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Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:41 pm
by saintyohann
Original post below, here's a better description of everything to today 10/16:
My issues started when I got the voluntary software update from Feb/March.

When I took my car in, they said they had to download the update and install it, maybe 1.5-2 hrs. The car was done and washed in 40 minutes. The car started dropping bars when powered off almost immediately after the update. I charged to 100% at the Walgreens in Poway and drove 1.1 miles. The dash said 10 minutes to 100% (at 240V) and I powered off. 5 minutes later I turned on the car and I lost a bar and it said 1 hour of charging to full. I went into the dealership 3 times with questions in the month after the update, because of various weird things going on (Nav system freezing, re-booting, or windows freezing, loosing bars on power off, regen "bubbles" always available, losing bars while off, forgetting my bluetooth phone), but I never left the car because it was usually minor and I needed the car.

Then about three weeks after the update, the car completely froze. I could put the car in Park or Neutral, but not Drive or Reverse. I also could not turn off the car. Nissan sent a tow truck and towed the car to El Cajon Nissan. The car was still stuck on, but after a few tries with a salesperson (it was after service hours) it did turn off, but some of the dash warning lights were still on. After turning the car on there was an i-key fault error and I still could not shift into D or R. After a few more power off/on cycles, it would go into both D and R. A few days later they called me back in. The service writer told me there was nothing wrong with the car and it passed their diagnostics with no codes. But I had gone in the day after I dropped off the car to speak with their Leaf Tech and I saw the almost 3 pages of fault codes, I wrote down as many as I could before they took the pages away from me. Only when I pressed the service writer on the fact that I had seen the pages of codes, he said they were all un-related, and there was nothing wrong with the car.

Issues:
- Dropping capacity while parked and off (I can lose 3-4 bars in a matter of hours after I park). One time I parked at work with 5 bars and came out with only 1 left (and the car was off, I'm positive).
- Nav system freezing or rebooting*
- Bluetooth would forget my phone 1-2 times a week*
- Car goes into a "safe mode." Car will go into Neutral and I will not be able to shift it into D or R for about 30 minutes. Sometimes while in this mode, car can not be turned off either. Service writer at one Nissan dealership said he had seen this and it can happen the first time(?) after the update, and by powering the car off and leaving the driver door open for a minute, it will reset it (doesn't work every time, especially if the car won't turn off).
- Sometimes after charging to full, all re-gen "bubbles" are available and car will use them, charging and possibly damaging a fully charged pack.
- Range meter (GOM) will lock onto a number a number (ie 59 or 74) and will not change despite driving 70+ miles and going from 12 bars to 2.
- Car will drop a bar whenever powered off (park car at dropping to 9 bars, check online it reads 8, move car 40 feet to garage, park at 8 bars, check online 7 bars, put back on street, 6 bars.... I've lost 4 bars in less than 150 feet (and again the car was off, I'm positive). It doesn't do it everyday, but when it does, it will do it all day.

That update, for me at least, was actually two. One for the car and one for the Nav. The Nav update went wonky too and they had to re-flash it to fix it. That fixed the Nav and bluetooth issues (marked with the * above).

Since the middle of April, I've gone to three different Nissan Dealerships, all ran tests and said there were no issues (but only one drove the car). But if I bring the car in, in a mode where they can't even get it to turn off, how could they give it back to me and say nothing is wrong? I've been dealing with Nissan corporate, but despite all the promises they've made, they've yet to keep one of them. The last time I took it in, Nissan corporate said they'd call and tell them exactly what they wanted the dealership to do. I arrived, Nissan never called, but tech support called the next day and told them it was user error. They said I was doing something to put it into this mode. I told them I was having ankle surgery the next week and they could keep the car until they fixed it. So they refused to give me a loaner car (even after promising me one all day) and after making me wait 1.5 hours told me they din't know if the shuttle was coming back. Basically they were saying I could walk home on a broken ankle or take my car.

I have asked everyone of the dealerships to re-install the software, but apparently that is not possible.

I'm pretty sure they know what the issue is because (these are in relation to the biggest issue, the unit going into a safe mode for about 30 minutes):

1) I was immediately given a work-around (the door open thing, which does work occasionally)
2) Being told they had seen this with some cars after doing the update on some Leafs (but it was implied that it only happened the first-time [started?] and the door thing fixed it and it never came back for anyone so customers never saw it, or just saw it once).
3) When describing it to Service writers or Nissan Corporate, they finish my sentences or ask very specific closed-ended questions that relate perfectly to the issue.
4) Nobody wanted to even test drive the car, they just ran their diagnostics and telling me it found nothing.

