of time.
 
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