sokoloff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:06 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Sep 2014

My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:11 pm

Short background:
Bought my 2015 LEAF in December 2014. Love it. As the guy who turns the wrenches on our family fleet, I love that in 4.5 years, I've had to change the wiper blades once, plug a flat tire, and add washer fluid several times.

Over the past couple years though, the range had dropped quite significantly and in particular, the range guess when the battery was full was good, but the car could struggle to make 45 miles before depleting the battery. (My typical commute is ~16 miles round trip.) Something seemed clearly off, but it wasn't until I got the first "Motor Power Limited" turtle mode error after charging the car overnight that I knew something was definitely amiss. That was 2018-11-12.

I used LEAF Spy Pro to read the codes, which were P33ED (HV BATTERY Bat Parallel Diag) and P3180 (EV/HEV HV Battery System). I had done some research and it seemed like P33ED was not "enough" of a code to get Nissan to warranty repair the battery, so after two days of turtle mode driving, I cleared the codes and figured that if the issue recurred immediately, I'd maybe have a case; otherwise, I could at least use the car.

As I did more research and poking with LEAFSpyPro, it was clear that cell #30 was defective (screenshot below), but it seemed like I didn't meet the service manual criteria for a fix.
Image

It recurred on 2019-01-09 and I again reset it after reading up on the CVLI test process and reports that seemed to indicate my car would get no warranty repairs under its current condition.
Image

It recurred again on 2019-08-21 and I decided that it was worth a shot to take the car into Nissan anyway, even though the lore on mynissanleaf suggested that I wasn't going to be in for warranty repairs. I had several open recalls on the car, so I scheduled the car in for those recalls and for diagnostics on "presumed warranty issue with traction battery cell #30".

Screenshots from the drive into the dealership for service:
Image
Image

My nearby dealer had closed, so I took it to a new-to-me dealership, Kelly Nissan of Woburn.
Service advisor there had read over the information I'd submitted on the web form, seemed to understand things (with a little flavor of "this customer might know more about the internals of his car than I do"), and promised they'd look into things.
The next day, we connected and he said it would be "a while" before they could complete the service. I indicated that I needed to take the car, reset the codes and drive it for the time when the parts were coming in, or that I'd need a loaner car. Service advisor arranged for a loaner car (a Versa) and I picked that up that afternoon. At that point, he said "it will be several weeks; we have to order in some parts and then there are only so many EV-trained techs available and we have to schedule them to come in and do the repair; you can keep the loaner car in the meantime. I just want to set the right expectations so you're not calling every couple days." (This seemed fair to me; as I write it, it might come of as brusk or abrupt, but I didn't experience it that way in person.)

Almost three weeks passed and I got a notice that the car was done. At this point, no mention of money had been made yet, though I'd indicated at drop-off, in person, and again over email that I expected this would be a warranty repair.

I made arrangements to pick up the car the next afternoon, fueled the loaner car prior to dropoff, and picked up the car. I'll attach the scans of the work order later when I'm able to scan them, but there was no charge for any of the work (nor for the loaner car). Nissan picked all of that up.

As you can see from the first scan when I got home, the newly replaced module has a much higher voltage than the rest of the pack:
Image
You can also see the red coloration, indicating that the shunt resistors are turned on to slowly drain those cells to help match them to the rest of the pack.

The following morning before setting out for work:
Image

And arriving home from work (the new cells had fairly well balanced themselves by this point):
Image

This morning before setting out for work:
Image

This afternoon arriving home from work:
Image

Previously, the car would struggle to make 45 miles on a charge. Right now, I've driven the car 43.6 miles since leaving the dealership and the guess-o-meter still shows 41 miles to "empty" and a 45% charge level (and this on a battery that stopped charging slightly early [when cells 29 & 30 became fully charged before the other cells], so I expect slightly better range now that they're all balanced again).