Nissan asked for another chance to fix the car and they picked it up at 10AM 9/13/12. I spoke with a Nissan rep and a Leaf engineer (corporate, not dealership tech) on in the early afternoon and they went over all the times the car had been in and found something from my April visit. They found two codes from April (out of 2.5 pages of codes) related to an interlock? system. The tech also said he wished the dealership would have sent them the codes back then so I wouldn't have deal with this for so long. And now they had something to go on.

Cut to later that afternoon, I got a call back with more questions from the corporate leaf tech. The last question was "how often does it happen." When I told him it was about every three weeks, he straight out said, "well we're not going to be able to recreate that." Basically I was told they don't see anything wrong so there's nothing to repair and they weren't going look any longer. When I chimed in that I had photos and video of these occurrences, the Nissan rep came on and said to give him to this afternoon to come up with something. It's the end of business, he hasn't called and isn't answering his phone.

I got the car back 5 days later, they would not talk to me about it, they just gave it back. The paperwork showed that they had run the diagnostics, unplugged and replugged all the high voltage cables and test drove the car 47 miles. They spent a total of 3 hours doing that, but found nothing wrong. They even went so far as to say that there were no codes from April again. I tried calling Nissan's DTS, but he would not answer his phone nor return my calls.

Nissan finally contacted me and offered a service contract but not to fix the issues, and read me verbatim the text from the dealership. I told her that Nissan's engineer said there were two codes and they needed to be investigated. I told her that I found it ridiculous that when I get the car back the descriptions of what is wrong are completely messed up. It seems no one is taking notes on what I say until later and it's very wrong. I also said I have pictures or videos of it happening, but no one wants to see them (I thought they would help). She offered to follow-up with the leaf engineer. She called me back later saying that he did confirm the codes, but the first tech from April may have re-seated the cables and that's why I hadn't seen that issue since then. I told her that it had happened 5 times since then, so nothing was fixed. She declined to do anything but offer me a service contract. I told here that I wanted them to buy back the car because they are un-willing to fix it and my wife refuses to ride in it for fear of being stranded randomly (we have not used the car since early August, except to go to National Plug-in day) and ended the call.

At this point even if they could fix the car I don't want to own anything with the Nissan name on it. I'm still in the Lemon Law process with the BBB and I am waiting on the next steps from them and I've contacted some people in the media (hopefully they like the Nissan found out he was disabled so they refused him a rental car and shuttle so he'd have to take his car back angle).

10/14: Lemon Law Hearing
Well it's almost over, met with the arbitrator and Nissan's DTS.

The DTS didn't do much, only asked me two questions. I'm still not sure of their position. They seem to acknowledge there is a problem, but when asked why they don't fix it, he just kept saying Nissan will continue to honor the warranty, like this wasn't a warranty defect...

I was surprised he didn't lie, he admitted a lot of things I thought he wouldn't. But he was certainly deceptive. I asked him if the software could cause these issues and he said yes. Then I asked if he had ever seen anything like this, he said no. I asked if he had ever seen these symptoms, again no. I asked if he was familiar with NTB11038, no. Then I said the symptoms were very similar, and he interrupted that that was only related to Air Conditioners.

He doesn't know about it, but then proceeded to tell me what it was... that was definitely deceptive to me.

Unfortunately the arbitrator seemed to be overwhelmed with the tech stuff (and my wife told me she was afraid he was falling asleep during the testimony). He asked for an independent EV tech to look at it...problem is no one knows where they can find one. And that could delay this by a month or more.

10/16: My Car is Now A Fire Hazard

In the never ending saga of the issues with my leaf, I was trying to charge it to 100% for the first time in months.

I plugged in at about 11:15 PM with 9 bars of charge and 5 for battery temp, the estimate for a full charge was 2 hours. I also used Leaf Link and it estimated charging would be done a little after 1 AM. I checked on the charge at 12:30 AM and I was at 11 bars and Leaf Link estimated the charge would be done at 2:30 AM (I thought it was weird that it was going to take 2 hours for that last bar, but it was just an estimate).

I checked the car again at 1:20 AM and Leaf Link now said the car would be done charging at 3:30 AM. I powered on the car to check what it said, the car was at 12 bars of charge and 6 for battery temp. There was no estimate for time on 120V and it still said 2 hours to charge at 240V (picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58853322@N05/8095140660/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).

I gave it about an hour and a half more to charge and now Leaf Link was reporting it would be done a little after 5 AM. I powered the car on and it still said 2 hours left to charge to 100%, I still had 12 bars of battery but the battery temp was high ( I think it was at 9 bars ).

I unplugged the car, and the battery was 100%.

I don't know if the issue was with the car or the AeroVironment EVSE, but now I won't even charge this car again.

