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Out of curiosity tried my 2010 vin, nope not on the list...... yet.

Must be worrisome that the cutoff was 2009, if one owns a later model 451 with the same susceptibility but without any recourse.

It’s bad enough just knowing that the recall isn’t addressing all known causes of fires.
 

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Our vehicle is on the list (They check your VIN #.) but they will not have replacement parts until the end of June (here in San Francisco). What does that mean? Should we park the car and rent another? Should we keep driving it and hope for the best?

The latter is what Mercedes (800-762-7887) just told me. They said there had been no reported problems/fires and there would be no risk in driving it. When I asked for that in writing, they refused, of course. Then they referred me to the NHTSA (888-327-4236) where that person said they could only file a complaint about the parts not being available in a timely manner. (It will be 4-6 weeks for processing and that puts us at the time when the parts will be available.)

If you have a 2008 or 2009 SMART car, please call both of these organizations and express your concern.

If I don't park the car and there is an incident, I feel that I would be liable. If I park the car I will need a replacement and who pays for that? Should I involve my insurance company?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Our vehicle is on the list (They check your VIN #.) but they will not have replacement parts until the end of June (here in San Francisco). What does that mean? Should we park the car and rent another? Should we keep driving it and hope for the best?

The latter is what Mercedes (800-762-7887) just told me. They said there had been no reported problems/fires and there would be no risk in driving it. When I asked for that in writing, they refused, of course. Then they referred me to the NHTSA (888-327-4236) where that person said they could only file a complaint about the parts not being available in a timely manner. (It will be 4-6 weeks for processing and that puts us at the time when the parts will be available.)

If you have a 2008 or 2009 SMART car, please call both of these organizations and express your concern.

If I don't park the car and there is an incident, I feel that I would be liable. If I park the car I will need a replacement and who pays for that? Should I involve my insurance company?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
I don't believe the NHTSA has ever forced a manufacturer to provide loaners/rentals for any recall. Not even the infamous Takata recall has anything like that. Instead, the NHTSA may just say "don't drive your car" and sometimes (like in the aforementioned Takata recall) they'll tell you that it's okay to drive your car. Only a fraction of the cars impacted by the Takata recall are under a "stop driving" order.

I'd say your next step (since you already contacted MB and the NHTSA) would be contacting your dealership and seeing what their policy is for recall loaners. And if their policy isn't great, I'd pressure them. If that fails, call your insurance company and see if they can help.

As many (millions?) people in the Takata recall have found out, not all dealerships and not all manufacturers are willing to hand out loaners while the recall is ongoing and the NHTSA will effectively tell you "not our problem". :( So many people are renting cars out of their pockets while waiting for their spot in line to get the fix and for back-ordered parts.
 

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I don't believe the NHTSA has ever forced a manufacturer to provide loaners/rentals for any recall. Not even the infamous Takata recall has anything like that. Instead, the NHTSA may just say "don't drive your car" and sometimes (like in the aforementioned Takata recall) they'll tell you that it's okay to drive your car. Only a fraction of the cars impacted by the Takata recall are under a "stop driving" order.

I'd say your next step (since you already contacted MB and the NHTSA) would be contacting your dealership and seeing what their policy is for recall loaners.

So many people are renting cars out of their pockets while waiting for their spot in line to get the fix and for back-ordered parts.
Nope, NHTSA issue the recall and the manufacturer must make all reasonable effort to get the owner to bring the car in - no requirement of loaner or rental reimbursement.

Was part of the Takata recall (done) with two Hondas, lengthy timeline from recall to parts availability. Those under a stop driving order (why, is their bag more faulty than mine?) were shown additional love from Honda in the form of new loaners.

Remember, it's a smart and M-B hardly cares.
 

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MB, even on the Mercedes side, knows they have a competitively desirable product. It’s a business machine like no other. Do not feel bad. Think of it as a figurative not having to carry around so much (weight) money in your pocket!
 

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Yeah, tell that to my sister, who, as I posted elsewhere, had her 2008 forTwo burst into flames over this past weekend.

Now that I know what to look for, I will be checking out my wife's forTwo.

alan
Sorry about your sisters vehicle. Hope she had good car insurance, and a low deductible. She wasn’t hurt.

I wouldn’t try fixing, anything yourself. Wait and get the smart recall Bulletin. I’m still waiting. You might void the recall. They might not take liability. For you addressing the the issue yourself. A authorized smart dealership, needs to make that fix. I know that’s not what you want to hear.
 

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Nope, NHTSA issue the recall and the manufacturer must make all reasonable effort to get the owner to bring the car in - no requirement of loaner or rental reimbursement.

Was part of the Takata recall (done) with two Hondas, lengthy timeline from recall to parts availability. Those under a stop driving order (why, is their bag more faulty than mine?) were shown additional love from Honda in the form of new loaners.

Remember, it's a smart and M-B hardly cares.
Honda came out to our house. Replaced the airbag, in my daughters car. Talk about Honda comment of loyalty and service.
 

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Sorry about your sisters vehicle. Hope she had good car insurance, and a low deductible. She wasn’t hurt.

