Power Train Problems of Smart Fortwo

Smart Fortwo owners have reported 29 problems related to power train (under the power train category). The most recently reported issues are listed below. Also please check out the statistics and reliability analysis of Smart Fortwo based on all problems reported for the Fortwo.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 1
Failure Date: 05/12/2018

Randomly, after starting the car and selecting reverse, the dash display doesn't display 'r' or it flashes 'n', and the transmission doesn't engage reverse gear. Moving gear shifter between park and drive several times or restarting vehicle helps sometimes. This would be very dangerous if needing to reverse in an emergency situation and the car doesn't move.

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car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 2
Failure Date: 07/21/2017

It will stop working and will not go into drive at all the car just sit there and will not drive at all, this is not good when sitting in traffic lights.

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car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 3
Failure Date: 12/25/2016

Within the space of three months, in the middle of driving my Smartcar, my dash display has gone from showing d (for drive) to n and then flashing three vertical bars. I have lost all control of driving the car and luckily there was space on the side of the road to coast to a stop. When trying to turn the car back on, the three bars remain. There is a way through the shifter to restart the car or at least getting it into neutral. A series of pumping the brake, turning the start key and trying to move the shifter back and forth through gears. Eventually, the car will start. Unfortunately, the three bars of death (as nicknamed on the Smart car forums) can happen for any numerous types of faults such as weak battery to faulty communication with the transmission, to heater/air conditioning operating unit is defective. The list is long. The problem is my car has completely stopped working in the middle of the road without warning and this could be very dangerous.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 4
Failure Date: 11/04/2016

The cars transmission will not switch to reverse intermittently its an electrical things.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 5
Failure Date: 10/17/2016

While driving rear motor caught fire,.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2016 Smart Fortwo 6
Failure Date: 06/05/2016

On steep uphills and when you have come to a stop because of a red light or a stop sign, the engine seems to be too weak to push the transmission forward and actually the car my roll back and brakes go in a lock mode which creates a big safety issue.

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car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 7
Failure Date: 06/03/2016

While driving car will drive fine. . Stop to parallel park or reverse. . . Car will not go into reverse gear. . Or drive gear. . . . Shut car off to reset everything then car will not start up for awhile. . . . . If at all taken to Smart center to no avil called Smart all they want to do is give me a $500 dollar discount on another Smart car. . . And no answer to the current problem im having with a current Smart car car only has 43,277 miles.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 8
Failure Date: 05/15/2016

Seat belts for both driver and passenger sides became twisted within the first couple of years of ownership. Despite attempts by service technicians to untwist and repair the mechanism the seat belts remain twisted. Seat belt latch on driver's side finally failed at about 25,000 miles. Both seat belts had to be completely replaced at our expense. Also, the car doesn't always shift from park to reverse properly. It sometimes takes several attempts to get the transmission to engage.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2012 Smart Fortwo 9
Failure Date: 05/15/2016

Transmission will go into three bars and not shift on highways and parkways, usually able to safely drive under power to side of road sometimes goes into neutral and have to coast to side. Occurs with elevated ambient moisture. Started at 32,000 miles. Known issue, transmission has a limp mode for this occurrence. Very difficult to diagnose, appears electrical in nature. Smart dealership will not address.

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car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 10
Failure Date: 05/01/2016

Vehicle doesn't always shift into reverse from park. Sometimes will not go into drive from park many people with same problem online. Please please help us get the manufacturer the fix this. This is not normal wear and tear.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 11
Failure Date: 12/20/2015

I also have the problem with the transmission. The transmission will not go into reverse or drive after engine starts. It happens about 2 to 3 times a year. It can happen after an overnight stop or just a few minutes. It always works after a few minutes however, a couple of times the non engaging transmission allowed the car to roll into a vulnerable position in the street. I felt lucky there was no traffic.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 12
Failure Date: 12/03/2015

While driving the car, the engine will rev and then there is only neutral showing. I have no reverse or drive. Thank goodness when this happens I have had a place to pull off the road. I turn the car off and sit for a few minutes, turn it back on and have all the gears. I have tried driving in the "manual" position but it still happens. Lately it is more and more frequent. One of these days this car will get me smushed. Smart needs to do a major recall on this! I am only the second owner of this car and got it with only 18,000 miles on it. I now have 35,025 miles on it. Took it to a mechanic and gives a po803 code, which states a clutch sensor. Smart cars code says it needs a new clutch! wth!?? and if it needs a new clutch then why does this only occurr in the colder weather and not the summer!!??!! I am so pissed! Smart car take responsibility for your screwup in the design of this car! this has happened so many times!!!.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 13
Failure Date: 10/19/2015

