Nissan Talks About Leaf Battery Woes in Arizona
September 25, 2012 8:53 AM
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Nissan also sat up an independent global advisory board
Nissan has a handful of not so happy Leaf electric vehicle owners in the state of Arizona. The hotter the environment, the less drive time an electric vehicle's batteries can offer. Nissan has been catching significant flak over allegations that the battery packs in some of its Leaf EV's in the state of Arizona are having issues.
In July of 2012, Nissan dealerships in the state of Arizona started
taking $5,000 off
the sticker price of the electric Leaf vehicle to sell the cars. Several Leaf owners in Arizona began complaining that the electric vehicles were losing significant battery capacity due to the hot environment.
Leaf owner Scott Yarosh said, "When I first purchased the vehicle, I could drive to and from work on a single charge, approximately 90 miles round trip. [Now] I can drive approximately 44 miles on this without having to stop and charge."
I Nissan's Carla Bailo, senior VP of research and development, stepped up and addressed Leaf owners in an open letter posted to the Leaf community at the MyNissanLeaf discussion forum. According to the open letter, several Leaf EVs were inspected in Arizona and were determined to be operating to specification and the battery capacity loss over time is consistent with their usage and the operating environment. Nissan declared no defects are found in these vehicles.
The letter also states, "A small number of Nissan Leaf owners in Arizona are experiencing a greater than average battery capacity loss due to their unique usage cycle, which includes operating mileages that are higher than average in a high-temperature environment over a short period of time."
It sounds like what Nissan is saying is that losing significant driving range is normal. Most owners of the Leaf EV are going to have a hard time stomaching that claim.
Nissan has also promised more open communication with owners of the Leaf EV. The company created an independent global advisory board, headed by EV advocate Chelsea Sexton to help with customer communications and advise Nissan on strategy.
Nissan has promised that the
will have a longer driving range.
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What about fit for purpose?
9/26/2012 12:56:50 AM
If Nissan is selling the vehicle in Arizona, then it should be suitable for the conditions there. The vehicle should work as advertised and as specc'ed.
If the vehicle has these problems, then Nissan shouldn't be selling them in Arizona (or places with similiar temperatures).
If the leaf wasn't available from Nissan dealers in Arizona, so a resident went from Arizona to, say, Chicago, and bought a leaf there, then brought it back to Arizona and had these issues, then bad luck. It was sold only in higher latitudes because of the functioning of the vehicle.
However, since the vehicle IS sold in Nissan dealerships in Arizona, it should be fit for purpose for use in Arizona. It should attain and maintain the claimed distance and specified battery cycle.
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