2008 smart fortwo passion: Repair Part III: The waiting game.
May 29, 2008
Spared from certain death by the Tridium Safety Cell, Associate Editor Josh Sadlier was able to explain pre-posthumously his experience of sitting inside of a smart fortwo passion being struck by a careless SUV . Part II of our smart story had us paying $25 to get numerical data that backed up what our eyes had been telling us; the damage to the smart was more than cosmetic. At the very least there was an alignment issue caused by a bent control arm.
In this installment we begin on the phones... No smart dealer in the western part of the United States was able to take on such a project at this time. They didn't have tools, they didn't have training, they didn't have parts. Running low on ideas and high on frustration, we gave Beverly Coachcraft a ring. They do the bulk of the body work for Beverly Hills Mercedes-Benz and said bring it over, they'd be glad to give us an estimate.
Still very new to the States, the smart got the immediate attention of everyone in the complex. They walked past Maybachs (2), AMGs (at least 6), and an SLR to get a peek at the babiest of Benz products. One in particular stopped to chat with us, too. He wanted to know if it was fast. We shook our heads no. At least fun? A shoulder shrug in lieu of an answer got our point across. His final question, "Is it at least easy to live with?" required a verbal answer, "Not if you're trying to fix it" I said.
We spent the next half-hour or so there peeking at some banged up exotics (including a Flying Spur who's owner, "Ozzy", wanted it back asap) while the staff there exhausted all of their resources to get parts. No such luck. Unpainted body panels could possibly be shipped over from Germany but nobody could tell if they were the same as their US counterparts or if they had the correct paint codes. Or if the $700 made any sense in relation to what the parts should cost us.
They finally conceded that there was nothing they could do shy of taking a few photos for the insurance companies and said our best bet was the leave the car with Mercedes of Beverly Hills, an authorized smart dealer. They could handle all of the parts and repairs best.
And so we drove to Beverly Hills and left the car with only one instruction: Call us when you hear anything.
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,465 miles