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How rude. Smart and Mercedes haven't just closed their dealership here, they've completely abandoned their brand. So explain to me how Mercedes can just look the other way and wash their hands of this mess? Has anyone started a Smartcar Sucks blog yet?
I think a "they suck" blog should be for the company. I`m happy with the product, I have an 08 with a year left on my warranty. It would be nice to be taken care of, not taken to the cleaners.
 

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Be careful what you say.....there are those,on this forum, that consider any negativity toward Smart, or its parent comapany an affront to their sensibilities:D
I know.

It's fun to get them on the "high horse" and get under their skin. :p If you can't have some fun, what fun is it? I love the car, but the "service," it ain't so good!
 

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Anyone else thinking of unloading their little friend now that there's no local service? I love the car so much, but it's got 60,000 miles now, and so far so good, but who knows what lies ahead... I don't want to be stuck with a bucket o' bolts... It's funny... i originally thought about keeping this car until it completely gave up the ghost... Now I'm nervous about it catching a cold!

Any more news/rumors about a dealer coming back?
 

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rumors

Anyone else thinking of unloading their little friend now that there's no local service? I love the car so much, but it's got 60,000 miles now, and so far so good, but who knows what lies ahead... I don't want to be stuck with a bucket o' bolts... It's funny... i originally thought about keeping this car until it completely gave up the ghost... Now I'm nervous about it catching a cold!

Any more news/rumors about a dealer coming back?
At the official smart website (smartusainsider.com) we were given the following promise on Feb 27, 2012:

"A service point will be opening in your area. We hope to announce it very soon once the final processes are completed. Sorry it has been taking longer than we'd like, but we (DVI) wanted to make sure a proper solution was put in place for our owners in the MN area. Stand by."
 

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I loved my Smart, but get out! Get out while you still can! It's clear the MB does not consider Minnesota to be an important market for the Smart brand.
 

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You can't get me to abandon either my smart or Minnesota!:smartje.grs.zw::smartje.grs.zw:

Wisconsin has a dealer in Madison and has a MG Walk (Myasthenia Gravis) in Milwaukee. Minnesota doesn't have a MG Walk in 2012. But, I'll drive to Madison for service and have a "Virtual MG Walk" in Minnesota/Wisconsin.

Lack of a Minnesota dealer or Walk support for the incurable disease I now have will not keep me from enjoying a great car and every day the good Lord gives me! If you want to support or comment, visit: MG Walk.

Keep on keeping on! Just added the Uptown Dog Co. 3rd brake light. Lookin' sharp!:)
 

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Local service is probably available

Anyone else thinking of unloading their little friend now that there's no local service? I love the car so much, but it's got 60,000 miles now, and so far so good, but who knows what lies ahead... I don't want to be stuck with a bucket o' bolts... It's funny... i originally thought about keeping this car until it completely gave up the ghost... Now I'm nervous about it catching a cold!

Any more news/rumors about a dealer coming back?
My smart was out of warranty when I bought it, and I knew the closest dealer was 4 hours away in Madison. I'd prefer to have a closer dealer; but I'm assuming about 80% of the things that might go wrong could be fixed by several good local car mechanics. We have a big independantly owned garage in town that services virtually any make. I took my fortwo to them for it's 10K service job purposely to let them have a look at it. They've serviced other fortwo's, but no serious mechanical work yet. They seem perfectly willing to take care of the car.

Now that I have my fortwo, it fits my niche so nearly perfectly that there really aren't many replacement choices right now. I took a peek at a Scion iQ on a nearby Toyota lot, and it looks like a fortwo wannabe. The iQ has a useless back seat for it's extra 14 inches in length, and it's 5 inches wider. That's more size than I can afford in my garage; and it diminishes the character of the car for me. Besides it's practical footprint, I get a kick out of driving the smallest car on the road. I haven't driven an iQ yet; but I expect it to be Toyota reliable, functional, and bland.

The Fiat 500 is nothing but a retro-cute sub-compact. It's almost 3-feet longer than the fortwo. Nothing new or particularly interesting about sub-compacts. (I actually do find the car appealing, but is the Fiat dealer network a big improvement over the smart center network?)

I've read a lot of negative reviews about the fortwo, but none of them accused the little rascal of being boring. Almost all the other options are.
 

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I drove the iQ last Saturday. And honestly, very underwhelming. Yes, it's quicker, has a RIDICULOUSly small turning radius (Noticeably smaller than smartie's), but the front seat doesn't fold flat like ours, the rear opening is much smaller... so cargo flexibility is nil. With the smart, I've been able to haul home pre-assembled cabinets from Lowes, couple weeks ago brought home 400 sq ft of laminate wood flooring (two trips, but still! Couldn't fit one carton of that stuff in the iQ). So, that car is right out. However, the xD has always been "interesting..." I almost bought one of those instead of the smart. But, after test driving it and feeling "meh, it's a solid car with lots of flexibility in a small package, affordable, etc..." I got back in my smart, and smiled... I just love the thing! And I agree... anything larger now, and it'd have to park outside. Garage has been taken over by power tools, saws, a motorcycle, and a new roommate's monte carlo. So, what to do...

I'm on the fence about either installing cruise (if i can get a reasonable deal) and keeping it for the foreseeable future, or unload it and get the darned xD. Decisions decisions...
 

