More than two months after a few Nissan Leafs in Arizona began to lose capacity bars in the extreme heat and suffer premature battery aging, Nissan has started formal investigations into the issue.
While being interviewed over the telephone by Arizona’s KPHO 5 station in Phoenix, Mark Perry, Nissan North America’s product planning and advanced technology director, confirmed the automaker was looking into the problem.
“We wanna learn more about what’s going on,” said Perry, confirming that Nissan has received five complaints from Phoenix Leaf owners about rapid battery capacity loss.
“It’s something that we’ve just been made aware of, and we don’t have any conclusions as yet,” he continued.
Perry’s statements mark a change in Nissan’s corporate stance on the issue, which to date has been to reiterate that battery life is dependent on how the car is driven and charged.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
2011 Nissan Leaf SLEnlarge Photo
The change in public stance coincides with the news that several Leaf owners in Arizona are now reporting that their Leafs have lost a third capacity bar, indicating their car’s battery pack capacity is around 70 percent of what it was when new.
Back in 2009, Nissan executives said the Leaf battery pack would retain 70 to 80 percent of its charge capacity after five years, and only reach 70 percent capacity after 10 years.
Meanwhile, many more owners in states with prolonged high summer temperatures have noticed their Leafs have started to lose battery capacity bars, with as little as a few weeks passing between the loss of the first and second bars.
While investigations continue at Nissan, it has indicated it does not believe the cases to be a major problem, but has asked Leaf owners with similar complaints who have taken their cars to their dealers to ensure that Nissan’s regional technical service manager has been called before they leave the dealership.