Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought my Smart 2014 last year at Germantown and accepted the BAP. I live in a rural place close to the Fredericksburg area. The existing smart dealers are about at range for me (Tysons and Richmond). The car has been running fine, but I'm getting all sorts of red tape from Mercedes-Benz about my car. Around August/September the original EVSE started acting up and I took it to the Richmond dealer. They didn't know how to clear the battery reserve screen, and kept telling me that they aren't a smart dealer anymore, they had no one to look at the car (I reserved the appointment 4 days earlier), and they "would call a guy." I had to show them the EVSE for them to look at since the car had nothing wrong. They also sat me down and told me that they don't service the cars any longer.

Fast forward to April where I need to get my BAP battery check. Well, I decide to go to Tysons since Richmond had told me they wouldn't service it. All I got there was "we don't know what to do to service the battery and vehicle," "I don't know what it would cost," and more I don't knows. Also found out that Mercedes never updated the computer to show me as the current owner. The service center said they could service the vehicle though although their sales people said they don't. I'm still 5 weeks later waiting on a return call from Tysons (and after talking to SmartUSA, they said they would get Tysons to call back).

I finally took it to Richmond with my contract and title to get it serviced or dump the car. They now say they service the car and will do so for another 3 years as they had agreed to. I told the service manager what happened last time I was at the Richmond dealership. He apologized and said it was always policy. I managed to get the battery checked, but they didn't have the desiccant (which they were going to make me pay for) and Smart USA told me now that it was only free under the original car warranty.

I still looked into selling the car back since I was there at the dealer and they would have to take it back as per the contract. The computer still had the wrong name for the owner, and I pulled out my title to show that I am the owner (why do they have this problem?). After the sales manager had to call SmartUSA and put on hold several times, I would have to forfeit my ownership of the sled (rest of car besides the battery) for them to take it or they will remove the battery and I would have to haul the car away. What a rip off, Mercedes-Benz gets a free car to resale if I return it... but the sled is useless without the battery! I'm thinking about selling part of the car to make up my ownship of the sled parts of the car and forfeit a stripped sled to with with a battery.

Anyone have thoughts on this or other issues? Something doesn't seem right here and really is pushing legal boundaries. That is my story so far, I'm hoping others aren't having so much trouble. This is too much trouble for maintenance, I don't want to have an actual issue with the vehicle. Bethesda or Germantown may be excellent but are way past my range in the car for a day trip. I will certainly not buy or recommend a Smart car to people I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I actually just bought a 2014 with 22K miles from Germantown..... Why not just use the car "as is" and not look back......don't bring it to anyone for maintenance it doesn't need......it may not have any issues for years....?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The car is only 4 years old and really seems to be unsupported. What if my battery does have a problem, would they even fix it or just fingerpoint? I have lost faith in the company and their incompetence (they can't even get the correct owner of the car in their database).

What happens in 3 years when I am still under BAP and the dealerships stop any kind of services for the car? I'm not towing the car. Also as of last week, the vehicle homepage is shut down so no way to see what charge the car is without putting the key in the car. Only options for me are to pay off the BAP or sell the car for over $5k so I can pay off the BAP and get rid of the vehicle. I like the car, but Mercedes-Benz is really dropping the ball.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Stop dealing with MB or paying the BAP....they aren't holding up their end of the contract anyway and haven't confiscated anyone's battery.


Get your $ out of the car by just using the car for what you bought it for .... after a few years trade it in on a differnt one ...... if it breaks and no one can fix it just trade it in when you see an ad for getting $5k for your used car even if you have to push or drag it in.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
If you've got surround sound, cloth heated seats, three spoke steering wheel, or nav unit... Dibs if you part it out.

I bought out my BAP this year, it's technically impossible to make it fail in 10 years shy abuse.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Call Mercedes Benz Financial Services:


1-866-700-9853 ask for Ashby, in the Battery Program.
Announce that you are calling to cancel your BAP.
She will identify your vin# and announce that it is now terminated.


You do not have to return your battery, that threat has been eliminated.
The BAP has been eliminated unless someone still believes that they
can't sleep at night without continuing it,,,,,otherwise call and
announce that you want it canceled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I remember reading a couple of articles when i was searching for a used ED on being careful when buying a used smart car to make sure you don't get dragged into a BAP unwillingly and unknowingly.
I checked 4 used car VIN's out with Mercedes and they all cleared. No BAP on any of them. Nor can they ever be qualified to initiate the BAP program. It seemed to me that things have changed a lot since those articles were written. MB definitely changed their minds on how they were treating the whole BAP program and their users.

There is a lot of things in the car that you can maintain yourself and the battery will likely last you well over 100k miles. You didn't make a bad investment. Build up some confidence by downloading a maintenance schedule for your car and perform some of them. You will see how easy it is. And you will respect the car more and feel more secure with your investment.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Call Mercedes Benz Financial Services:


1-866-700-9853 ask for Ashby, in the Battery Program.
Announce that you are calling to cancel your BAP.
She will identify your vin# and announce that it is now terminated.


