Nissan Gets Complaints Over Leaf Battery image

Nissan will make an independent global study for the Leaf batteries after a small group of owners complained that the batteries are aging too fast.

Although the company says it’s nothing wrong with the batteries, it has asked Chelsea Sexton, electric-car advocate and former General Motors marketing manager, to create a worldwide group for independent investigation of Nissan.

“Members would be selected by Chelsea, not Nissan, and they would recommend their own mandate. But our hope is that they would hold up a mirror to us and help us to be more open and approachable in our communication and to advise us on our strategy,” said Carla Bailo, Nissan’s senior vice president of research and development.

It wasn’t the right moment for such an issue to appear, as Nissan prepares to launch a $1.6 billion project to manufacture the Leaf and its lithium-ion batteries in the US beginning with December. In the last two years Nissan has sold only 14,000 Leafs in the US, and the customers have been waited for months to get their cars from Japan.

Nissan previously explained that as any lithium ion battery, the car’s battery will also lose its ability to hold a charge with age, but it will retain 80% charging capacity after 5 years of use. But a small group of Phoenix customers says that the batteries have already started to lose capacity after only 2 years of use. Nissan took the 7 Leafs in question and tested them, finding that the cars simply had higher-than-normal mileage.