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well the $28,000 starting price is too much for the car. the $37,000 for the convertible is just ridiculous. it defeats the purpose of the small car: being inexpensive car. as far as safety is concerned, by American standards, I would say that Smart is for go-around-town driving.
 

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This is also the same gray dealer that Jr. Member Alejake was having problems with on his Smartcar Zenn. Check out Smart Car General Discussions. "Buyer Beware" on this gray dealer.

Teapots
 

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Better Business Bureau

President Washington never told a lie, but then again he never had to file taxes. It's always a good idea to accept as a fact, only half of what you hear and be fairly confident the half you believe isn't the erroneous half.

To begin with; this (well meaning?) person who wrote the article said his test drive happened during the Memorial Day weekend. Why wait till August 3rd to post it?



He doesn't disclose what year or model car he test drove and as he said; it was a
 

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Heartfailure!

Geez, don't scare me let that! :eek: ("Now may not be the time to buy a SMART....") . Only after starting to read your post and clicking the link did I realized your thread title wasn't your opinion or fact, only the title of the article. Thank gawd it was just a story about gray market dealers ( I want a SMART, but ain't going there!)
 

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Great Rebuttal. This is one man's opinion on a dealership that he stopped at.

"To begin with; this (well meaning?) person who wrote the article said his test drive happened during the Memorial Day weekend. Why wait till August 3rd to post it?"

The article was actually in the hard copy of Inside Tucson Business, dated July 2, 2007. His column is not in every paper and the July 2 issue was the first issue that it could have been published. The August 3 on line version was rerun of that same article.

A lot of us have become children over the a car that we want, myself included. Sometimes we forget about the little things that can become big problems in the future. Just let the buyer beware.

Teapots:)
 

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Hey SmartAmerica, ease up a bit on the scathing indictments of current smart dealers and leave that door open a bit wider for the possibility of some of us trying very hard to serve our customers in ways that go a bit beyond the norm. For instance, I'm not sure what SmartUSA is recommending for their "no spare tire" situation on smarts. We provide one alternative that I've yet to see anywhere else in the US. It's a product called Ultraseal. You inject into tires when the tires are new and it prevents puncture type flats for objects ups to 1/8". This is the same company that provides that product to the US Postal Service vehicles and a stronger version to the US government for use in Humvees. In the stronger version, a bullet can be shot through a tire and both sides will seal immediately. Again, we try extremely hard to answer all our customers concerns and look for ways to make their driving experience even better.

I know you mention that a few of us are okay, but your end summary seems very negative toward the current smarts/smart dealers. Please be fair. Our warranty company has been providing protection for converted car buyers for over 25 years. These folks are good. Now, not all the current smart warranties are through the company we use (American Consumer Service Corporation), but if you personally question their credibility or have specific knowledge that they don't honor claims, please let me know. Otherwise, give them credit for their 25 years in business in serving this need. Four years and 50,000 miles on a warranty that will be honored at any mechanic in the country that wants to work on these (Plaza Mercedes in St. Louis is one of the companies that does work under our warranty) is a pretty generous warranty. We provide interested mechanics a CD and valuable website information that assists in any repair of these cars. I know that some will howl about the "anyone who wants to" comment, but again, do we know how a 2008 buyer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will be serviced under the Penske program? Will there be servicing dealers in every town in America where there is a buyer? I think these answers are still unknown, but in fairness, your comments ought to weigh how those situations will be handled in your same questioning method. As you've correctly commented before, some of us do try to be the very best in customer support of our buyers. Thanks for considering these comments. Your site is a good one, SmartAmerica, and I just want to make sure the other side of the "gray market" negativity is heard as well. Thanks for listening. :)

Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
 

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An earlier post of mine was criticized by smartmx, he said it seems I have a complaint against PAG, I presume he meant UAG.

I have no complaints with UAG or anyone for that matter. I was simply stating my opinions concerning the cars and my viewpoint regarding quotes made by folks involved.

I said "But still he (Mr. Penske) is a car salesman." This was not a criticism only a fact and actually a compliment. Mr. Penske is philanthropic, has a top notch company and a very astute businessman.

To the best of my knowledge all statements are accurate. But smartmx felt different and has his views, which is fine and what a forum is truly about, a public place for open discussion.

I only try to provide information not take sides. The same goes for this post. I'm sorry you find fault with my observations. My comments were not indictments against anyone only my opinion and we all know about opinions.

I said, "Some of these unofficially authorized sellers, in fact know what they are doing, do acceptable service work and can supply needed parts." "Others can not even tie their shoes!"

Perhaps I should have worded it differently. However, I still believe both statements to be true. There is good, bad and three sides to most stories.

You asked about smart USA, I'm not sure what SmartUSA is recommending for their "no spare tire" situation, which in my view is a very trivial segment concerning the Smart. But again no matter how inconsequential I think the tire issue is this is what a forum is all about, a public place for open discussion.

Not many are aware of smart USA or the Penske Groups situation or stance regarding their Smart car project, nor in my estimation some of those involved.

You ask how a 2008 buyer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will be serviced under the Penske program. My guess is he would take it to Penske Honda in Indianapolis, Indiana about 2 hours away.

Penske's said he would have a "50 state 24 hour technical support line instituted for Smart car buyers." This would be great and solve the problem.

