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My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone else?

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:28 am
by bobkind
About a month and a half ago, I purchased a 2011 Nissan Leaf from my local dealer. Everything was going great until about a month ago when I was driving on the highway around 20 mph or so when the power suddenly shut off. The entire dashboard instantly went off but the radio+touchscreen remained on. The car came to a crawl and I was able to pull over and restart without any problems. It was a little scary to say the least.

I called the dealership where I bought the car from and left a voice mail for the service dept. since it was saturday but never received a call back. I kind of shrugged it off that day thinking it might have just been a quirk so I didn't follow up with the dealer.

About a week and a half ago, I was pulling into a parking lot going around 10 mph and the same thing happened. I called the dealership and took it in the next day. They've had the car for about a week and said that Nissan told them to drive it and try reproducing the problem. I didn't expect them to reproduce it since it has only happened twice within weeks. As expected, they couldn't reproduce it so I was told that I would have to take the car back since they couldn't do anything about it. I am taking the Leaf back tomorrow to start driving again but definitely have concerns since my wife also drives the car and who knows what she would do in a shut-off while driving situation.

Luckily, the past two incidents were not in high speeds and I was able to react quickly. My worst nightmare would be if we got rear ended due to instantly losing power. I have called Nissan directly to let them know about my car but no one has called me back. I assume they were already in touch with the dealer.

Has anyone else ever seen this problem? My plan now is to drive the car again and if it happens, I will pursue a lemon law request with Nissan. I don't like the fact that I am being handed the car back at a potential safety risk but I have no other choice.

Bob

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:30 am
by cwerdna
No, but in the absence of user error, it sounds like a safety complaint to http://www.safercar.gov" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is warranted.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:32 am
by bobkind
Thanks for the link to the safety site. I will check it out and submit.

There was no user error unless my knee hit the power button which is unlikely. Even then, the emergency shut off requires 2 seconds right? Also, it doesn't explain why the radio/touchscreen would remain on while the dashboard/motor shuts off instantly.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:02 am
by cwerdna
I believe Nissan's Intelligent Key System (Smart Key System in Toyota parlance) also lets you do an emergency shutdown by pressing power several times rapidly.

Toyota's require you to press and hold. Rapid fire presses don't work.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:56 am
by DaveinOlyWA
you obviously have a short to ground in the system somewhere and its one of the hardest things to find. you should go straight to Nissan Corporate to escalate asap.

personally, i think going dead on a freeway, you will just coast to a stop. the steering wheel does not lock so you will have control and i find the steering is pretty easy on the Leaf especially when its moving (i tried it before because i thought all steering wheels locked because of some law i conjured up in my head...but it seems that law is in my head only) so i think your level of danger is minor but your level of confidence/convenience is understandably low.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:08 am
by Herm
I second an official safety complaint.. that will get the ball rolling quickly. For now I suggest you drive slowly on the hwy on the right hand lane, that way no one behind you will be surprised and you can always pull off the road easily. You might even get used to driving 55 and continue doing so in the future.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:11 am
by DoxyLover
I'd also suggest that you keep a digital camera in the car with you. The next time it happens, assuming you can get to a safe place to be stopped, take photographs showing the dash dark together with the lighted center display. That condition should never happen and being able to show it may give you some more leverage.

Better, yet, if you can, take a video of the dash and console and then you restarting the car, just to prove that you don't just have the dash brightness turned down.

Just FYI, that has not happened to me in 9 months and 11K miles of Leaf driving, nor have I heard of it happening to any one else. Small comfort, I know.

Good luck.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:30 am
by HighDesertDriver
You might also try posting to Nissan's Leaf Page on Facebook. They seem to monitor it quite closely and answer questions. As another data point, this has not happened to us in almost 13,000 miles.

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:34 am
by bobkind
Thanks. I'll be sure to take a photo and video if it happens again.

Nissan Corporate? I called the after sale customer support line earlier in the week, told them all the information, and have not heard back yet. I would think this would be a high priority case for them.

I used to own a Toyota Prius before the Nissan. In my opinion, I think that if this was a Toyota car, they wouldn't be handing the car back to me.

Bob

Re: My 2011 Leaf has shut off while driving twice! Anyone e

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:49 am
by Stoaty
Haven't ever seen this reported on the forum, something is really wrong here. I can't think of a reasonable way that user error could be involved. Nissan should be all over this, especially since it has happened twice. Intermittent problems can be very difficult to reproduce, but that doesn't mean there isn't a real problem.