You do not have to return your battery, that threat has been eliminated.
The BAP has been eliminated unless someone still believes that they
can't sleep at night without continuing it,,,,,otherwise call and
announce that you want it canceled.
I ended BAP two months ago and had to pay $5010 to get out of it "or return the battery." I also talked with Ashley or Ashby, there's really only her in the department.
 

·
Registered
2013 Smart Passion Cabrio
Joined
·
21 Posts
I was following the whole BAP fiasco pretty closely because I couldn't decide if I wanted to purchased a used electric or gas powered Smart. (I live near Frederick, MD.) Some of the used car dealers who advertise on cargurus.com in this vicinity put a footnote in on the used electric Smarts they sell, telling you how theirs are "rare" because they come with the batteries instead of requiring you pay for a BAP. Meanwhile, some of the used ones advertised for sale from Eurocars in Germantown still claimed you were purchasing the used car, minus the battery, at the listed sale price.

As I understand things though? Mercedes got into legal hot water with requiring the BAP because it technically violates Federal law. (The EV credits they received in America were contingent on covering the batteries for 8 years or 100,000 miles in ALL cases. So no reason to charge somebody for a warranty plan.)

I imagine a lot of dealers don't like hearing that and are making tidy profits pushing unnecessary BAPs. But IMO, do your research and fight back against that nonsense. The electric Smart fared poorly in the U.S. because its range is so limited, and because competitors offered more compelling alternatives for not that much more money. It's basically a car that nobody wants to service or deal with, just like my old Chrysler Crossfire was (basically a Mercedes SLK320 with some Chrysler external body parts on it, made during the ill fated partnership between Chrysler and Mercedes). The MAIN reason to buy and drive an EV Smart, today, is because you got it really cheap. That's only doable if there are no strings attached like BAP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I completely disagree. We were willing to pay the price to buy a brand new electric convertible 5 years ago, but our order was never filled. Mercedes would only sell the convertibles in CARB states and almost exclusively leased. They'd sell you a hard top, tho. The core market for this vehicle doesn't really exist in this country, either. Everybody here who uses it on the highway is using it outside of the design specification for the vehicle, those of us with the electrics bought it because we're using it for what it was truly intended to be: a city car. I'll also point out that the electric accounted for 25% of the 2014 model sales, and if you look at the entirety of the remaining 451 sales from the date of introduction it accounted for 26% of all of those sales. Makes no wonder to me why they killed off the gas model. They offered absolutely zero advertising for this model and yet it still accounted for a quarter of their sales.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2013 Smart Passion Cabrio
Joined
·
21 Posts
I think you're a rare exception, if you're honest ....

It's great the EV Smart convertible is exactly what you were looking for, but I'm just talking about the "big picture". Convertibles of ANY kind are always marginal sellers in the U.S. People are afraid of the extra maintenance costs involved in one -- from the mechanisms for power tops failing to rear windows falling out over time to canvas tops getting worn out. In colder parts of the U.S., there aren't even many days out of the year where it's desirable to drive with the top down.

When you add that to a car that's as tiny as a Smart (not only a 2-seater, but limited cargo capacity) and has limited range as an EV? You've really created a small niche.

I was actually shopping for a car from a viewpoint I don't think most people have; thinking about limited range of an EV as a potential *plus* because I intended it to wind up the primary vehicle used by our two teenagers after they start driving. (They only need a car to go to school, to work, and maybe to friends' houses. None of those scenarios involve a lot of long distance driving. If the car can't even make it really far due to range issues, it discourages any crazy ideas to suddenly do a road trip with friends, without permission, or to just cruise around aimlessly and get into trouble.) Even at that? I couldn't justify buying the EV version of a Smart, in the end. My daily commute is typically about 125 miles round-trip, and charging stations aren't available where I have to park. I couldn't see buying a car that can't even get me to work and back as a single trip. (Even if I intended the car to be the one they typically use, I'm still going to be using it until they get their licenses, and might need it as a spare/backup.)

The Smart may be intended as a "city car", but it's assumed one can take it on the highway too. The speedometer reads high enough and it can easily reach highway speed limits. If it was *really* only intended for in town use, it would have been better to give it a lower gear ratio for more torque and "pick up" from a stop through a maximum speed of maybe 50MPH.


