Leafer77
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:38 pm
Delivery Date: 31 May 2011
Leaf Number: 3713

Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 2:30 pm

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.

Car Details:

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.
4.5 KWH

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.
4.8 KWH

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.
4.4 KWH

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.
4.0 KWH

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.
4.0 KWH

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.

User avatar
davewill
Posts: 4771
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm
Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 2:50 pm

It's really simple. Those early batteries were lemons, pure and simple. They didn't even come close to Nissan's grand pronouncements made during the time before the car was released. When degradation reared it's ugly head and Nissan unveiled the capacity warranty, many of us complained it was insufficient, and should have been a longer (8yr/100k), prorated thing instead, but we were ignored.

The upgrade to the lizard battery would probably be all right, but we won't really know how those batteries are doing for another couple of years...I for one wasn't willing to take Nissan's word for it again, and took advantage of having leased, and switched horses. I had really wanted to buy, but talked myself into the lease at the last minute. Best decision I could have made.

You have two choices. Sell it for what you can and move on to a different vehicle, or upgrade the battery. Nissan isn't going to help, as you've found out. You can't even sue since the class-action suit has taken that right away.
Last edited by davewill on Fri May 29, 2015 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

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TomT
Posts: 10557
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 2:56 pm

As you may know now, the bars are not linear. The first goes away at 15% loss and all the rest at 6.25%. So, the second and subsequent bars go faster than the first...

Leafer77 wrote: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.
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2016 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

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TonyWilliams
Posts: 10023
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am
Location: San Diego
Contact: Website

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:01 pm

1) I'm going to guess that you didn't opt out of the class action, which would allow you to sue for the faulty battery (Nissan really played this well to protect themselves).

2) How much is still owed on the car?

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10557
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:05 pm

Yep, they must be really fuming that I bet them by 17 miles!

TonyWilliams wrote:(Nissan really played this well to protect themselves).
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2016 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

User avatar
TonyWilliams
Posts: 10023
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am
Location: San Diego
Contact: Website

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:10 pm

TomT wrote:Yep, they must be really fuming that I bet them by 17 miles!

TonyWilliams wrote:(Nissan really played this well to protect themselves).


I bet you were sweating that one!!!

Congrats. How many GIDs? 284-ish or the new 294-ish?

EDIT: if I were coming up that close, I would charge it daily with heat lamps on the bottom of the battery 24/7, then run the heater until killing battery, then repeat.

Leafer77
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:38 pm
Delivery Date: 31 May 2011
Leaf Number: 3713

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:15 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:1) I'm going to guess that you didn't opt out of the class action, which would allow you to sue for the faulty battery (Nissan really played this well to protect themselves).

No, I didn't Opt out. I was hoping I would be covered with the 60,000 miles.

2) How much is still owed on the car?


One years worth of payments. Ironically, about the same cost of a new battery.

smkettner
Posts: 6990
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:22 pm

Leafer77 wrote:Around 1/6/2015 and 61,150 miles, I lost my fourth capacity bar. ......

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.


Did you do your homework? As you hit 59,500 miles did you post about how close you are and what to do?

I would have recommended taking it in right then to verify capacity loss. Possibly alter your driving or wait for summer heat to drop that last bar.
Renting a car for 6 months would be far less than a battery out of pocket.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV

91040
Posts: 948
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:36 pm
Delivery Date: 06 May 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:31 pm

You didn't do anything wrong. You were appeased or misled by Nissan Corporate statements regarding the performance of the traction battery.

Our batteries are more sensitive to heat than was promoted. These batteries, in very hot areas, would not last without extraordinary efforts. They failed precipitously. The batteries in hot areas, while lasting longer, are failing sooner than expected. Nissan's response has chosen winners and losers based on an arbitrary and inaccurate standard. Heat is not considered in its determination. Nissan's response is particularly galling since it rewards those who don't drive much, drive inefficiently or possibly treat the battery abusively.

Yes, I opted out and stayed out of the Settlement.
1st Capacity Bar loss 30k mi 16.25mo 2nd- 49k mi 25.5mo 51.5Ah
3rd- 73k mi 36.5mo 46.9Ah 71% SOH 50.9Hx 4th- 86.5k mi 43mo 42.61Ah 64% SOH 43.79Hx
5th- 101k mi 50.5mo 38.38Ah 58% SOH 37.02Hx Replaced Battery 9/28/15 104.2k mi 36.13Ah

Leafer77
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:38 pm
Delivery Date: 31 May 2011
Leaf Number: 3713

Re: Early Adopter Mistake - Running on Empty

Fri May 29, 2015 3:32 pm

smkettner wrote:
Leafer77 wrote:Around 1/6/2015 and 61,150 miles, I lost my fourth capacity bar. ......

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.


Did you do your homework? As you hit 59,500 miles did you post about how close you are and what to do?

I would have recommended taking it in right then to verify capacity loss. Possibly alter your driving or wait for summer heat to drop that last bar.
Renting a car for 6 months would be far less than a battery out of pocket.


Homework reference was about the capability of the car, when it was sold to me. Trust me, I considered doing lots of things during that last 1,000 miles, but it couldn't do them in good conscious.

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