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Discussion Starter #1
I had trouble tonight trying to shift into Park. I kept trying and trying and finally it went into Park. Now my key will not come out of the ignition. It will turn from I to II but not all the way counterclockwise so that I can remove the key. Also, I can not start it in Park. The Engine & Steering Wheel Light stay on.

Anyone else having this trouble?

Hopefully nobody will steal the car, the key is in the ignition, until I can get it back to the dealer.
 

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I had trouble tonight trying to shift into Park. I kept trying and trying and finally it went into Park. Now my key will not come out of the ignition. It will turn from I to II but not all the way counterclockwise so that I can remove the key. Also, I can not start it in Park. The Engine & Steering Wheel Light stay on.

Anyone else having this trouble?

Hopefully nobody will steal the car, the key is in the ignition, until I can get it back to the dealer.
Not sure how its designed but there may be a cable that runs from key lock to shifter that is out of joint. My big benz had that problem.
 

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I had trouble tonight trying to shift into Park. I kept trying and trying and finally it went into Park. Now my key will not come out of the ignition. It will turn from I to II but not all the way counterclockwise so that I can remove the key. Also, I can not start it in Park. The Engine & Steering Wheel Light stay on.

Anyone else having this trouble?

Hopefully nobody will steal the car, the key is in the ignition, until I can get it back to the dealer.
Do a search on this site. A number of people have had this problem. Take it to your dealer ASAP.
 

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Posted by WCOCHRAN on 6 Feb:

Here are the symptons. I cannot take the key out of the ignition. I can start it with the key, but it is stuck. When the lights are not on, the P will not light. When they are on, it is on. I can only start it in N, after I shift it from P first. When I open the doors, there is only one beep to remind me of the key in the ignition. I cannot shift into the manual mode either, the shifter will not move to the left to do this. I can put it in P, R and N after it starts. I can shift it from N to P after I get it started.So, I have to leave the key in the ignition after I shut it off and cover up the shifter and ignition with something so nobody see the key in the ignition. Then I use the second key to lock it up. I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
 

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You know what I was just thinking.... they made a special transmission "selector" for us so that we were more "familiar with it." Is anyone else getting tired of the rest of the world dumbing things down for the US market? Is anyone else tired of stereo-typical Americans giving the rest of the world reason to think that? ANYWAY... I digress...

I'm under the impression that the rest of the world gets a different gear selector than we're getting here... The normal unit simply has a +, -, N, and R. Similar to what we test drove during the smart road show tour.

The reason I'm bringing this up...

Would we be having these problems if they had just left well-enough alone and made us adapt to the way they make the selector in all other markets? Wouldn't it have been much easier to just have a button near the ignition that you push in while turning the key like my manually motivated Maxima? Instead, they had to make a new linkage or cable or system to make the key inextractable (can we make this a word quick?) when the "gear selector" was in "American P". Guess what people are reporting issues with? Guess what's PROBABLY delaying us all from getting our smarts?

Besides, I've been hearing that the "P" isn't really a "Park" anyway... I've heard people say you're still supposed to use the parking break like a normal manual car. Ugh... it's so confusing. They try to make it easier on us by making it "familiar" to what we're used to. Shouldn't it work the same then, too?

"See... we made it look just like something you're all familiar with... but it doesn't work anything like that..." nice.


I'm so frustrated by this whole thing. C'mon Ford, GM, Toyota... bring us a car to buy... we're ready, willing, and able to hand over thousands of dollars for your smallest car idea. You could probably design, produce, and deliver by the time my smart gets 1500 miles inland from the dock at this rate (since I haven't even heard if it's being made yet, and I "reserved" 10 months ago, "ordered/configured" 3 months ago).

Time for bed... Sweet Dreams everyone!
 

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I agree Minny, what is even more disturbing is the single disk dry clutch that has some type electric actuator to emulate a clutch pedal. They were to cheap to put in a fluid coupled torque converter like a normal automatic. I just found this clutch spec and for this reason I will probably cancel my order that was placed way back in early May
 

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The shifter/lock issue is not unique to the 451US. Some "European" have a similar issue. That's what I got from Smartville's spokeman. "The trick is to handle the shifter with TLC", he said. So, I'm asking myself, is this a design flaw?
 

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DOT shift sequence requirements

Here's a section of the DOT requirement for shift sequence:

S3. Requirements.

S3.1 Automatic transmissions.

S3.1.1 Location of transmission shift positions on passenger cars. A neutral position shall be located between forward drive and reverse drive positions.

S3.1.1.1 Transmission shift levers. If a steering-column-mounted transmission shift lever is used, movement from neutral position to forward drive position shall be clockwise. If the transmission shift lever sequence includes a park position, it shall be located at the end, adjacent to the reverse drive position.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?rule_toc=777&section=571.102&section_toc=2069
 

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So what is your point?:confused:


Minny posted earlier: "You know what I was just thinking.... they made a special transmission "selector" for us so that we were more "familiar with it."

I guess my point is "they" didn't do anything but comply with DOT requirements for the shift sequence, which is the same for all cars sold in the USA. It was not a plot by Penske or Mercedes. :)
 

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My '64 Olds had a column shift automatic that went P-N-D-2-1-R. I believe these cars were the reason DOT came up with the rules. 'Mericans were too stupid to adapt to anything new. Too many people dropping it into "low" and punching it. Ooops. That was reverse.

It pains me to say it.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Canadian shifters on the 451 have the same "automatic" arrangement. I wouldn't swear to it though. But I don't think it's a matter of dumbing it down for Americans.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I took my smart into smart center bloomfield today, 02/20/08, and fixed my "key stuck in the ignition" problem.

Over the past week to week and a half, it has been sometimes difficult putting my shifter into park. I would have to go 'for' and 'aft' with the shifter a couple of times before it would slide into park. Yesterday afternoon was one of those days not going into park. I ran the shifter through the range R N D and back. About 4 or 5 times until it finally went in. But it went in easily. All of a sudden the shifter moved more freely through P R N D.

It turns out a plastic component shattered in the shifter. And one tiny piece of broken plastic, with grease lubricant, stuck to the cam barrel of the ignition switch. That little piece would not fall off which prevented the key from rotating to home position for removal.

Smart center bloomfield removed the shattered plastic, removed the little piece on the ignition cam barrel and replaced the broken plastic component.

After driving the car around town tonight the shifter works even better than before. It goes EASILY and FREELY to and from the park position.

Thank you smart center bloomfield for the quick repair of my smart.

Mark (Bob_Parr)
 

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It turns out a plastic component shattered in the shifter. Smart center bloomfield replaced the broken plastic component.

After driving the car around town tonight the shifter works even better than before. Mark (Bob_Parr)
;) That's what you get when you let a teenager drive your car the first day you get it ! ;)
 

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After driving the car around town tonight the shifter works even better than before. It goes EASILY and FREELY to and from the park position.

Thank you smart center bloomfield for the quick repair of my smart.

Mark (Bob_Parr)
Another happy ending. Glad to hear it's driving normal again!
 
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