Auto Recalls for Consumers

SMART FORTWO COUPE - 2008 SMART FORTWO COUPE Problems & Complaints

 
Auto Recalls For Consumers
by SMART

There are 16 complaints filed for the 2008 SMART FORTWO COUPE

Below is a list of complaints & problems filed against the 2008 SMART FORTWO COUPE. These problems includes information received by NHTSA from consumers either directly or as recorded by the Vehicle Safety Hotline. This information may be used by NHTSA during the investigation process. If you like to file an official complaint for the 2008 SMART FORTWO COUPE, you can do so by calling the NHTSA Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm at 888-327-4236, TTY: 800-424-9153. You can also file your complaint online by clicking here. Your complaint will be added to the NHTSA complaints database after a thorough review. If a trend is discovered, an investigation will be opened by the ODI.

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Electrical System (1) Engine And Engine Cooling (1) Fuel System Gasoline (2) Service Brakes Hydraulic (2) Unknown Or Other (1)
Electronic Stability Control (1) Equipment (1) Power Train (5) Structure (4)

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ComplaintDescription

POWER TRAIN

11/19/2013 - DEKALB, IL
I OWN 2 OF THE 2008 SMART FORTWO AUTOMOBILES (PURE & CABRIO). BOTH HAVE PERIODICALLY BEEN BALKY SHIFTERS (STUCK WHEN TRYING TO MOVE THE GEAR SELECTOR OUT OF PARK). ONE HAS BRIEFLY REFUSED TO SHIFT INTO ANY GEAR, INDEPENDENT OF THE GEAR INDICATED. BOTH HAVE BRIEFLY REFUSED TO SHIFT OUT OF PARK... UNTIL TODAY WHEN MY WIFE WAS STUCK IN PARK AT A RED LIGHT. THE ABS LIGHT HAD COME ON, MY WIFE DECIDED TO SEE IF SHE COULD CLEAR THE INDICATOR. SHE QUICKLY PUT IT IN PARK, ENGINE OFF THEN ON, BUT VEHICLE REMAINED STUCK IN PARK. A DEPUTY MOVED TRAFFIC AROUND HER. I ARRIVED & AFTER REPEATED ATTEMPTS FOR 20 MINUTES, IT FINALLY RELEASED FROM PARK INTO DRIVE. I DROVE IT HOME & THOROUGHLY LUBRICATED THE SHIFTER MECHANISM PER POSTS ON THE SMART CAR OF AMERICA FORUMS. AS I RE-READ THIS THREAD CONTAINING 4 YEARS OF CONTRIBUTORS, THERE IS AN IMPRESSION THAT THE FACTORY RELEASED A 1ST, THEN 2ND GENERATION OF SHIFTER REPLACEMENT HARDWARE. THERE IS ABUNDANT OWNER FEEDBACK THAT THERE IS A RELIABILITY ISSUE IN GEAR-SHIFTING, AT LEAST ON THE 2008 MODEL. PER MY LOCAL DEALERSHIP IN ST CHARLES, IL, THERE IS NO FACTORY RECALL FOR THIS ISSUE. THE DEALERSHIP WILL RUN A $120 DIAGNOSTIC, BUT REPAIR IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OWNER. APPARENTLY, I AM ON MY OWN TO PURCHASE UPDATED SHIFTER HARDWARE, OR SELF-MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT LUBE ON THE ORIGINAL, BALKY SHIFTER HARDWARE. IF ONE EVER PULLS OVER IN A REMOTE OR DANGEROUS AREA & PUTS THE TRANSMISSION IN PARK, HE MAY BE STUCK THERE PERMANENTLY, UNTIL RESCUED. IN DANGEROUSLY COLD WEATHER, THIS MECHANICAL FAILURE COULD BE FATAL. IN TRAFFIC, THIS COULD HAVE LED TO A SERIOUS ACCIDENT. ON WHAT OTHER VEHICLE WOULD THIS BEHAVIOR BE TOLERATED? IF 2 OUT OF 2 OF MY VEHICLES EXHIBIT THIS ISSUE, IT IS WIDESPREAD, & A DANGER TO OPERATORS OF THIS VEHICLE. I'M GOING TO ALSO REPORT IT USING MY OTHER 2008 SMART FORTWO VIN NEXT.

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FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE

8/15/2013 - BOCA RATON, FL
THIS BEING A 2008 SMART PASSION FOR TWO......A LEAKING GAS TANK ON A 4 YEAR OLD VEHICLE......CONTACTED MB/SMART AT THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN NJ...TRYING TO GET THEM TO REPLACE THIS UNDER THE MANUFACTURER DEFECTIVE PART TO NO AVAIL. LOCAL MB/SMART DEALERSHIP CHARGED ME $1717 FOR ITS REPLACEMENT.....NO VEHICLE SHOULD LOSE ITS GAS TANK BEING ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD, ANY BRAND.