I completely disagree. We were willing to pay the price to buy a brand new electric convertible 5 years ago, but our order was never filled. Mercedes would only sell the convertibles in CARB states and almost exclusively leased. They'd sell you a hard top, tho. The core market for this vehicle doesn't really exist in this country, either. Everybody here who uses it on the highway is using it outside of the design specification for the vehicle, those of us with the electrics bought it because we're using it for what it was truly intended to be: a city car. I'll also point out that the electric accounted for 25% of the 2014 model sales, and if you look at the entirety of the remaining 451 sales from the date of introduction it accounted for 26% of all of those sales. Makes no wonder to me why they killed off the gas model. They offered absolutely zero advertising for this model and yet it still accounted for a quarter of their sales.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Funny cuz I have instant take off in the electric just fine. The smart was never intended to be a highway vehicle, only Americans consider than useful for that purpose really. Americans are also the only demographic that really have continuous highway travel in excessive 10 miles to get to work. Personally, I'd be looking to change jobs or move closer to it. I used to do a 64 mile a day commute, and that got old after 9 years. I pride myself on the 6.8 mile drive to work I have now and I won't change jobs if the commute is more than 10 miles out.

Regarding convertibles, the Miata is a direct comparable to the smart, which the smart has more luggage room that the miata's trunk (at least a NB/NC, can't confirm ND). The Miata seems to do pretty well being on its fourth generation now...

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Another aside, there was a guy I met at an event who had a spark EV and he wanted a smart for his daughters to go to college in for the exact reasons you outlined. There is a very big market for that, also retirees tend to really gravitate towards the convertible as a fun date car that's cheap to maintain. I've owned a lot of convertibles, and the cost at a dealer to replace the top on this one isn't even $2,000. Something you have to factor in when you buy a convertible, yes. However you're going to get at least six years out of that top, that's a pretty small price per year to pay. Personally I don't think the hardtop will have a long life in the model line, the convertible is where it's at. I am very biased when I say that....

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Question for kcfoxie, You stated that 2 months ago you spoke to MB Financial
Services and they required you to pay $5,000, to cancel your BAP.
If that is correct, how did you pay? Who did you make payment to, by check
or credit card ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Question for kcfoxie, You stated that 2 months ago you spoke to MB Financial
Services and they required you to pay $5,000, to cancel your BAP.
If that is correct, how did you pay? Who did you make payment to, by check
or credit card ?
Certified check mailed to:
MBFS
36455 Corporate Dr
Farmington Hills, MI 48331

I got a letter confirming cancellation of the program, and it explicitly stated I now own the battery. I can post a photo of that letter if you'd like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
It's great the EV Smart convertible is exactly what you were looking for, but I'm just talking about the "big picture". Convertibles of ANY kind are always marginal sellers in the U.S. People are afraid of the extra maintenance costs involved in one -- from the mechanisms for power tops failing to rear windows falling out over time to canvas tops getting worn out. In colder parts of the U.S., there aren't even many days out of the year where it's desirable to drive with the top down.

When you add that to a car that's as tiny as a Smart (not only a 2-seater, but limited cargo capacity) and has limited range as an EV? You've really created a small niche.

I was actually shopping for a car from a viewpoint I don't think most people have; thinking about limited range of an EV as a potential *plus* because I intended it to wind up the primary vehicle used by our two teenagers after they start driving. (They only need a car to go to school, to work, and maybe to friends' houses. None of those scenarios involve a lot of long distance driving. If the car can't even make it really far due to range issues, it discourages any crazy ideas to suddenly do a road trip with friends, without permission, or to just cruise around aimlessly and get into trouble.) Even at that? I couldn't justify buying the EV version of a Smart, in the end. My daily commute is typically about 125 miles round-trip, and charging stations aren't available where I have to park. I couldn't see buying a car that can't even get me to work and back as a single trip. (Even if I intended the car to be the one they typically use, I'm still going to be using it until they get their licenses, and might need it as a spare/backup.)

The Smart may be intended as a "city car", but it's assumed one can take it on the highway too. The speedometer reads high enough and it can easily reach highway speed limits. If it was *really* only intended for in town use, it would have been better to give it a lower gear ratio for more torque and "pick up" from a stop through a maximum speed of maybe 50MPH.
Big picture, Smart is the definition of a niche vehicle. A niche vehicle should play to its strengths and not try to be everything to everyone -- agile, easy to park, quick off the line acceleration, virtually no upkeep - this is why the Smart is only offered as an electric now. I put 82 miles on mine yesterday, didn't even think about it. Not once did I say "I won't have range" or "I can't go this way." That's not something you do after a month or two with it. You realize how big a 70 mile range really is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I ended BAP two months ago and had to pay $5010 to get out of it "or return the battery." I also talked with Ashley or Ashby, there's really only her in the department.
I just called the number and talked to Ashby. They wanted me to pay off the battery ($5010), forfeit the car as above, or possibility to transfer the BAP to another person... If I could find a person willing to pay BAP and Mercedes deems the car acceptable to transfer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Just trade it in for a two year lease. That's another way out of BAP... Doesn't sound like you want to keep it anyway.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Just trade it in for a two year lease. That's another way out of BAP... Doesn't sound like you want to keep it anyway.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk

Why would I want to get into another lease with a company that is currently treating me poorly or ripping me off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Because you can be that customer with the lease. Complain about everything. Get even.

Transmitted via a Moto Z Play Droid and Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top