The future of the Smart car is uncertain after reports that Daimler AG is considering pulling the plug on the electric micro-vehicles.
The German auto maker will decide by the end of the year whether to call it quits on the Smart brand, according to Automotive News. The small cars meant for urban driving have been losing money since they hit the streets all the way back in 1998.
The news comes as Daimler was planning to make Smart cars fully electric, a move to bolster the brand’s position as an affordable and eco-friendly way to get around town. But new Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius is weighing whether that shift is worth the costs, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Daimler AG sold nearly 130,000 Smart cars last year, down about 5 percent from 2017.
The Smart brand was originally developed by SMH, the Swiss makers of Swatch watches. After first partnering with Volkswagen for the project, SMH sold a majority share of the brand to Daimler AG. The company recently announced a plan to build new Smart cars in China.
The Danger of Defective Vehicles
Despite the Smart car’s uncertain fate, auto makers will continue to tinker with vehicles to try to make them safer and more affordable. Unfortunately, many new cars still leave the factory with significant defects that can pose serious safety hazards to everyone on the road.
The good news for California car buyers is that state law provides some protections in the event that your vehicle doesn’t work as expected. The California lemon law obligates car makers to fix certain defects while a vehicle is still under warranty. If those efforts are not successful, the manufacturer is required to take the car back and compensate the owner or lessor or replace the vehicle. It’s ultimately the owner’s (or lessor’s) decision whether to take a new car or get his or her money back.
The law also forces the manufacturer to pick up any of your legal costs related to enforcing these rights.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you’re a California car owner who’s stuck with a lemon, you have the right to consider legal action. The California lemon law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state.
Haggling with a car manufacturer over vehicle defects and repairs can be a difficult, stressful experience. At the Bickel Law Firm, we give clients the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we are fighting to protect their rights every step of the way. We understand the law and we know how to build the strongest possible claims for compensation. Our firm does not charge upfront fees in most cases.
Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.