I'm a happy camper!
Nissan took care of the issue without me having to exert any kind of pressure or debate, which I think is entirely appropriate, but I'd been expecting a significant PITA and there was none.

sokoloff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:06 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Sep 2014

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:27 pm

The transcription from the work order/receipt:

A. Manufacturer recall P7332 LEAF 2G3G Hardware NTB17-077

Completed recall P7332 turned off telematics

B. Manufacturer recall P9312 LEAF Battery Plate NTB19055

Parts -
2 x 744J7-5SB0A Plate-frame
4 x 01456000031 Screw

Completed recall P9312 replaced bonding plates

C. Manufacturer recall R1607 PTH LEF NV TX OCS NTB16-054

Completed recall R1607 Replaced OCS

D. Manufacturer recall P5327 LEAF Electric Brake NTB15-089

Completed recall P5327 Repro Brake System

E. Customer states:
My car has a problem in the traction battery of my 2015 LEAF.
1. Traction battery likely has a bad cell
2. Has a "Motor power limited" message on dash and turtle light lit.
3. OBD2 scan shows the following codes
3A. P3180 EV/HEV HV Battery System
3B. P33ED HV Battery Parallel Diag
4. There is one cell (#30) which is substantially lower charge than the others on a very consistent basis, so I think P33ED is the "real" code and P3180 is possibly false/secondary.
This happened previously on 2018-Nov-12 when the car was drawn down to about 14% and charged level 1 overnight.
This happened previously on 2019-Jan-09.
This happened again on 2019-Aug-21 when the car was drawn down to about 15% and charged on a Chargepoint L2 charger for a couple hours, so I've decided to bring the car in for diagnostics and presumed warranty repair of the traction battery.

Misc Repair - Tech W - 9 hours
Parts
1 x 295B9-3NF8A Battery Sub Assembly - Main, B
1 x KA390-0059U Dam-Rubber Battery Case
2 x 999MP-43533PP Betaseal 43533 150mL
2 x 999MP-57302NP Betaseal 57302N 10.5 oz
1 x 295G3-3NF0A Seal-Battery
1 x 74493-3NK0A Breather-Battery Case
Misc - Loaner car for 12 days ($33/day)

Desc
Customer states VEH goes into turtle mode and warning lights come on.
Checked and confirmed condition. Found code P33ED and P3180 for Cell Voltage Deviation. Inspected HV battery and found cell #30 in module #15 outside of spec. Disassembled HV battery assy, removed rear battery stack and replaced module #15. Reinstalled rear stack into battery tray and resealed battery case assy. Installed battery into vehicle.
Inspected after replacement, OK. No codes stored and Voltage for cell #30 is within spec. Charged LI-ON battery. Checked OK.

F. Customer states "My car has multiple open recalls. Please check for all of them. I think there's an airbag one, a CarWings SIM one, a brake one, and maybe a few others. Vin # XXXXXXXXX"

G. Perform multi-point inspection as per Nissan guidelines

Delivered the car to them on Aug 28, was notified it was ready at 5 PM on Sept 18th, and picked it up on Sept 19th afternoon. No charge.

nlspace
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:21 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Jun 2017

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:20 pm

Wow that's a great story and visual explanation with the graphs, etc. Good onya mate, and thanks for sharing.

It's really impressive that they can go in to change out a bad cell module--that means those of us out-of-warranty could actually do the same thing if needed.

SageBrush
Posts: 4907
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:23 pm

Very informative -- thanks.
Even Nissan cannot ignore Turtle mode
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

sokoloff
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:06 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Sep 2014

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:49 pm

nlspace wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:20 pm
It's really impressive that they can go in to change out a bad cell module--that means those of us out-of-warranty could actually do the same thing if needed.
Yeah; that was my plan if Nissan declined to cover it under warranty. Buy a module from a wrecked late 2014 or 2015 and replace the defective module.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 15025
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:30 pm

I think that once a cell defect triggers the limp home mode, Nissan has to act because it's then a safety issue as well.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

WillG
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:41 am
Delivery Date: 29 Oct 2019
Leaf Number: 025705

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:57 am

I seem to be experiencing a similar problem with my 2015 Nissan Leaf. I bought the vehicle a month ago from a specialist dealer in London. The vehicle had a full service history, 1 previous owner, less than 30,000 miles and 6 months left under warranty. The car appeared to be in immaculate condition and we were thrilled. I realized that the journey back to Ireland was going to be an ordeal, but having done my research and wrapped up warmly I made it back to Ireland, after an epic 20 hour trip! All went as anticipated in the UK and I achieved an impressive 66 miles from 80% charge across the top of Wales in freezing conditions. Unfortunately, I was stuck on the last leg of the journey as the only fast charger between Dublin and our home in Cavan was faulty, so I had to avail of the AA. Anyhow, I was delighted to get it back home in the knowledge that the car would be perfectly adequate for school runs and other day to driving. The whole family were delighted with comfort of the car and the sublime experience of driving a non-polluting vehicle.