The vehicle fails intermittently to shift from brake to reverse or from reverse to drive. When the failure occurs, all that is seen on the front dashboard is a blank screen and the car alert systems lets out a continuous beeping denoting the failure of the shift. It sometimes requires immediate turning off of the engine and restarting in order to get to the desired gear. Seldom that does not work, and turning off and waiting 10 minutes seems to allow gear shifts. This is dangerous especially in the reverse to drive failure as when coming out of a driveway on a busy road, it may cause an accident. This has occurred after warranty and I was told there is a Mercedes Benz software upgrade meant to solve it. But this is a charged service. As a safety issue, I implore that this should not be a charged but required safety recall. Upon viewing the complaints it seems a few other suffer the same degree of failures. As the car is a niche brand, the consumer base is smaller and you do not have as large a complaint pool as a Honda accord, which is fairly popular and has a large consumer base. I humbly request the nhsta make daimler ag and Mercedes Benz USA responsible to repair this and have every Smart on the road's transmission software upgraded free of cost.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 14
Failure Date: 04/12/2014

In traffic, attempting to parallel park, car fails to shirt into "r" must turn car off in middle of road, restart three times to finally get car to engage "r" or "d" to move the car safely out of traffic. 1- this has happened to me many dozens of times, I previously reported a similar problem. 2- I see many other similar complaints. Why has there not been a recall issued?.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 15
Failure Date: 04/05/2014

The car just shuts off at anytime whiledriving in d your just a sitting duck cant use gear to unlock trammission so it could be moved out of way of on comming traffic, theres no warning the cars is in the shop now, this has happen to other Smart Fortwo owners, its a death trap wating to happen needs to be fixed before more people lose there life, look at gm . 54cent could have saved many lose lives. Please help the public,,.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 16
Failure Date: 03/02/2014

Put car into reverse. Display would not show reverse nor would it go into reverse. I turned car off, waited until computer reset then turned the key. Car sequenced through the gears to 'relearn' the sequence. I started the car and it still won't find the reverse gear. This is extremely dangerous. Clutch ewas replaced by dealer 5 months ago and software was upgraded.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 17
Failure Date: 01/09/2014

Drivers seatbelt buckle does not latch at all. Mercedes will not pay for it or fix it and want us to pay out of pocket .

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 18
Failure Date: 08/16/2013

The car has a problem with not going in reverse when you put the gear shifter in 'r' position? usually after driven and the car is warmed up. The car just rolls when put in reverse, as if though it's in neutral. . When giving gas it just revs the engine and nothing happens. . The car is automatic transmission. And it can be dangerous putting the car in reverse if it's on a slope. The vehicle can roll. This is a normal problem with the 08-09 year. This should defiantly be a recall issue. Thank you for taken the time to read my complaint.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 19
Failure Date: 06/21/2013

I was driving on a suburban side street when suddenly the engine cut off and the car came rolling to a stop. Fortunately I was not traveling fast and there was room to pull over but I could have been injured if the incident was on a highway. A local mechanic could not identify the problem so I eventually had it towed to the dealership which tested it and found that the coupling motor (a component of the transmission) was faulty and needed to be replaced. The car is running okay now but the repairs cost over $1,000 and it is only 4 years old.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 20
Failure Date: 07/12/2012

My Smart is not going into reverse gear. This becomes very dangerous when trying to get out of traffic while exiting a driveway or parallel parking on a busy street. Other drivers become impatient especially when there are cars in both directions blocked because of the Smart unable to reverse. Smart provided a software update for this known problem but it still persists. I have two friends with Smart cars and they both have this problem. I've also google searched "Smart car reverse" and what pops up is gear, problem and gear problem. There seems to be many Smart owners with this problem.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 21
Failure Date: 07/07/2012

It was a very hot day and had been driving on the interstate for about an hour. I slowed down to turn onto ramp and car went out of gear (while driving!). Screen went blank. This has happened to me once before in a similar circumstance so I pulled over. Turned off car and found advice on the Smart car forum (this has obviously happened to others as well). After about 3 times of completing the cycle to reboot the system, it finally worked and I continued on my way. The first time this happened dealer did a software update at my cost ($200+) because it was out of warranty. This car is dangerous. . . Will someone need to die before something is done with a recall of these cars?.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 22
Failure Date: 04/19/2012

I have a Smart Fortwo having trouble with the reverse call the dealer they told me that it was a software problem and that this is the second time that they had to up date it so the reverse would work I have call many Smart car dealers thru out the states and it is a problem so my question is why isn't this a recall because I have to pay for this because the factory warranty is up and my reverse went forward to I don't think its fair that I have to pay for this since this has been an on going problem with these cars please help.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2013 Smart Fortwo 23
Failure Date: 03/12/2012

Tl- the contact owns a 2013 Smart Fortwo. The contact stated that the motor hesitated and the accelerator pedal was slow to respond and pick up speed as the failure progressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the spark plugs, brakes and rotors but the failure continued. The contact constantly had to put the gear in shift and change gears back and forth due to the transmission being slow to change over. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact took the vehicle to more than two independent repair shop for further inspection and diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and was unable to supply a permanent remedy to the dealer to repair the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 11,000. Dyd.