Of course all this is all conjecture and speculation on my part.

You ask if, "Will there be servicing dealers in every town in America where there is a buyer?" Of course not, that is impossible and there will not be dealers in every town either.

Parallel to the Mini Cooper launch here that was sold at select BMW dealerships throughout the country, only 70 of its 345 U.S. dealers got to sell the Mini.

Most of their first year allocation had been pre-sold. Many Mini dealer were marking up their cars $5000 and special orders were not accepted. Buyers paid more than 25 per cent than the list price. The honorable dealers that did not charge over sticker, their buyers had a 9 to 12 month wait.

I'm sure the warranty company you are referring to has provided protection for car buyers for over 25 years and are reliable.

But you also say
 

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There's a link on "youtube" that shows the Smart being a bit Stupid and crashing into a concrete barrier. I am not yet allowed to post specific links yet until I post three times.

Anyway, just go to the website and put "smartcar crash" into the search window. The clip that is 5:39 long is the most informative one.

It's a surprisingly tough little vehicle. The Smartcar wins, but I don't think a driver's or passenger's skull would even place second.
 

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Thanks for Feedback

Thanks, SmartAmerica, for your response to my questions. I'll try to answer yours and hope it doesn't become a two way conversation that would be best in private messages... yet I can see the advantages in this being publicly viewed and better understood by all.

Once a car is converted to US standards, it cannot carry the original Mercedes warranty. The reason is simple. Without the conversion, the car is not legal to sell in the US. The converter must CHANGE the car to make it as safe and as emission-correct as our government requires. The converter spent three years going through this process. He's been in the business for 30 years and knows what he's doing. However, once the car is changed, it cannot be a "new" car anymore. Officially, it's a used car with zero miles. Since they are a "used" vehicle, I'm not sure how the lemon law works. Nor do I know what "manufacturer mediation" would require. All I know is that we stand by our customers and try to make their ownership as trouble free as possible, becoming their advocate in the case of any problems.

I think there are 27 folks in the tire sealant industry. We chose the one that seemed to have the highest reputation with the federal government. Maybe you've discovered something we missed. Doesn't matter which one. We think it provides a bit more safety.

We cannot address warranties offered through ZAP dealerships. We are not and never have been a ZAP dealership. We only offer the warranty that has been offered to us through the G&K relationship. We are very comfortable with the reputation of both G&K and their recommended warranty company.

The point we tried to make with our warranty, and the potential geographical coverage area, is that if someone has a mechanic in Fort Wayne that is willing to learn how to work on smarts, there is at least that option for him to use that mechanic under our warranty. Is it as good as a full service dealer? Of course not, but it may be a better option than towing the car 100 or 300 miles to the nearest full service dealer, as may exist in 2008.

Appreciate you allowing me to make these responses, sir.

Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
 

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An earlier post of mine was criticized by smartmx, he said it seems I have a complaint against PAG, I presume he meant UAG.




Back to your question about the tire issue, I heard rumors that RFTs maybe offered as an option by smart USA.

I read about UltraSeal Tire puncture sealant in May of 2006 on the Club Smart (Great Site) Car Forum.

Sorry if you felt that I criticised you, but I felt I had to defend smart since it seems you are unhappy about something that has not happened and you are basing your conclusions on nothing..

I have had my for2 for more that two years and I am very happy with it, and yes I will buy the new one..
And FYI I meant to say PAG (Penske Automotive Group) UAG does not exist anymore please check first.

As for the spare tire,smart does provide a tire sealant and an air pump, the reason they do not have a spare is because you would need two since front and back tires are different sizes..
 

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Thanks for those ebay updates, SmartAmerica. We've seen them, too, and encourage our potential customers to buy from those folks if they are satisfied with the support they will receive from the sellers, as well as the authenticity of the conversion. As you know, there have been many attempts on ebay to sell unconverted cars to unsuspecting individuals. We offer to substantiate the legal status of smart cars for our potential customers who are buying from ebay sources. Short process to prevent an uncomfortable situation for them if they find one of the unscrupulous sellers. We've helped some of those folks buy legal cars from ebay and helped others avoid a terrible problem. As with folks buying from converted smart dealers, you have to be even more careful in buying from individuals. Weigh the cost of the savings against the potential lack of support. It works for some, but doesn't for others. Everybody is different. We try provide the source for those looking for that support.


Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
 

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DOT Release Numbers of Mercedes Engine Smart Cars

ASmartMan- There have been approximately 1000 smart cars converted to US standards by G&K since early 2006. My guess is that you are 1 in about 400 of the 2006 models, maybe less. If you have a 2005, probably the same. I do not have the breakdown yet by model year, but am completing a project that will soon give me that information. I will have a list of official DOT release numbers for each model year Mercedes engine smart car, cross referenced to the VIN#s of all those vehicles. We have purchased a large number of sets of brass alloy medallions, about 3" in diameter. One of these medallions has a brief summary of the smart car's history and entry into the US. The other medallion will have a brief summary of the smart car's specifications. We designed the information around the most commonly asked questions we receive in public. Both medallions will be engraved with the official release number of the vehicle, based upon the model year, and also with the VIN# of that vehicle. The brass alloy has a silver colored overlay plating and a black cloisonn
 
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