======Original post=======

When I got the Feb/Mar recall update my car started to randomly freak out. I did notice that the bars drop faster to begin with but the lower bars last longer (so it's no longer linear, but my final range is about the same, still scary and with no notice of the change from Nissan).

But my real issues with the update are:
- Dropping capacity while parked and off (I can lose 3-4 bars in a matter of hours after I park). One time I parked at work with 5 bars and came out with only 1 left (and the car was off, I'm positive).
- Car goes into a "safety mode" when reversing on incline. Car will go into Neutral and I will not be able to shift it into D or R for about 30 minutes. Sometimes while in this mode, car can not be turned off either. Service writer at one Nissan dealership said he had seen this and it can happen the first time(?) after the update, and by powering the car off and leaving the driver door open for a minute, it will reset it (doesn't work every time, especially if the car won't turn off).
- Sometimes after charging to full, all re-gen "bubbles" are available and car will use them, charging and possibly damaging a fully charged pack.
- GOM will lock onto a number a number (ie 59 or 74) and will not change despite driving 70+ miles and going from 12 bars to 2.
- Car will drop a bar whenever powered off (park car at dropping to 9 bars, check online it reads 8, move car 40 feet to garage, part at 8 bars, check online 7 bars, put back on street, 6 bars.... I've lost 4 bars in less than 150 feet (and again the car was off, I'm positive). It doesn't do it everyday, but when it does, it will do it all day.

Since the middle of April, I've gone to three different Nissan Dealerships, all ran tests and said there were no issues (but only one drove the car). But if I bring the car in, in a mode where they can't even get it to turn off, how could they give it back to me and say nothing is wrong? I've been dealing with Nissan corporate, but despite all the promises they've made, they've yet to keep one of them.

I have asked everyone of the dealerships to re-install the software, but apparently that is not possible.

The last time I took it in, Nissan corporate said they'd call and tell them exactly what they wanted the dealership to do. I arrived, Nissan never called, but tech support called the next day and told them it was user error. They said I was doing something to put it into this mode. I told them I was having ankle surgery the next week and they could keep the car until they fixed it. So they refused to give me a loaner car (even after promising me one all day) and after making me wait 1.5 hours told me they din't know if the shuttle was coming back. Basically they were saying I could walk home on a broken ankle or take my car.

Nissan was supposed to call me on Friday to take the car and get one more chance to look at it (5th or 6th time so far), but they never did. So I've given up on getting my car fixed by them and I'll try to get my money back (I trusted Nissan and bought this car instead of leasing).

- red

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:47 pm
by LEAFer
Wow ! :(

Where are you located ? Would you mind listing the dealers you visited for service ?

Have you tried the "reset" procedure (disconnecting the 12V battery for a while) ?

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:52 pm
by Stoaty
That sounds like a real horror story. Since these kinds of reports are so rare, I would have thought Nissan would be all over it to figure out what is causing the problem. An intermittent problem is the hardest to track down. Good luck with your lemon law.

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:58 pm
by saintyohann
- San Diego Area
- I'm not going to list the dealers, because I don't believe it's their fault. Honestly I think I'm in the situation when Nissan knows there's a problem, but there's no fix yet, so they're just trying to delay me because there's nothing else they can do.
- They've reset the system multiple times, they removed my 12v battery to test it too.

I'm sure it's the software, it all started when I got the update and all of these issues, while random, happen at the same time that I start getting communication errors online/phone app features.

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:11 pm
by cwerdna
LEAFer wrote:Wow ! :(

Where are you located ? Would you mind listing the dealers you visited for service ?
Wow indeed!

If only the location field were mandatory...

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:15 pm
by Stoaty
Based on your description and the summary of the California Lemon Law:

http://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/lemon" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

it appears that you have a pretty good case. What a nightmare!

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:56 pm
by adric22
This does not sound like a software issue to me. I suspect it is a loose connection on one of the computers attached to the can-bus. Of course tracking it down would be a technicians nightmare. And since most techs don't get paid for diagnostic time on warranty repairs, you can bet no technician in the shop would want this job.

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:05 pm
by TonyWilliams
All very good steps toward a Lemon Law. I would like to personally see the car, if that can be arranged Tues or Wed.

I'm sure there are plenty of good Lemon Law attorneys in San Diego, but step one is to document every issue. Hopefully, you saved everything, and I would like to see that, too.

Tony

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:29 pm
by DaveinOlyWA
pathetic that you would even need a lawyer on such an obvious case. has anyone else like friends or family observed any of this?

Re: Asking for Lemon Law protection on Monday

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:59 pm
by saintyohann
We would actually go through BBB auto line arbitration, most likely no lawyer needed.

Tony, you can check out the car if you wish, but I can't meet you as I can't drive right now. I can do any day but Wednesday and I live in La Mesa.