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car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 24
Failure Date: 01/01/2012

The contact owns a 2008 Smart Fortwo. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into reverse gear and the failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and the vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000 and the current mileage was 29,942.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 25
Failure Date: 12/12/2011

Smart car had history of not going in reverse. "r" would not come up on screen, car would just roll forward, hitting vehicle(s) in front. Then for a couple of months, (2 years) car would go into neutral while driving, (even on highway) coast for a while, then shut down, and not restart. If you waited 10 minutes, it would usually restart. If tried sooner, it either would not restart, or only go into neutral. It would not shift into any other gear. The other day, after approaching hill, at red light, car went into neutral, then shut down, and brakes would not respond quick enough since car turned off, and hit two (2) pedestrians, crossing in intersection. Car would not restart, waited 1 1/2 hours, would restart at times, but stayed in neutral, (10/2013). Had to be towed to Smart/mercedes center, quoted me $3000, to change actuater, clutch motor, clutch press, clutch plate, and maybe more if need to replace clutch. Smart forums are all full of the same problems, with the Smart cars, especially the 2008. Manufacturer must have been made aware by now, but is ignoring the problem, apparently changed design and clutch plate assembly for 2009 Smart cars. But has not recalled 2008 year where problems are common, and very dangerous.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 26
Failure Date: 03/01/2011

This has happened over the last year, at least a few dozen times. Sometimes it's happened as often as 2-3 times per week. I will start my car, and shift into reverse, and where there was a p for park on the display, the display is now blank, and my car will not reverse. It will also not go into drive, or display d. I will try moving it back and forward and the display stays blank, and my car won't move. Sometimes when I restart my car it will go back to normal, shifting into reverse, and displaying an r on the display panel. . . Other times it will take several minutes for it to respond, and to be able to move. I have read on-line about other owners having several parts replaced and software updates, but always the problem seems to come back. Others claim it's the clutch plate assembly, and that those have been fixed for the 2009 model. . . But I've still experienced the problem. I've read about this happening to others in traffic, and I've read about dealerships not being able to find "anything wrong" with cars in this situation.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 27
Failure Date: 08/21/2010

Driving on interstate on a hot day. After approx. 1 hour of driving, slowed down to change lanes, put on brakes, screen went blank and there were no gears. Nothing. . . The car was still running, but there was no way to move, as if it was in neutral. Went online and found that other owners had same problem. Went through a computer reset and it ran fine. Took it to dealer and they charged me $200 for a software update (after I had to rent a car for $300 to get home).

car image   Power Train problem of the 2009 Smart Fortwo 28
Failure Date: 03/15/2009

This shifting problem occurred erratically since I've owned new. First incidence was with selecting reverse and thereby loosing the ability to select any gear mode (fwd or rev). This oddity is usually resolved by turning the switch off &restarting but sometimes by selecting neutral & waiting. The next problem came when attempting to accelerate at approx 20 mph which caused the engine to idle & car to coast as in neutral. The first 2+ years, this was resolved by lifting off the gas completely & reapplying. This began to happen at various speeds, always when accelerating. Note: engine revs for bout 1/2 second before failure. My guess is, it happens when it needs to downshift 2 gears. Then also began to happen under load (up long hills requiring auto downshift) always solved by gas recycle and evolved into having to recycle multiple times before it would downshift. Over time,I learned that I could prevent this by downshifting manually & not waiting for "autoshift failure". Sometime in the last year, it has become more frightening as it will not recover by recycling the gas. I don't remember the date or mileage it first happened but I must almost stop before it regains ability to shift/accel normally. It is erratic but was a long time before it repeated itself after the first incident. They are happening more recently & a couple of times in heavy highway traffic & now my wife refuses to ride with me. I talked with Smart rep when car was new & he stated that "reprograming the transmission" was option but this procedure is not covered by warranty. I have appointment to have this 'reprogramming' done at the dealership but have been told it may only solve the "reverse" selection problem. They are not aware of my problems happening in other models or of any recalls, so maybe other owners are slow to complain like me.

car image   Power Train problem of the 2008 Smart Fortwo 29
Failure Date: 12/01/2008

Vehicle started not going into reverse when shifting into reverse from drive. Also if idling then shifting into reverse it will not go, it would go to neutral.

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