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Discussion Starter #1
My partner was recently involved in a low speed collision in her Smart ForTwo ED. She has now been told that due to Smart's safety battery shutdown device (which is irreversible) her car is now beyond ecoomic repair. Smart of course did not tell us about this 'feature' when we bought the car.

Do all electric cars have this feature or just Smart EDs? If it is just Smart EDs it would seem to be a glaring fault in the design that a low speed collision writes off the car. Anyone thinking of buying an electric Smart should consider this carefully and either buy 'gap insurance' (expensive) or shop elsewhere.

Alan
 

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Is this not more of a case that the Smart ForTwo ED sold in such small numbers there are few parts and few people with the ability to do it therefore costs a fortune.

All EVs have some form of pyrotechnic fuse that isolates the battery when a specific impact is detected, with higher volume EVs it would be easier to source and fit replacement, but in some cases given the massive depreciation it still might be cost effective for the insurer to repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The problem seems to be that that the battery costs far more than the insurance value of the vehicle and, according to Smart (Mercedes Benz), must be replaced after any collision strong enough to deploy the airbags. My partner is heartbroken and I feel this is a serious flaw in Smart's design - I certainly wouldn't buy one after this experience.
 

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I thought you had to rent the battery for MBFin for the fortwo, because of relative replacement cost? At least when I looked at one a fair few years ago I could not buy it outright.

They also changed chemistries and controllers between generations, so I imagine its a right faff finding the right ones.
 

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Whatever the reasons behind the decision, this doesn't look good for ev's, especially ones sold in small numbers. Like mine.

And that's without worrying about damage from minor impacts, and the difficulty and expense of getting spares.

You have my best wishes for a satisfactory outcome.
 

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Yes, a bit. There were several companies doing conversions and I believe smart themselfes so need to know what type it is first. Doesnt seem logical to me. It can probably be bypassed/reset/replaced somehow. Let me know if I can help.
 

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My partner wouldn't buy another at least not from Mercedes Benz and I wouldn't touch one with a bargepole. The battery is leased and there is a slim chance that it might be covered by insurance arranged by the lease company. If so the car might be repairable. Certainly the other party's insurers are keen to have the car written off (they have accepted liability for the accident). Clearly ordinary comprehensive insurance is not adequate for EVs.
 

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Clearly - I've just been through a massive non-fault EV insurance faff (converted RX8) and ended up out of pocket.

I'd happily take a look if your insurance/third party insurance is happy to use an independant specialist.

Out of interest what are they offering for salvage?

One thing I discovered about non fault claims is you can insist on a replacement, cash value (at market rate) or repair.

For reference the same issue can be fixed on a Leaf using leafspy or a £7.99 OBDII reader..... makes you wonder!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Clearly - I've just been through a massive non-fault EV insurance faff (converted RX8) and ended up out of pocket.

I'd happily take a look if your insurance/third party insurance is happy to use an independant specialist.

Out of interest what are they offering for salvage?

One thing I discovered about non fault claims is you can insist on a replacement, cash value (at market rate) or repair.

For reference the same issue can be fixed on a Leaf using leafspy or a £7.99 OBDII reader..... makes you wonder!
They are offering the Glass price of circa £9,000. I'll pass the info about no fault claims to my partner who is now starting to sound a bit more fiesty...
 

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What Gen is it? The early ones were almost Pre-Prod prototypes that were put on sale, nothing standardised (even the wrong socket) and everything bespoke...
 

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You can claim a like for like replacement vehicle from the 3rd party insurer (and leave your insurance company out of this), and the 3rd party are liable for the damage to the battery pack too, but it is up to the finance company to claim for that as that is their interest.
 

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These were assembled on site in association with UK comapny Zytec, they used a battery system made by TESLA, and many have been recovered by SMART and disposed of. All cars now have a simple inertia switch that kills the normal electrics, (Any converters out there I have new ford ones of these in stock) and cars with the airbag system can detect levels of impact and act accordingly. Its likely that this is a simple software reset, I dont believe the TESLA pack had any Pyrotechnic device. Depending upon what the damage is the battery pack may have sustained damage, but thats not something a simple visual check could resolve.
I would hang out for a full replacement cost. Three years ago my converted smart was written off by someone doing some serious front and rear damge while they were out of control on the wrong side of the road. We demanded a hire car while it was being resolved, and we demanded and got our fuel costs above our normal 2p per mile, which our electric car costs us to run. When they made stupid offers for the car, I simply explained that I would see them in court and put the phone down on them. They rang back and explained that someone their end had made a mistake, and we got resolved. Dont give in too easily. Let them believe you wish to get another similar and that its going to take a while to find one, at least a month of paid for car hire.
Personally I would walk away from it, it will always be a repaired car and if there are any pack faults you will have no come back. MB wont have access to replacement battery packs anyway, as TESLA was dumped as the supplier and they took back as many packs as possible. Most cars actually never left MBs ownership, and were leased.
I will have a couple of Smart Conversions in January for sale, not as brilliant as the genuine ones but very servicable. And way under £5k
 

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MB wont have access to replacement battery packs anyway, as TESLA was dumped as the supplier and they took back as many packs as possible.
That's a bit shocking -- so MB were selling a car for which they would be unable to provide spares. Does this apply to the similarly Tesla-engineered B Class?
 

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Im sure they have some sort of deal with the B class. MB are still (I think) shareholders of TESLA. But the Smart was a very controlled trial, and for some reason TESLA wanted the battery packs back. It may be that when this one is sold as salvage, the Pack has been removed. In the US many TESLA packs are now being sold as used, when Model s are scrapped. I have seen a picture of one of these Smart packs being sold in the US, so they havnt all been recovered. I think a lot of this is related to Smart wanting older Electrics removed, so that any issues with them would not be associated with the current product (Which is actually a well screwed together car) Zytec even used the original gearbox, in a single gear as my own conversion was originally done.
 

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Im sure they have some sort of deal with the B class. MB are still (I think) shareholders of TESLA.
Daimler sold their remaining Tesla stake around this time last year - I remember having a yarn about it in the October LowCVP meeting.
 
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