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Old 08-19-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 66
Towing Smart Car BEWARE

I have a 2013 Two four and had Camping World install a Blue Ox base plate. We towed our car over 5k miles with no problem. Then one day while towing something just didn't feel right and I pulled over. As I approached my car there was smoke coming out of all 4 wheel wells and a fire underneath my back tires. I had a tow truck bring my car to Mercedes and they diagnosed the problem that my ABS system engaged and locked up all four tires. They asked who installed the base plate and if a electrical "Kill Switch" was installed per the Smart car owners manual. Of coarse, when I went to Camping World to ask why this wasn't done they said they have installed several base plates on Smart cars and they never heard or seen anything about installing a "Kill Switch". Bottom line now they have been notified and I'm $3,000 smarter.

2003 Southwind workhorse with Allison
Seeing the USA in a Chevrolet
Corona California
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:35 PM   #2
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hope CW they paid the $3000.00.

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Old 08-20-2015, 06:54 AM   #3
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Reason # I long since lost count to consider a more experienced shop.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
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Though I no longer own the rig, I have heard of similar problems towing these SMART's. We used the aluminum tilt bed trailer shown below for our 2013 SMART. Worked great and you could even back up!!
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Rick and Lynda Smith
2004 NEWMAR DSDP M-4011-SPTN 8.9 Liter Cummins
2018 RAM 1500 4WD Laramie CREW toad
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:26 PM   #5
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I would think that the ABS would not operate with the ignition turned off. Did you normally tow with it off? When this happened is there a chance the ignition was on? If so, could it have explained the incident?

Have you had any conversations with Smart Car to see if they had any explanation?
Larry and Anne
2007 Itasca Meridian
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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Location: San Jose, Ca, USA
Posts: 1,091
In 2008 there was no mention of a kill switch. In 2009 it was added because they found that some owners either didn't put the ignition in the correct position, or the key was accidentally bumped into the wrong position at some point. We have towed our 2008 smartie many thousands of miles with no kill switch and it has never been a problem. This year we did a 7000+ mile trip from California to Virginia and back and smarties is still running great.
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
2007 Bounder 35E being pushed by a 2008 smart fortwo Passion
Good Sam Member #566004 * FMCA Member #F431612
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:57 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2013
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Smart said it was for sure the ABS system coming on. That day I towed my car about 200 miles then stopped at a rest area. I did not go into my smart car so it had been towed perfectly for those 200 miles that day. When I left the rest area within 2 miles the brake issue happened. Since I have used the Kill Switch I have towed my car over 15k with no other issues. The manual states you need a kill switch.

2003 Southwind workhorse with Allison
Seeing the USA in a Chevrolet
Corona California
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tow, towing

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