Just like most many of you, I was excited about driving an electric vehicle. I did my homework by reading as much available literature about electric vehicles and even test drove the Nissan Leaf on October 2010, at the Promenade in Liberty Station (San Diego area), as part of the Nissan Drive Electric Tour.
It made sense financially and appeared to meet my 60 mile commute easily. The vehicle sticker had 106 city and 92 highway miles. So I pre-ordered a 2011 Nissan Leaf SL-E and it was officially purchased May 31, 2011.
After fully charging, I noticed that my range was as high as 112 miles. I thought that was awesome! I really enjoyed driving the car to work and back (on a single charge), and I even found a carpool buddy. After a couple of months, he purchased his own Nissan Leaf.
Around 8/24/2012 and 21,085 miles, I lost my first capacity bar. I wasn't happy about the decreased range, but I figured I wouldn't lose my next capacity bar until I reached about the same amount of miles.
Around 7/8/2013 and 36,360 miles, I lost my second capacity bar. At this point I didn't have the range to drive to work and back anymore, but luckily my employer installed Blink Electric Vehicle Car Chargers. This alleviated my concerns about having enough range to make it to work and back home.
Around 6/13/2014 and 52,109 miles, I lost my third capacity bar. I could still make the commute due to my work Blink Vehicle Car Chargers.
Around 1/6/2015 and 61,150 miles, I lost my fourth capacity bar. My range is now limited to 40 miles on the highway. Forget running the AC. Forget running an errand at lunch time or after work. Forget being a Soccer volunteer Coach. Forget participating in my kids extra curricular activities.
I took my Nissan Leaf to the Mossy Nissan Escondido Dealership to be evaluated for a battery replacement. Meanwhile, I opened a case with Nissan NA, which they rejected due to my vehicle being outside the 60,000 mile Battery Capacity Warranty. Arbitration got me nowhere through the BBB with Nissan. Mossy Nissan Escondido quoted me $6000 for a replacement battery, for a car that I'm still making payments on.
I'm completely at a loss, as to how I ended up where I am. I did my homework. I drove the car as it was designed, averaging 4.4kWH. I maintained it properly. The Nissan Leaf battery Capacity was supposed to last me at least 6 - 8 years for a 60 mile commute, but soon I might not even make a 30 mile commute.
Everyday, when I drive that 30 mile commute to work or home, I get a Low Battery warning. It feels like I'm driving a gas vehicle that has one gallon in the tank. The best way to describe my situation, it feels like I'm constantly running on empty.
====================================== CONCLUSION ======================================
I succeeded in winning my Arbitration case against Nissan. The BBB process took awhile but I appreciate the professionalism and service they provided to me throughout the process. This process began back in January 2015.
My NEW battery was installed on 9/17/2015 and I took possession of my vehicle on 9/18/2015. I now have ALL 12 Capacity Bars! I can't tell you how much relief this has given to my family.
Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback and suggestions throughout this process. I'd also like to thank the two forum member's who volunteered to be witnesses at my Arbitration hearing.
If you have a Nissan Leaf battery that is beyond 60,000 miles and exhibits severe battery degradation, then you may want to consider opening a case with Nissan to have them investigate, then go through the BBB Arbitration process if you cannot come to a mutual agreement.
Interesting to note, the replacement battery has a warranty that is good for only 12 months.
Silver Nissan Leaf 2011
Date car purchased: 5/31/2011
Manufactured Date: 4/11
Garaged at home and sometimes uncovered at work.
Final Battery Statistics:
Date first bar disappeared: 8/24/2012
Approximate Mile's when bar disappeared: 21,085
1 month of 100% charging via L2, thereafter 80% L2.
(5/31 - 2/1) Nightly charge, except weekends where it typically charged just once for the entire weekend.
(2/2 - Present) Charge twice a day 80% L2. Night and when I arrive to work.
Lost my second bar: 7/8/2013.
Approximate Mileage: 36,360
Still performing a L2 charge twice a day 80% L2. Night and when I arrive to work.
Lost my third bar: 6/13/2014.
Approximate Mileage: 52,109
Performing a L2 charge twice a day to %100. Once in at 1:10am and at work.
Lost my fourth bar around: 1/6/2015.
Approximate Mileage was around: 61,150
Performed an L2 charge twice a day to 100%. Once in at 1:10am and at work.
Lost my fifth bar around: 8/29/2015
Approximate Mileage was around: 70,934 miles
Performed an L2 charge twice a day to 100%. Once in at 1:10am and at work.
Based on what I went through, here's what worked for me:
1. Get a service record for all four or more battery tests.
2. If you've taken your car into the dealer previously for battery degradation concerns, then get copies of those.
*** This is important because it shows to the Arbitrator that you gave Nissan a chance to acknowledge the issue and they refused to repair the problem ***
3. Go to the dealer again and ask that them to inspect the battery, due to severe battery degradation.
4. Ask that it be replaced under the 8 year 100k warranty, since the degradation amounts to a defect in the battery.
*** Bring data on each capacity bar disappearing (Mileage/Date) for each occurrence.***
5. Ask the dealer to open a Case with Nissan North America about the severe battery degradation. If they refuse, then call Nissan North America and open a case yourself.
6. If Nissan North America rejects your claim, then open a case with the BBB Auto Line.
*** In your BBB Auto Line Case: Provide Warranty Manual information on 8 year/100k mile Battery Warranty information, Nissan Marketing Material about the battery lasting 8 - 10 years, along with all the documentation from steps 1 and 4. If possible, request a 3rd party technical assessment of the vehicle (I had to wait until the appeal portion of the process to do this). ***
7. If you lose your case with the BBB, you can appeal it. (I had to do this in order to get all my evidence considered and a technical assessment.)
8. If they accept your appeal, then a formal meeting with the Arbitrator should be called at this stage, and you'll probably need witnesses and all your documentation again. A technical assessment may occur at the trial or be scheduled later on.
I went into these meetings without a bunch of technical information, because I wanted them to know that I relied on what I was told by Nissan and that the car's battery was not performing per their documentation or marketing. I also let them know how this problem impacted me personally and my family, due to the inability to complete certain commutes (pick up kids from sport, school activities, etc.), which I was initially able to. I didn't argue over the technical details or get upset with the Nissan counsel. Lastly, I had two witnesses, which you might want to have to support your case.
This process took nine months to complete and occurred here in San Diego. I'm not sure what the experience might be like at other locations.
I cannot tell you how much relief this has given me and my family. I really hope that this information helps someone else out. I'd be curious to hear about other experiences following these steps. Feel free to reply and share.
Last edited by Leafer77
on Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.