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Smart reliability

4409 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  smartie yank
Hey ya'll,

I know we've talked alot about the warranty, but what about the actual RELIABILTY of the Smart 42? Any hearsay/stats/personal experience on how often they break down, what components start to show trouble first, etc. Reliabilty is VERY important to me. I want a car that I can drive and drive and beat up and still have it ready for more the next day. To give you my perspective I used to have a 92 Maxima (245000, lost to collision), and currently drive a 98 Outback (145000). On both of them everything in the car still worked/works even with high mileage and heavy use.

At 145000 my Outback has yet to actually have a breakdown require a tow or major corrective maintenance (knock on wood). Most major problems in 3+ years of ownership were a batt failure (old original batt) and the check engine light indicating a cylinder misfire (remedied by replacing the ignition coil).
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I would say based on past automotive trends that no one looking for Japanese reliablity should be going with the Smart for these reasons-

1. first year new model = some bugs, 2. German electrics = trouble, and last, but surely not least Monsieur, 3. surly French "workers" doing assembly = BIG trouble. Three strikes (French union poking pun intended) and you'll be out.

(the only part of the Smart with Japanese reliability will likely be the engine which is built - yes- in Japan!)

Buy the Smart for the fun of it, it's not the type of car that I think you'll be able to just drive and forget about.

Hope I'm wrong BTW.
Yes I agree with you A2Jack but we should enter this romance with open eyes :)

Catena MB will give free loaners for Smartcar warantee work just like they do with Mercedes (says they) so I suppose I'll be seeing them a lot in the future.

p.s. - Pure model will likely = less electrical headaches,
at least we can hope so.
Lewis I assume you have one or more $30+K MBs from Catena...

Or some written info on a loaner car during warranty work on a low priced econo box... ?

Me thinks you are kidding your self... Don't get me wrong, I hope you are correct--- but in this world of every manufacture bleeding red ink, I have a hard time believing MB is going to offer a Loaner car while a first year Smart car waits on a new tranny from France/Germany

Some MB customers that are well known at a particular dealership may get a semi red carpet treatment-- but the rest of the masses will probably not IMO
All I have is their word- You can believe anything a car dealer says- can't you ???!!!!!!

Excuse me now - have to run as my closing on my purchase of the Brooklyn Bridge starts in a few minutes.
Cool you are going to be the 3,289,456th owner of that damned bridge! Can I come across for free?

I would like to think that if someone in authority at Catena MB told you that the warranty package would include a loaner car under the Smart Warranty that they would have the ethical values to honor their word.

I would dearly love to get a peek at the SmartUSA warranty for the 08 Smart car. I would like to be mildly surprised to see that tow and loaner are part of the package.

I suspect that your "dealer" already knows that the loaner service is part of the "Extended Service Plan" and that the base warranty will have "roadside assist" and perhaps "tow-in" included.

It was Lynn Farrell their sales manager - and it's possible she had inside information as seriously the Catena organization has a pretty good reputation in NJ. But that might just be the Catena policy, not the Smartcar policy she was referring to.

I'll let you know after I get my secret decoder password (only via e-mail), confirm my order with the company (only via the web), wait for their confirmation of my confirmation (only via email), then get contacted by my dealer Catena, order the car from them (hoping for no dealer extra profit), wait in line for the delivery after the French union settles their issues ....... excuse me while I lay down now as the recitation of all these steps is making me tired...........
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