GE WattStation Vindicated, Leaf Blamed In Charging Station Woes

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

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It isn’t a good time to be Nissan right now. 

For a start, its first all-electric car, the 2012 Leaf, is suffering from poor sales. Then there’s the matter of Leafs in hot states like Arizona  exhibiting premature battery capacity loss to attend to. 

Then, over the weekend, more bad news came Nissan’s way: that the Leaf’s onboard charger was to blame for damage some Leafs sustained while plugged into GE’s WattStation. 

First reported two weeks ago, several Leaf owners had reported that their all-electric Leafs had sustained damage while charging at at number of level 2 GE WattStation charging stations. 

At the time, we reached out to Nissan and GE for official confirmation on the issue, and were told that both companies were working together to resolve the issue. 

On Friday evening, we received a follow-up statement from GE, informing us that it had been vindicated of any blame.

GE WattStation Electric Car Charging Station

GE WattStation Electric Car Charging Station

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“Nissan and GE have completed their investigation into the instances of Nissan Leafs experiencing on-board charging (OBC) issues when using certain EV chargers (sic.) Nissan has traced the root cause of the issue to the Leaf’s OBC software that can allow damage to occur to its OBC components while using certain chargers and in certain instances, such as when a brief under voltage or blackout condition occurs,” a GE spokesman told us. 

Nissan is already examining ways of resolving the issue. 

“Nissan is working to address this issue as quickly as possible,” GE’s spokesman continued. “In the meantime [Nissan] is advising customers to avoid charging during times when brownouts or momentary power dips may be likely, such as during electrical storms or high power usage on the grid.”

There’s no news from Nissan when modifications to resolve the issue will be made available, but with some Leaf owners already concerned about the risks of premature battery capacity loss, this latest news does the Japanese automaker no favors. 

Let’s just hope that bad news really does come in threes: and that Nissan gets some much-needed good luck.


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