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As a UK-based owner of a 2013 451ED I fear I am an endangered species and am looking to my US cousins for some support. I believe there were only 180 or so 451EDs sold here but more like 6,000 in the US? Anyways...

My HV battery was pronounced failed ay my last annual service booking end October 2018. I'd had a phantom 12v battery drain forever which was not normally an issue. But when I began using the Smart less often, the 12v failed. Just as I was about to use the Smart to follow the ambulance carrying my wife to hospital on blues and twos as it happens.

'Broken' was the most technical answer I could get from the dealer about the 12v and HV batteries. Odd since the last time I scanned it it reported OK. I have a suspicion the selling dealer who had it in stock a while a) didn't keep the battery fully charged b) didn't store the car in the warm during a harsh winter.

The (different) servicing dealer kept the car, loaned me a 453 4-seater, and promised to order a replacement battery.

Nearly three months on and we're still in the same boat. Car still with dealer and no sign of a replacement HV battery anywhere and now on special vehicle-off-road back order from Germany. Which seems slightly implausible for a mainstream manufacturer and a car built until 2014.

Aren't manufacturers obliged to keep spares holdings - especially major make-or-break parts like a traction battery (or an engine) - for at least 10 years?

I have owned and kept a niche Audi model (~6,000 made and sold 1999-2001) for nine years and spares have never been an issue, even a crate engine. How come Mercedes has all this bother finding a single battery?

Should I be escalating beyond the dealer and his parts department? They've been very understanding, loaning me various Smart and Mercedes models in the meantime, but this cannot go on forever surely? Where does the enough's enough point kick-in. Should I be demanding a permanent replacement vehicle? A cash settlement? Just don't know...

GeoffT:(
 

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Welcome to SCoA! :)

Not sure how things work in the UK but it sounds like time to elevate this to Mercedes-Benz UK or perhaps even to Germany. If the battery is being replaced under warranty they should have done so by now IMHO.
 

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FWIW, Nissan is very good about battery replacements. My friend's 2012 battery crapped out the month they transitioned the Smyrna, TN plant to the 30kW pack from the 24kW pack. They retooled and built his 24kW pack in the US a that was cheaper and faster than building in Japan and shipping by boat. The battery was pronounced dead in October the replacement showed up around Thanksgiving. It took a little over a month to build and ship it 900 miles over the road. I don't think anyone keeps them sitting around on the shelf like a 12v or alternator, I think they're built. I know that MB has a limited time to place orders for the quarter (vehicle orders), if your order was placed at the end of the order time it may be a full quarter before your order is received...and then they add it to the queue to build. Good luck!
 

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If the car sat for a long period of time and the 12v battery fails at the same time the HV battery was extremely low, then the HV battery can easily fail to the point of no return.

If the 12v was powering a load constantly, i.e. a dome light left on or a door not closed all the way, for weeks? It can also drain the HV battery.

Hopefully that wasn't the case and your HV battery is salvageable. One trick I've found is to continually and constantly attempt to charge the HV battery anyway. Disregard all the refusals to recharge, disregard all the scanning. Spend hours constantly plugging in the Level 1 charger and trying to convince the car to charge. If the charger lights turn red, unplug and replug and keep doing it for hours or days if necessary. Eventually, it just might do the trick...
 

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If the car sat for a long period of time and the 12v battery fails at the same time the HV battery was extremely low, then the HV battery can easily fail to the point of no return.

If the 12v was powering a load constantly, i.e. a dome light left on or a door not closed all the way, for weeks? It can also drain the HV battery.

That is not correct. A dome or other light left on _cannot_ drain the HV battery unless the key switch is also left on. The HV battery only charges the LV battery when key switch is in the "on" position.

The LV battery, in turn, powers all the car's accessory systems - including those needed when the car is parked (locks, memory, some lights) and the high voltage is isolated in the traction battery case as required by current safety standards. That is why all current-day EV's have a separate 12V battery (still lead-acid in most cases) to begin with.

Tesla is supposedly working on a design that eliminates this not-so-elegant arrangement for a future "Model Y".
 

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If the car sat for a long period of time and the 12v battery fails at the same time the HV battery was extremely low, then the HV battery can easily fail to the point of no return.

If the 12v was powering a load constantly, i.e. a dome light left on or a door not closed all the way, for weeks? It can also drain the HV battery.

Hopefully that wasn't the case and your HV battery is salvageable. One trick I've found is to continually and constantly attempt to charge the HV battery anyway. Disregard all the refusals to recharge, disregard all the scanning. Spend hours constantly plugging in the Level 1 charger and trying to convince the car to charge. If the charger lights turn red, unplug and replug and keep doing it for hours or days if necessary. Eventually, it just might do the trick...
What is the word they use for people who" keep doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” :D
 

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That is not correct. A dome or other light left on _cannot_ drain the HV battery unless the key switch is also left on. The HV battery only charges the LV battery when key switch is in the "on" position.