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ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL

9/10/2011 - PLUMAS LAKE, CA
DRIVING ON CA70 SOUTH TOWARDS PLUMAS LAKE BLVD. EXIT, BRAKING LIGHTLY FROM 55 MPH TO 35MPH TO EXIT THE FREEWAY CAUSED ABS AND ELECTRONIC STABILITY PROGRAM (ESP)((ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL)) EXCLAMATION LIGHTS TO LIGHT UP WHICH DENOTED THE ABS AND ESP DISABLED. WHEN COMING TO A STOP AT THE STOP SIGN, THE SMART WAS SHUT DOWN AND RESTARTED TO RESET THE ABS AND ESP FOR SAFETY ONLY TO FIND THAT THE TRANSMISSION WOULD NOT SHIFT FROM PARK TO DRIVE AND WAS LOCKED INTO PARK. THIS CREATED A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION WHERE THE CAR WAS UNABLE TO BE SHIFTED TO NEUTRAL TO MOVE THE CAR INTO THE SHOULDER AND THE CAR WAS STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD WITH CARS EXITING THE FREEWAY (HAZARD LIGHTS WERE ON). TO GET OUT OF A DANGEROUS SITUATION, AN ONLINE FORUM THAT DISCUSSES THE SMART CAR (WWW.SMARTCARSOFAMERICA.COM) SHOWED THAT IF THE SHIFTER IS STUCK INTO PARK TO CHECK AND SEE IF THE BRAKE LIGHTS IN THE REAR WERE WORKING. THE BRAKE REAR BRAKE LIGHTS WERE CHECKED AND THERE WAS NO LIGHT EMITTING FROM THEM. THE SITE STATED THAT IF THERE WAS NO BRAKE LIGHT THEN THAT POINTED THE PROBLEM TO THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH WHICH IS A KNOWN ISSUE WITH THE SMART FORTWO NA451 MODELS. A REMEDY WAS RECOMMENDED TO GET OUT OF PARK BY RAPIDLY PRESSING AND DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL TO GET THE LIGHT TO COME ON WHICH WOULD DISABLE THE PARKING LOCK ON THE SHIFTER. THAT WORKED AND GOT ME OUT OF A DANGEROUS POSITION ON THE ROADWAY WHERE THERE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TIME TO CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OR A TOW TRUCK TO GET ME OFF THE ROAD. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND A RECALL TO BE DRAFTED TO REPLACE THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH ON ALL SMART NA451 MODELS AS THEY CAN BE DEFECTIVE.

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SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

9/10/2011 - PLUMAS LAKE, CA
DRIVING ON CA70 SOUTH TOWARDS PLUMAS LAKE BLVD. EXIT, BRAKING LIGHTLY FROM 55 MPH TO 35MPH TO EXIT THE FREEWAY CAUSED ABS AND ELECTRONIC STABILITY PROGRAM (ESP)((ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL)) EXCLAMATION LIGHTS TO LIGHT UP WHICH DENOTED THE ABS AND ESP DISABLED. WHEN COMING TO A STOP AT THE STOP SIGN, THE SMART WAS SHUT DOWN AND RESTARTED TO RESET THE ABS AND ESP FOR SAFETY ONLY TO FIND THAT THE TRANSMISSION WOULD NOT SHIFT FROM PARK TO DRIVE AND WAS LOCKED INTO PARK. THIS CREATED A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION WHERE THE CAR WAS UNABLE TO BE SHIFTED TO NEUTRAL TO MOVE THE CAR INTO THE SHOULDER AND THE CAR WAS STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD WITH CARS EXITING THE FREEWAY (HAZARD LIGHTS WERE ON). TO GET OUT OF A DANGEROUS SITUATION, AN ONLINE FORUM THAT DISCUSSES THE SMART CAR (WWW.SMARTCARSOFAMERICA.COM) SHOWED THAT IF THE SHIFTER IS STUCK INTO PARK TO CHECK AND SEE IF THE BRAKE LIGHTS IN THE REAR WERE WORKING. THE BRAKE REAR BRAKE LIGHTS WERE CHECKED AND THERE WAS NO LIGHT EMITTING FROM THEM. THE SITE STATED THAT IF THERE WAS NO BRAKE LIGHT THEN THAT POINTED THE PROBLEM TO THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH WHICH IS A KNOWN ISSUE WITH THE SMART FORTWO NA451 MODELS. A REMEDY WAS RECOMMENDED TO GET OUT OF PARK BY RAPIDLY PRESSING AND DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL TO GET THE LIGHT TO COME ON WHICH WOULD DISABLE THE PARKING LOCK ON THE SHIFTER. THAT WORKED AND GOT ME OUT OF A DANGEROUS POSITION ON THE ROADWAY WHERE THERE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TIME TO CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OR A TOW TRUCK TO GET ME OFF THE ROAD. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND A RECALL TO BE DRAFTED TO REPLACE THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH ON ALL SMART NA451 MODELS AS THEY CAN BE DEFECTIVE.