I wouldn’t try fixing, anything yourself. Wait and get the smart recall Bulletin. I’m still waiting. You might void the recall. They might not take liability. For you addressing the the issue yourself. A authorized smart dealership, needs to make that fix. I know that’s not what you want to hear.
Not intending to be rude, but some smart owners are incredibly timid.

Void the recall by mitigating risk from a design failure that has burned vehicles to ground? Are you kidding me?

Before talking about my sister having good insurance, perhaps you should do some searches on Takata airbag or GM ignition switch and read about manufacturer liability when a design failure can injure people. With cars burning to the ground because of a design fault, Mercedes has legal exposure here. And my sister is an attorney (though not in product liability).

As far as my wife's car, as I said, the insulation is not making contact with anything underneath it, so it isn't an issue now and it can wait until the recall. But, I am probably just as capable of installing replacement insulation as a Mercedes tech and, when I work on my cars, I clean up most of the stuff around the component that I am working on as well, which is something that the dealer doesn't do (particularly for recall work).

alan
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I can absolutely confirm that the parts for the recall will not be available immediately; as-in tomorrow. I am going in for service and as hard as the woman tried to wrap everything up in to 1 visit, the parts will not be available for a while; and a date estimate was not possible.

I can also relay that Keeler Mercedes of Albany, NY (Smart Latham is no longer) will offer to shuttle you anywhere locally (within reason) rather than have you sit at a dealership lobby all day. Some places can be nice, but on their own accord; decisions independent of Mercedes. Their shuttle vehicle and driver is out of their pocket.

If the vehicle was purchased at the dealer where the recall work is being performed, that dealer may provide you with one of their loaners at their discretion and under their terms - since you're a customer of that dealership. I mean, of course they'd want to be nice to you and maintain your business.

Mercedes-Benz, the corporate entity, is expressing no such service as it's not their responsibility to do so. Actually, as of this writing they're not obligated to do anything - and unfortunately, I'm reminded of Ford's take on the Pinto. (I in no way back Mercedes on their neglect here, just saying.)
 

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451 Engine Blanket DIY option?*

Never thought of the dust off the engine blanket potentially contributing to early alternator failure?

From September 2011 - for those who are concerned with the lack of immediate results from the NHTSA "RECALL" this appears to be a viable DIY interim step?

https://youtu.be/4TA5NUEjoTU

*As has been mentioned by others, proceed at your own risk as this could complicate (invalidate?) the recall process?
 

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Not intending to be rude, but some smart owners are incredibly timid.

Void the recall by mitigating risk from a design failure that has burned vehicles to ground? Are you kidding me?
I know a lawyer that specializes in autos, specifically warranty cases and lemon law. He's a member of one of my other car communities. You'd be surprised how many dealerships will try to deny recall repairs because the car's owner attempted to repair the issue themselves using parts not approved for the fix.

And when that does happen, the owner has to fight the dealership (sometimes even lawyering up) to get their recalled car repaired. It's even harder when you have much fewer than 100 smart dealerships on deck. I wouldn't want to have to drive hundreds of miles just to be told to go home. :shrug: Of course, those that just glued the original mat back will probably be fine...but more creative fixes may raise some red flags at the dealership.

People that have been here a long time know how quickly things can go south, even with good intentions. How we used to track smart crashes would be a good example. So I wouldn't say that we're being timid so much that we're trying to keep expectations realistic. If you feel you need to, fix your own car.

However, know that there is risk in doing so, including introducing annoyances when you go to get the fix for real or worse, the fix fails and the car still catches fire.
 

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I have to wonder why did it take 9-10 years for this recall? They had to wait for a certain number of vehicles to burn-up, lives lost or what-ever the reason might be... it's really a sad time to have to have to constantly wonder about the vehicle your driving today will be your death-trap tomorrow.
 

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The NHTSA is slow like that. Unless the defect gathers national headlines, it's not likely to become a recall until years down the road.
 

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Never thought of the dust off the engine blanket potentially contributing to early alternator failure?

From September 2011 - for those who are concerned with the lack of immediate results from the NHTSA "RECALL" this appears to be a viable DIY interim step?

https://youtu.be/4TA5NUEjoTU

*As has been mentioned by others, proceed at your own risk as this could complicate (invalidate?) the recall process?
Thank You MB DNA
I watched the video you linked and did exactly the same fix for the Top/Front of the engine bay, to keep it from hanging down over the alternator.
The back of the engine bay next to the muffler will be a little more problematic to fix.
Lucky it is still in good condition. If I wanted to drill a few holes and install screws with large fender washers, that would work or I may just wait for the RECALL REPAIR.
 

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I received my recall letter today from MB. Here is what it says in part:




On certain MY 2008-2009 smart fortwo coupe and cabrio vehicles (451 platform), the rear insulation mat in the engine compartment may deform, deteriorate, and loosen over time, allowing the mat to contact hot exhaust system components, which could increase the risk of fire.

To remedy this issue, an authorized smart dealer will replace the rear insulation mat in the engine compartment on the affected vehicles. The replacement insulation mats are currently not available.

We are working to obtain the necessary parts to correct this condition as quickly as possible. As parts become available, we will send you another letter asking you to take your vehicle to an authorized smart dealer to have the recall completed free of charge.




~toaster
 
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