My car is just over a year old, only had 24,928 miles on it.
(Basic Warranty is 2 years/24,000 miles) It would NOT come out of Park. I called the Smart Dealership of Buckhead, GA and they told me to try to "re-train" it by turning it on part way 3 times with my foot on the brake and then it would shift. Nope, didnt work.
I called them back up and they said that I was over my 24,000 mile warranty even if only by 928 miles which is less than 2 weeks of driving for me and they would've extended it but because I did my oil changes somewhere else and not through them they won't do this as warranty work. I find it funny that Smart Car USA has a place that shows you how to do your own work on your car including oil changes, but since I went that route (well I had Kauffman Tire do the oil
changes) I would not get any help from them. My mother took her Smart to them for an oil change and was charged $200! So because I hadnt allowed them to blatantly over charge me before, they were going to do it now. I even told them I had the records and could prove that I had Kauffman Tire change my oil! Didnt matter they werent going to help. Not only that, but they told me I had to either push the car until it forced it out of park and found a gear (which wouldve killed the transmission) or call a tow truck and pay over $200 just to get it to them.
LUCKILY I found many forums with other irate people who had the same problem I did come to find out it was a bad brake light switch. They said their brake lights werent coming on and it wouldnt come out of park. I never looked at my brake lights so I tried that and low and behold my brake lights were not coming on either. I called back up there to ask if they had that part in stock so I could figure out if it was a fast turn around and Everett was extremely rude to me and told me I dont know. But just because you think you can diagnose it over the internet doesnt mean you are right. I
agreed, but told him that the MANY people who posted about the SAME problem with the SAME symptoms said it ended up being their Brake Light Switch. He said Im not going to talk about them, you need to get the car towed in here so we can diagnose it properly. Luckily these forum people also told me about the yellow lever under the gear shifter that you can pop to get your car out of park so that saved me towing costs. Why didnt the dealer tell me that?!? He could tell me
to try to push the car to FORCE it out of park, but not where the actual switch was so I didnt damage my car??
Shockingly, it was a bad brake light switch. I was charged $149.36 to fix a part that has had KNOWN documented problems because I was 1000 miles out of warranty. (Still WELL within the 2 year part though.) What manufacturer would allow this type of "quality" ,or rather lack there of, be tied to its name? I bought my car brand new in Feb of 2011, it only has 24,928 miles on it so a problem of this sort, which is WELL documented as an issue on the forums and blog sites, should have been fixed by Smart for free. I have a Samsung TV that was 5 years old when a capacitor started going bad. 5 YEARS on a 1 YEAR manufacturer warranty so I knew it was not in the warranty. I figured Id have to pay for
that. (Note : I was 4 years over but with Smart I was within the year part of the warranty and only 1000 miles over the mileage part.) This capacitor issue was also well documented on forums and Ill have you know all I had to do was call
them and they sent a Technician to my house, who cleaned the inside of the TV and replaced ALL, not just the bad one, the capacitors FOR FREE. Why? Because they have excellent customer service. What probably cost them $200 to fix,
gained them a customer for life! We now have all Samsung TVs and monitors! We went out the following week and bought a massive Samsung 3D TV just because I have that much faith in that company. What wonderful customer service.
Now Smart on the other hand I am very upset I ever bought a Smart Car from these people. The horrible customer service I received since the day I bought this car is horrifying. Since they know you HAVE to go to them for any major issue they feel they can treat you like garbage and over charge the mess out of you. For $150 they have lost a customer. I will NEVER use them again. I am going to PAY MORE MONEY just to get rid of my Smart Car! I am going to go UPSIDE DOWN on a car note just so I have the satisfaction of knowing that I will never have to deal with Smart Car of Buckhead ever again! My mom is also selling hers. And I will tell this story on every blog, forum and to ever person I come in contact with! And considering what a conversation piece they are, not to mention mine is customized, I am approached by at least 10 people a day. So those 10 people a day I will let them know exactly how horrible the customer service is at Smart Car of Buckhead. I will post it on my Facebook so all of my Dane and Smart contacts will know, I am reporting it to Ripoff Report.com, I will report it to NHTSA and then I will post reviews anywhere Smart Car is being mentioned.
I hate that I have to give up my Smart Car, because I do love it, Ive customized it and put a lot of money into it, but Ill be danged if that company ever receives one more penny from me! Any company that will not stand behind their product is not a company I want to be associated with! Luckily, the wonderful Toyota dealership that sold my husband his car also sells the Scion IQ (4 years/50,000 miles). That will be the car I purchase and when people begin approaching me about that customized mini car I can continue to warn them about Smart Car of Buckhead.
I hope their lack of service over a $40 part (which you can get online for $20) really ends up coming back to get them in the end. With all the complaints on forums and this is a KNOWN issue, why turn your back on your customers? Just because you think you can. Well not this one! I will be more than happy to pay Toyota to get me out of this mistake just so I dont EVER have to deal with Smart Car of Buckhead again! Shame on you guys for taking ADVANTAGE of your customers and not taking CARE of them.