However, there seemed to be a problem. On leaving the house with the battery fully charged to 100% and showing a c.80 mile range and completing a 10 mile round trip to school, the battery and the range had depleted to nearly half. I am completely aware of the variables that effect the battery and range as my journey from London was something of a babtism of fire and I had to drive the car in a manner that would allow me the optimum range to complete my journey.

I duly arranged an appointment with my local Nissan dealer after they had the car for a day was told that the battery test showed the battery was healthy but a couple of faults had shown up and they needed to be investigated. The following day I was asked to bring in my charging lead, as they didn't have one for a 2015 Leaf. This did not fill me with confidence, but I arrived with the lead which I purchased with the car and was told that the reason the car was under performing was the so called "Granny Lead". The service supervisor explained that although the display showed 100% the battery needed a harder charge to force the energy into the battery, he compared the energy provided by the Granny Lead to soft cheese as opposed to the hard cheese supplied by the fast charging lead. Now, I'm not an electrician, but I smelt a rat. I insisted that I speak to the dealer principal and when he eventually became free, he agreed that the lead was unlikely to be the cause of the problem, much to the annoyance of the service supervisor. I handed back the keys to the car having been assured that further investigations would take place. The following day I was telephoned by a member of staff at the service desk and told that the car was ready to be picked up. I asked what the problem was and she assured me that all would be explained when I arrived at the dealership. On arrival I was told by the service manager that after direct communications with Nissan regarding my car, they had assured him that the range I was achieving was to be expected given the age, condition and the current weather. This was backed up by an email, that on inspection had not been sent to the service supervisor regarding my vehicle, but was a forwarded email detailing a Leaf that had done twice the miles and had only 10 bars. The email ended with a note to say that if the the customer was not satisfied with that explanation, then the car should be brought into a Nissan Dealer for testing! So, when I pointed out that the email was clearly bogus, the service manager disappeared in a fluster and returned with a colleague referred to as the electric car technician. I was then told by the two of them that if I wanted by battery to be tested, (I thought it had been) then I would have to pay as the test would take TWO DAYS and is not covered by the warranty. Once again I insisted on meeting the dealer principle as my faith in the service team was rapidly diminishing. The dealer principal agreed that we needed to hear from Nissan directly regarding the status of my specific vehicle in terms what was covered by the warranty.

In the meantime I contacted Nissan customer services by email and after a pleasant phone call, I was sent an email, late afternoon, also circulated to my dealer stating that a battery degradation test would be provided and the cost would be covered by Nissan. The following morning (yesterday), I was sent the results of the test from the dealer. This was followed by and email from Nissan stating that the test showed that the battery was in good health and if I was still concerned I should contact the dealer and ask them to perform a Cell Voltage Loss Inspection. This would be NOT be covered under the warranty and I would have to pay the dealership for this service.

Firstly, it seems incredible that I should bare the cost of the test when the vehicle is clearly under performing and this would be apparent to the dealership if they drove it for any distance.

Secondly and more importantly I have no faith in the dealership and the vehicle does not have the range to allow me to take it anywhere else!

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Many thanks,

Will

EVMikeWaterloo
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:52 am
Delivery Date: 07 Feb 2020

Re: My (good) experience getting a warranty battery repair (2015 LEAF)

Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:55 am

Hi Will, I am having a very similar issue as you are, and gotten the same response you did. They claim the battery is fine because there are no Fault codes. However, I go into turtle mode everytime I go on the highway. Do you have an update on your Leaf? Thanks. Mike.

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