John Duncan takes delivery of one of the first 2011 Nissan LEAF EVs, near Portland OR, 12/15/2010Enlarge Photo
Wouldn't it be nice if your car could tell you not just that something was wrong, but that something might be about to go wrong?
A Nissan Leaf in Washington state did just that, and owner Rob Greenlee only found out when he got a call from his local dealership asking him to bring it in for a battery check.
As Greenlee recounted in a Facebook group for Nissan Leaf owners in Seattle:
I just got my 2011 Nissan Leaf back from a two week stay at the dealer to replace a failing battery cell. I have had my Leaf for almost two years now and 17,000 miles.
Nissan said, they detected from my charging records that they had identified an individual cell that was not performing as they expected.
Greenlee's dealer called to let him know that the Leaf's Carwings system had noticed the cell behavior, even though no error message was displayed in the car's instrument cluster.
He brought the car in and the failing cell was identified, removed, and replaced with a new part.
The entire repair was free under the Leaf's 8-year battery warranty.
Greenlee explains that while the service department initially thought the repair would take only four days, diagnosis by Nissan engineers connected remotely to the battery pack took longer than expected.
While the dealership initially thought it might have to replace the battery controller as well as one of the cells, in the end, the Nissan engineers said only the underperforming cell needed to be replaced.
As Leaf owner George Whiteside commented, "Pushing that 'Yes' button [to accept the Carwings Terms of Service and permit Nissan to monitor the Leaf remotely] suddenly doesn't seem like such an inconvenience!"
It is worth noting, however, that the new base trim level for the U.S.-built 2013 Nissan Leaf--known as the Leaf S, and priced at $28,800 plus delivery--does not include the Carwings remote connectivity system.
Perhaps dealership sales staff will use stories like these to suggest that buyers move up from the Leaf S to a higher trim level, in order to have the remote monitoring?
How comfortable are you with the idea that a carmaker wants to monitor your car's mechanical behavior?
Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.
[hat tip: Brian Henderson]