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Stay tuned, we are working on a deal with Smartie Parts in Canada, Steven has done quite a few cruise installs during the midwest events in the past few years and we have saved quite a bit of money, plus a free install by The Man himself. (AreA451 cruise that is)

As for the lack of local support from MB, just like last year, we get promises and that's about it. The Madison guys are really nice to work with.
 

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I am hoping that the dealer comes soon for everyone in MN. It seems like smart has something that they are close to finalizing according to their reports. I would stick with the car for longer personally.
 

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My smart was out of warranty when I bought it, and I knew the closest dealer was 4 hours away in Madison. I'd prefer to have a closer dealer; but I'm assuming about 80% of the things that might go wrong could be fixed by several good local car mechanics. We have a big independantly owned garage in town that services virtually any make. I took my fortwo to them for it's 10K service job purposely to let them have a look at it. They've serviced other fortwo's, but no serious mechanical work yet. They seem perfectly willing to take care of the car.
Agreed, with three big exceptions:

1. There's no computer diagnostics available without going to Madison (could catch some issues early on).

2. Getting MB technical information is expensive.

3. With all the smarts going to different mechanics, there's no good way for mechanics to build up their practical knowledge (the, "Oh yeah, I've seen this before").

I known mine was pretty sure I had a bad fuel pump, but was hesitant get at it without knowing absolutely sure. I was lucky enough to have access to another smart where we could hear the fuel pump starting (vs not starting on mine) before trying to start the engine.

Knowing the varied cars he works with gives me confidence that he'll be able to fix the problems I'll run into - but it doesn't mean it won't take some educated guesswork.
 

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I loved my Smart, but get out! Get out while you still can! It's clear the MB does not consider Minnesota to be an important market for the Smart brand.
I can't think of a more surefire way to devalue our vehicles than to all try dumping them at once.

Let's behave as if there is at least some remote chance that the sky is not falling.
 

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I am hoping that the dealer comes soon for everyone in MN. It seems like smart has something that they are close to finalizing according to their reports. I would stick with the car for longer personally.
I like your optimism, but were we given that song & dance 10 months ago. I think MB's plan now is to stay one step ahead of legal action. Having the AG on your case is bad publicity & resonates in other markets.:p
 

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I think I've decided to keep mine at least through summer. I have some projects going on in the house that require borrowed power tools in the garage... once I have those done, maybe I'll consider the xD (sure wish it had a nicer interior). But then again, after cleaning the inside pretty well the other day, it's like a new car and I just feel good in it. Love driving the smart. We'll see.
 

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Having the AG on your case is bad publicity & resonates in other markets.:p
I agree completely. There's just one problem. I see no indication on this forum that anyone has made a formal complaint to the Attorney General (AG).

I suggested this weeks ago and provided a link to the online process. Here it is again: http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/complaint.asp

I am not in a position to register a complaint, because I bought my car out of warranty after the only Minnesota smart center had already closed. No harm, no foul. If I had purchased a new smart from a Minnesota smart center, I would have submitted a complaint long ago.

We can't expect the AG to do anything if they are not aware of the issue. This will not cross their radar screen without a formal complaint. It's not likely that the AG's office is monitoring this forum.

I am trying to be respectful, but I'm growing impatient about all this whining from people who could be doing something constructive to resolve the issue. All these helpless-sounding rants simply de-value the vehicles we have and diminish the enjoyment we would otherwise get from them.
 

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There is not much the AG can do, other than send a letter encouraging MB to work on the problem. The root of the problem is MB saying that only a MB dealer can sell and service the vehicle. They have some sort of guidelines for their dealers in order for them to carry the smart brand. There is only one dealer in Minneapolis that meets this and they do not want to mess with smarts.

So, which is worse?? a dealer with a poor service/sales rating or a dealer that is forced to take on a car they don't want?? It is a no-win situation. I doubt that a letter or notifying the AG will do any good. Rather a well placed media campaign could do a better job of illustrating our plight.

I am also out of warranty but would love to get my hands on a good shop manual (other than the on line one which is expensive even when you don't need it)
 

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There is not much the AG can do, other than send a letter encouraging MB to work on the problem.

I doubt that a letter or notifying the AG will do any good. Rather a well placed media campaign could do a better job of illustrating our plight.
QUOTE]

I disagree that the AG can't do much. First of all, they would notify MB about every formal complaint. Possibly depending on the response, they would ask MB to articulate their process for honoring the warranty for smart cars originally sold at their dealership in Minnesota. If they find it unreasonable - as we all do - to require owners to transport their potentially disfunctional vehicle (e.g., clutch motor failure) over 200 miles to the nearest authorized service provider, they would take MB to task.

I don't have a clue how to orchestrate a "well placed media campaign," but ranting on this forum obviously isn't getting it done. I do know that a formal complaint to the Attorney General can be accomplished in about 10 minutes; and the more complaints they have to handle, the more attention the problem will get.
 

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I can't think of a more surefire way to devalue our vehicles than to all try dumping them at once.

Let's behave as if there is at least some remote chance that the sky is not falling.
The sky was falling when the smart center closed and the dealership kept changing hands. At this point the sky has fallen and everyone is just hoping MB will pick up the pieces.

Ive noticed fewer and fewer smarts on the road around the Twin Cities. I didn't want to abandon Smart but they abandond me first. More power to those who are willing to stick with it, but my suggestion is to at least look into getting something different while your smart still has some value.

Closing your eyes and hoping MB gets its act together before you have a serious problem is a big risk especially if you're out of warranty.
 
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