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ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

2/8/2011 - AMES, IA
1.HIGH FAILURE RATE OF HEATER BLOWER MOTORS. 2.HIGH REPLACEMENT COST $340+ (PRICE GOUGING) FOR A BLOWER MOTOR BASED ON THE BELIEVED HIGH CURRENT FAILURE RATE. 3.3 BLOWER FAILURES HAVE OCCURRED IN 54K MILES. 4.VEHICLE WAS NEW IN 4/2008, I AM ORIGINAL OWNER 5.NO HEAT CREATES A HIGH SAFETY RISK TO CONSUMER WHO USE THE VEHICLE IN EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS. 6.NO HEAT CAN CREATE VISIBILITY ISSUE DUE TO INABILITY TO PROPERLY DEFROST THE WINDOWS. 7.NO HEAT PRESENTS A HEALTH ISSUE TO OLDER USERS IN COLD WEATHER WHO MAY HAVE LIMITED CIRCULATION. 8.NO HEAT PRESENTS A SAFETY ISSUE TO OTHER DRIVERS DUE TO: A.POOR VISIBILITY B.DRIVER DISTRACTION DUE TO COMFORT C.DRIVER DISTRACTION DUE TO GAGE PANEL MANIPULATION 9.NO HEAT CREATES A HEALTH ISSUE IN THE EVENT OF BEING STRANDED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER. FAILURE TO HEAT THE OCCUPANT SPACE COULD LEAD TO SEVERE INJURY OR DEATH. 10.DISASSEMBLY AND REPAIR OF THE BLOWER MOTOR IS NOT PART OF THE CONSUMER REGULAR SERVICE REQUIREMENTS. 11.SMART DOES NOT RECOMMEND CHANGING OF THE BLOWER MOTOR DURING REGULAR SERVICE INTERVALS. SO FAR SMART HAS DONE ALL SERVICE TO THE VEHICLE AT 10, 20, 30, 40, AND 50K. NOT ONCE WAS BLOWER MOTOR A SUGGESTED SERVICE ITEM. 12.SMART THEREFORE BELIEVES THE BLOWER MOTOR TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT LIFE AND DOES NOT NEED SERVICE.

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STRUCTURE

1/19/2011 - LEWISVILLE, TX
THE PLASTIC ROOF IN MY 2009 SMART FORTWO HAD BEEN CRACKING SUBSTANTIALLY FROM EITHER HEAT OR CLEANING CHEMICALS.

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STRUCTURE: BODY

8/26/2010 - CHARLESTON, SC
CRAZING AND FAILURE OF MAKROLON (POLYCARBONATE) ROOF ON ALL SMART FOR TWO COUPES FROM 2008 TO PRESENT. POLYCARBONATE (PC) MATERIAL THE TRANSPARENT ROOF PANEL IS MADE FROM DISINTEGRATES FROM UV SUNLIGHT OR HEAT BEYOND ITS 150F RATING EXACERBATED BY SMART'S SUNSHADE INSIDE THE CAR. PC IS NOT RESISTANT TO OZONE AND OTHER CHEMICALS LISTED HERE: HTTP://WWW.SHEFFIELDPLASTICS.COM/WEB_DOCS/MAKROLON%20CHEMICAL%20RESISTANCE.PDF MANY OF WHICH ARE IN THE AIR AND IN CLEANING SUPPLIES. FROM THIS MFG WEB..."EXPOSING MAKROLON SHEET TO REPEATED STEAM CLEANING OR DISH WASHING CAN CREATE HYDRAULIC CRAZING. THE RESULT CAN BE A CLOUDING OF THE SURFACE AND ULTIMATELY A LOSS OF PHYSICAL STRENGTH PROPERTIES." TEMPERATURES MEASURED BETWEEN SUNSHADE AND MAKROLON ROOF PANEL IN SC PARKING LOT FAR EXCEEDS 150F SPEC, CAUSING THE OBSERVED FAILURES. THESE FAILURES WILL, EVENTUALLY, CONSUME THE PLASTIC ROOF WHICH WILL FALL ON OCCUPANTS OR EXPLODE OUTWARDS ONTO FOLLOWING TRAFFIC WHEN, NOT IF, THE PLASTIC FINALLY FAILS, STRUCTURALLY. THE FAILURE IS SLOW AND TAKES A YEAR OR MORE TO MATERIALIZE. AS THIS MODEL IS ONLY 2 YEARS OLD, JUST OUT OF WARRANTY, SMART HAS DONE NOTHING TO RECALL/REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE MATERIAL, STONEWALLING THE CUSTOMERS TO THE PROBLEM. BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT, OR THIS PANEL FAILS AND FALLS ON THE CHILDREN OR CAUSES PANIC TO THE DRIVER, THIS ROOF PANEL SHOULD BE RECALLED, EVEN OUT OF WARRANTY BECAUSE IT TAKES MORE THAN THE 2-YEAR WARRANTY PERIOD FOR THE FAILURE TO OCCUR, BY FORCE OF GOVERNMENT IF NECESSARY. SMART REPLACES ONE DEFECTIVE PANEL WITH ANOTHER UNDER WARRANTY, WHICH DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF DEFECTIVE MATERIAL, SO THE PROBLEM REPEATS. A FORCED RECALL TO REPLACE WITH OTHER MATERIAL MORE REALISTIC TO INTENSE UV SUNSHINE IN A HOT PARKING LOT IS WARRANTED BECAUSE OF THE COMPANY'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS PROPER REPLACEMENT WITH A DIFFERENT MATERIAL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION IN THIS MATTER.