The LV battery, in turn, powers all the car's accessory systems - including those needed when the car is parked (locks, memory, some lights) and the high voltage is isolated in the traction battery case as required by current safety standards. That is why all current-day EV's have a separate 12V battery (still lead-acid in most cases) to begin with.

Tesla is supposedly working on a design that eliminates this not-so-elegant arrangement for a future "Model Y".

You are correct, and I am 100% incorrect. I was going off memory of a situation I was directly involved in, with a lot porter who left a car parked in storage for 3 weeks with a halfway closed door that left the dome light on and THE KEY IN THE IGNITION!!! I forgot about the key in the ignition part while making my post. Anyways I was livid. Why? Because it cost me so much money personally it's not even funny.

We're talking a $30,000 HIT to the budget sheet. I had to take a pay deduction for that mistake too, ruined my month.
Other situations with a dome light or headlight left on just drains the 12V battery and the HV is left alone. :nerd:
 

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I had this exact same problem but no warranty. I finally found one on car-parts.com the problem ended up being the BMS not the cells because I took my old cells apart and they are almost full capacity despite the BMS running the battery into the ground. Check my videos on YouTube. Shawn Crockett
 

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They are back ordered everywhere world wide... 6-8 months (even remanufactured batteries at $8,000!) they can't produce any fast enough.
 

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I had this exact same problem but no warranty. I finally found one on car-parts.com the problem ended up being the BMS not the cells because I took my old cells apart and they are almost full capacity despite the BMS running the battery into the ground. Check my videos on YouTube. Shawn Crockett
Can you clarify? How did you check the cell capacity? And by BMS running the battery into the ground, do you mean it totally discharged the pack?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To close the loop on this thread.

Our dealer and MBUK persevered and finally got an HV pack shipped over from Germany. That and the 12v battery - which I had fitted new a few weeks before - were replaced under warranty. Whether anything else was changed - specifically the DC-DC converter - I don’t know. But previously I had reported a something like a 4-amp continuous drain on the 12v battery with everything turned off and the dealer had mentioned a ‘module’ that was found to be faulty.

When the car was taken in and the HV battery fault was diagnosed the HV SOC was about 60%. I could see from home (when the Web interface still worked) it gradually decline over the months the dealer had it. But no sudden discharge. And the dealer replaced the 12v battery on receipt of the car.

Anyway, we are delighted to have our 451ED back and fully working.

 

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My HV battery was pronounced failed ay my last annual service booking end October 2018. I'd had a phantom 12v battery drain forever which was not normally an issue. But when I began using the Smart less often, the 12v failed.

'Broken' was the most technical answer I could get from the dealer about the 12v and HV batteries. Odd since the last time I scanned it it reported OK. I have a suspicion the selling dealer who had it in stock a while a) didn't keep the battery fully charged b) didn't store the car in the warm during a harsh winter.

The (different) servicing dealer kept the car, loaned me a 453 4-seater, and promised to order a replacement battery.

Nearly three months on and we're still in the same boat. Car still with dealer and no sign of a replacement HV battery anywhere and now on special vehicle-off-road back order from Germany. Which seems slightly implausible for a mainstream manufacturer and a car built until 2014.
To close the loop on this thread.

Our dealer and MBUK persevered and finally got an HV pack shipped over from Germany. That and the 12v battery - which I had fitted new a few weeks before - were replaced under warranty. Whether anything else was changed - specifically the DC-DC converter - I don’t know. But previously I had reported a something like a 4-amp continuous drain on the 12v battery with everything turned off and the dealer had mentioned a ‘module’ that was found to be faulty.

When the car was taken in and the HV battery fault was diagnosed the HV SOC was about 60%. I could see from home (when the Web interface still worked) it gradually decline over the months the dealer had it. But no sudden discharge. And the dealer replaced the 12v battery on receipt of the car.

Anyway, we are delighted to have our 451ED back and fully working.

Thanks for the update after your long (over a year?) wait.

For clarification, was your UK MY13 ED still within warranty or are you "renting" the HV battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, we are renting under the battery assurance program. And after this experience, very pleased that we are. It’ll be interesting to see if the 8-year clock resets or runs out in two and a bit years when the car’s original BAP expires.

With only around 180 451EDs sold in the UK, they are rarer than hen’s teeth on the second hand market. When we bought it was the only one in the dealer network, having just missed two black cabriolets. Never really wanted a soft top anyway. The 453 wasn’t available as an ED at the time.
 

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It is good to know that you're back up an running...
Thanks for the update: even though it took a long time for this problem to get sorted out!
 
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