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I received this email from the NHTSA Recall Alerts at 5:00am this morning: I will copy the entirety of the email below for those that have not seen it. Essentially, the "Subject" of the recall states that "Insulation Mat may Deform and cause Fire". Now, that could mean a number of things and is open to interpretation, so I do not want to speculate - but I am sharing this for the sake of discussion and top hopefully spread the word. Is it significant enough that this perhaps should become a sticky.

I hope this is a resolution that keeps all of us safe and ends the spontaneous combustion fear. I, for one, will be making an appointment ASAP for my 10 year checkup and new suspension bits, so I will be bringing this up when I go and will check back here. Unfortunately, Smart Latham near Albany, New York was one of the Smart Centers to be folded up in to the Mercedes dealership next door, so I will find the former Smart Brand Manager and find out what else is known. Stay safe, all!

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said:
Your vehicle MAY be involved in a safety recall and MAY create a safety risk for you or your passengers. If left unrepaired, a potential safety defect could lead to injury or even death. Safety defects must be repaired by a dealer at no cost to you.

Why am I getting this email?
You are receiving this message because you requested to be notified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) if there is a safety recall that may affect your vehicle.

The following may apply to one or more of your vehicles if your vehicle is listed below. Click on the NHTSA Recall ID Number below to read more about the safety issue and the reason for the recall.

To find out if your specific passenger vehicle is included in the recall, use our VIN Look-up Tool.

NHTSA Recall ID Number : 18V273
Manufacturer : Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.
Subject : Insulation Mat may Deform and cause Fire
Make Model Model Years
SMART FORTWO 2008-2009


What is a recall?
When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a vehicle creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle at no cost to the owner. That can be done by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund (for equipment) or, in rare cases, repurchasing the car.

What should I do if my vehicle is included in this recall?
If your vehicle is included in this recall, it is very important that you get it fixed as soon as possible given the potential danger to you and your passengers if it is not addressed. You should receive a separate letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, notifying you of the recall and explaining when the remedy will be available, whom to contact to repair your vehicle, and to remind you that the repair will be done at no charge to you. If you believe your vehicle is included in the recall, but you do not receive a letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, please call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealership.

Thank you for your attention to this important safety matter and for your commitment to helping save lives on America's roadways.

Additional Resources
Understanding Vehicle Recalls
Recalls FAQ
Thank you,

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
United States Department of Transportation

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Looks like the NHTSA's fire investigation is coming to a close. If this is the only recall, I'll actually be a bit disappointed. Many fires of 2008s and 2009s originated under the dash (presumably the SAM), where the insulation mat (engine bay) is not a factor in the vehicle's demise. Maybe they're still investigating front end fires??

The other question I have is what determined the recall to be only for 2008s and 2009s? Did smart change something in the engine mat process?
 

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What is the remedy here? Is it a mat replacement or something else... what about that hose or belt that apparently can catch fire?

and to the OP what are the suspension bits you are referring to? Are there other recall items, or just 10 yr service issues? I have the feeling that some bushings or rubber spacers in my front suspension have been compromised in 10 years or usage (currently at 52K) and was going to have something done, but recall and recommended replacement would be good to know.
 

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Smart ForTwo Cabriolet and Coupe Recalled for Fire Risk
A rear insulation mat may loosen and ignite

Mercedes-Benz USA is recalling thousands of 2008 and 2009 Smart ForTwo cabriolet and coupe vehicles in the U.S. because of a potential fire risk in the engine compartment.

The problem involves the rear insulation mat in the engine compartment, which can deform or deteriorate and then come loose. This may result in the mat coming into contact with the hot exhaust system components, leading to a fire in the engine compartment.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there have not been any injuries or deaths associated with this recall.
The Details

Vehicles recalled in the U.S.: 42,781 Smart ForTwo cabriolet and coupe vehicles, all from the 2008-2009 model years.

The problem: According to the NHTSA recall information, "the rear insulation mat in the engine compartment may deform, deteriorate, a

nd loosen over time, allowing the mat to contact hot exhaust system components. If the mat contacts hot exhaust system components, it can increase the risk of fire."

The fix: Parent company Mercedes-Benz USA will notify owners of the recall, and dealers will replace the rear insulation mat with an improved one, free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: Contact MBUSA at 800-367-6372.

NHTSA campaign number: 18V273000.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: Plug in the 17-digit vehicle identification number at the NHTSA website. The Safety Issues & Recalls page will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/smart-fortwo-recall-fire-risk-2008-2009-cabriolet-and-coupe/
 

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Well, this is a red letter day. Finally, some attention being paid by the mothership! I'm glad they're doing something and look forward to having my 2009 looked at and hopefully being made safer. Yay!
 

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I have had to glue this mat several times on my 08 Passion Coupe. I used contact cement & it has worked well. Owner's should check to make sure this cardboard insulation mat stays attached to the bulkhead to prevent smoldering & fire.
 

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Owner's should check to make sure this cardboard insulation mat stays attached to the bulkhead to prevent smoldering & fire.

Aaahh, cardboard. The great insulator!

I‘d agree with Miss Moderator’s assertion that at least one other potential fire source remains in question. And I hope that merely addressing the insulation won’t give an overly-false sense of security to owners.
 

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I like the way "Miss Moderator" rolls off the tongue. :D

But yeah, I'm happy the NHTSA is doing the right thing and is forcing a recall, but there are still unanswered questions. Do the 2010s and newer have the improved insulation??
 

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In addition to the free mat, are they going to pay us for our time and expenses to drive a few hundred miles to the nearest dealer? :shrug:
Excellent question. I've wondered myself how Mercedes would handle a recall. Hope you raise the question with them. Let us know their response if you do.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles
 

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Isnt the insulation mat attached to the carpet which runs the whole bottom of the car?
The insulation mat they are referring to is in front of the motor on the outside of the floor, next to the motor. If you look in the engine compartment way up in the front, past the alternator, you could see where it hangs down.
 

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The insulation mat they are referring to is in front of the motor on the outside of the floor, next to the motor. If you look in the engine compartment way up in the front, past the alternator, you could see where it hangs down.
Oh Im assuming its the interior carpet that you have to lift up to get to the engine cover from the inside trunk
 

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I think it means they can't sell any known defective vehicles to the public that are involved in the recall. It's kind of ironic since Smart division has been a red headed step child to the Mercedes dealerships. Wonder if ALL Mercedes dealers service centers will do the repairs or ONLY the few left SMART CENTERS?
 

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I bet only the MB dealerships, that had a smart franchise will preform the service bulletin. If you live 100 miles from a authorize dealership. That not smarts fault. It’s your choice to find a way to have it fixed. That individual made the choice, to purchase the car. After 10 years, if it hasn’t burst into flames. Your probably fine. Penske was the importer at the time. Still haven’t seen anything in the mail, on any service bulletin.
 
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