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Leaf Owners Ratchet Up Attack On Nissan Handling Of Battery Loss

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Instrument Cluster - 2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL

Instrument Cluster - 2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL

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It’s been six days since results of an independent test were published showing that Nissan Leaf electric cars in hot climates were suffering from premature range loss, and four days since Nissan responded, saying the high mileage of affected cars was to blame.

Since then, we’ve been keeping track of your comments, and the comments of concerned Leaf owners as they try to decide the next stage in this ongoing saga. 

The general consensus among affected owners? Nissan needs to try harder.

Disbelief, frustration

Nissan’s most recent statement on the issue, made by Mark Perry, Nissan North America’s product planning and advanced technology director, has been met by a large proportion of Leaf owners with disbelief and frustration. 

This is particularly true for owners in warmer states who have already started to notice a drop in range and battery capacity.

“To create brand loyal customers from buyers, you MUST create goodwill,” wrote one commenter. “Posting 100 mile range on your adverts while falling back on legalese and ‘disclosure statements’ to cover your arse when those numbers never materialize is the best way to lose them.”

Other responses to Nissan have been less patient, with a common thread questioning the way in which Nissan arrived at the average mileage figure for those Leafs suffering range loss.

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Headlight

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Headlight

Enlarge Photo

“LIES!!! More LIES!,” wrote a Nissan Leaf owner on the popular MyNissanLeaf forum. “If Nissan can’t even divide [the] number of miles by the number of months owned, how on earth can anyone expect them to design a car!?”

“These comments from Perry is just Corporate Spin,” wrote one angry commenter to our exclusive story. “There is a low mileage Leaf in Arizona that reported 3 capacity bars missing with less than 8000 miles. Total Corporate Bull****.”

Legal proceedings

The developments over the past week has led several leaf owners to discuss the possibility of legal proceedings openly on the MyNissanLeaf forum. 

Among them, the discussion of using Arizonan and Californian Lemon law to force Nissan to resolve the issue. 

In some cases, there have even been suggestions of court proceedings and a class action lawsuit against the Japanese automaker. 


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Comments (8)
  1. Is this some sort of "study in contrasts".

    When Chevy has questions of fires (later disproved), didn't they offer loaner cars and buying the cars back? Also, wasn't this response quick in coming?

    What has Nissan done? Slow response, nothing is offered.
     
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  2. Absolutely true. Chevy's response was fantastic. They got ahead of the curve and still have the happiest owners in the business. I, like the other affected owners, love the Leaf, but most of us have little love left for Nissan and I would never buy another one of their products if this is the treatment I can continue to expect.
     
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  3. Have Nissan, or Leaf owners tried adding sensors to better record operating environment in Phoenix area? Collecting data on temperature on hourly bases could provide additional insight. Besides high air temperatures, a car can get much warmer if parked in the sun. Phoenix is also unique climate in having extreme temperature swings between day/night. Timing of when EVs are driven/charged relative to daily cycles could provide some clues.

    Nissan is in interesting position, having 2 vehicles with similar battery package designs. (Leaf & Infiniti LE) For EVs to mature, we all need better, & shared engineering test data. There are rumors of a next generation of battery technology beginning 2013/14, but we need to understand current tech 1st!
     
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  4. The tests have shown that there is an instrumentation error, but they have also demonstrated that battery voltage was very similar in packs that have reached turtle mode. This should be enough indication that the battery was fully discharged. Four of the cars were tested by Nissan in Casa Grande in July. The range test indicated loss of autonomy within a percentage point or two of the battery state of health determined weeks earlier in a bench test. While there is always the possibility that some sensor or software error caused the Leaf to deliver poor performance, the more likely cause for the reduction of range is battery degradation. I compiled a table with effective temperatures, and the corresponding aging factor: http://bit.ly/QY16IG
     
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  5. So one Arizona Leaf owner has received Lemon Law protection and is returning his car. His blog is wiltingleaf.com. Nissan met with another affected owner and we now know that Leaf owners in Phoenix should expect to replace their batteries within 5 years if they average over 50 miles/day. That's 91K miles. What's not said is that you won't be able to drive 50 miles/day by year 5, and will probably be looking at a max range of 40-50 miles, or maybe less, and that's pushing it all the way to turtle mode. Nissan's response to this problem looks a lot like Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
     
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  6. Nissan's next answer to the Phoenix battery degradation problem: Carry a really long extension cord with you always.

    8 - )

    Given their previous responses, this might be too close to true.

    8 - (
     
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  7. Nissan missed the boat when it comes to effective customer relations and corporate PR when it comes to EVs and consumers. If Goshen and company were really behind the idea (and push) of the Leaf as a mass market car, then they had to know and plan for the mix of owner reactions if a hiccup like the AZ battery problem happens!

    Right now, Nissan's lack of an appropriate response is just pissing off techie EV owners--a VERY vocal crowd, thanks to the Net!--while casting doubt about the tech to the rest of the car-buying crowd (who, BTW, already have serious concerns/misconceptions about battery-powered cars)!

    C'mon, Nissan... Think like Apple and learn from how it dealt with iPhone 4's "antennagate!"
     
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  8. I am a Arizona Leaf owner that is down ~30% in under 1 year:

    The way I see it, Nissan is attacking us(AZ EV Owners)! Nissan is saying they were "very clear" - Untrue, Nissan actually went above and beyond to assure us that Arizona heat would not be a problem.

    Nissan is saying it is Phoenix drivers fault for driving on the freeway - BS, other cities with no loss have lots of freeways.

    Nissan is cheering owners on other states for driving 40K miles - but chastising Phoenix owners for driving 12K miles.

    In my opinion, Arizona owners are simply telling the truth. Nissan is the one attacking Arizona owners!

    This is low Nissan - put on your big boy pants and call your owners with open complaints, we need resolution - not attacks.
     
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