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EQUIPMENT

3/25/2010 - NEW CITY, NY
I HAVE A 2008 SMART FORTWO AND FOR ABOUT 9 MONTHS NOW THE BLOWER MOTOR HAS BEEN WORKING INTERMITTENTLY. I CAN'T SEEM TO DETECT ANY PATTERN FOR WHEN IT DOES AND DOES NOT WORK. IT SOMETIMES WILL WORK AS SOON AS I START THE CAR, IF NOT IT WILL EVENTUALLY WORK AFTER DRIVING FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. IT HAS ALSO NOT WORKED AT ALL FOR HOURS OR SOMETIMES DAYS AND THEN WORK PERFECTLY FOR HOURS AND SOMETIMES DAYS. I CALLED THE DEALER (SMART CENTER OF ENGELWOOD (NJ)) ABOUT THIS PROBLEM AND THEY SAID THEY ARE INCREASINGLY COMING ACROSS ISSUES THAT I HAVE DESCRIBED AND THEY RECOMMEND REPLACING THE BLOWER MOTOR AT A COST OF ALMOST $400.00. I WENT ONTO A SMART CAR BLOG WEBSITE AND THERE ARE AN AWEFUL LOT OF SMART CAR OWNERS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SAME PROBLEM. IT COULD BE A POTENTIAL SAFETY ISSUE BECAUSE IF THE WINDSHIELD BECOMES FOGGED UP AND THE BLOWER MOTOR DOES NOT FUNCTION, OUTSIDE VISIBILITY WOULD BE DANGEROUSLY OBSTRUCTED. THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME BUT I WAS ABLE TO PULL OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND OPEN THE WINDOWS UNTIL I WAS ABLE TO SEE THROUGH THE WINDOWS AGAIN.I HAVE NOT REPLACED THE BLOWER MOTOR YET BUT WILL BE IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. IT SEEMS TO ME THIS IS A DESIGN OR MANUFACTURE DEFECT WITH THE BLOWER MOTOR AND AT THE VERY LEAST, AN INVESTIGATION BY YOUR AGENCY IS IN ORDER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER.

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POWER TRAIN: CLUTCH ASSEMBLY

2/9/2010 - SCOTTSDALE, AZ
TL CONTACT OWNS A 2008 MERCEDES SMART CAR FORTWO COUPE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE ACTUATOR AND CLUTCH PLATE WERE REPLACED TWICE WITHIN A YEAR. THE FAILURE HAS OCCURRED WHILE DRIVING VARIOUS SPEEDS. WHENEVER HE SHIFT GEARS FROM PARK AND ENGAGE THE BRAKE PEDAL THE GEARS WERE STUCK. THE FAILURE HAS OCCURRED ON THREE OCCASIONS; HOWEVER, THE DEALER HAS NOT BEEN CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 36,000. THE CURRENT MILEAGE WAS 81,000. UPDATED 03/04/10 UPDATED 06/02/10

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SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

2/9/2010 - SCOTTSDALE, AZ
TL CONTACT OWNS A 2008 MERCEDES SMART CAR FORTWO COUPE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE ACTUATOR AND CLUTCH PLATE WERE REPLACED TWICE WITHIN A YEAR. THE FAILURE HAS OCCURRED WHILE DRIVING VARIOUS SPEEDS. WHENEVER HE SHIFT GEARS FROM PARK AND ENGAGE THE BRAKE PEDAL THE GEARS WERE STUCK. THE FAILURE HAS OCCURRED ON THREE OCCASIONS; HOWEVER, THE DEALER HAS NOT BEEN CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 36,000. THE CURRENT MILEAGE WAS 81,000. UPDATED 03/04/10 UPDATED 06/02/10

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