This is a page 2 to the thread, currently titled, "Early Capacity Losses-Was(Lost a bar...down to 11)".
Here's the current Wiki page on these issues
Here's a summary of the issues:
November 2011 - the first known Nissan LEAF had it's battery pack replaced when an owner in the Phoenix area reported a missing battery capacity bar on the dash instrument and reduced range. He is currently (August 2012) operating his vehicle on the second battery that is also degraded. He wishes to get out of his lease now. He has now reported that his LEAF was returned to Nissan August 29, 2012.
April 2012 - another Phoenix area LEAF driver reported the same issues.
Since then, dozens have reported on this forum the loss of range / autonomy and/or battery capacity. Many have reported to Nissan at 877-NO-GAS-EV (1-877-664-2738) and been given a "case number" concerning the issue. Most of these reports are currently LEAF's from extremely hot parts of the USA, namely Arizona and Texas. However, there are now reports from other areas.
July 24, 2012 - Carla Bailo, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Nissan Americas sends an undated open letter to LEAF owners, and the world, about their commitment to address these issues. This letter is not present on Nissan’s main news site, where corporate news items are usually posted. Several forum readers have privately suggested that our poster "OrientExpress" actually penned this letter, as a way to "protect" Nissan from bad press.
Nissan took between 6 and 11 LEAFs (Nissan does not officially disclose the full number, thought to be 11, however only 6 are known on the forum) with significant capacity loss to their Casa Grande testing facility in Arizona.
August 2012 - Nissan Motor Co. said it’s hiring the senior auto reviewer at Consumer Reports magazine to be the carmaker’s new executive adviser on vehicle quality. David Champion will work at Nissan’s vehicle testing center in Stanfield, Arizona, where Nissan tests the LEAF for high temperature environments, among other things.
August 23, 2012 - Nissan sends out a survey to owners asking, among other things, how much range loss is acceptable.
August 31, 2012 - LEAF owner Scott Yarosh is the first to lose 4 of the 12 capacity bars, for approximately 33.75% - 39.99% total battery capacity loss. He has scheduled to return his leased car to Nissan on September 15, 2012. His car was sent to the Nissan testing center (at Nissan's request), in Casa Grande, Arizona in July 2012 with several other customer LEAFs. The battery was removed by Nissan, however no repairs were made or promised. Below is a table with the number of battery capacity bars missing on his car, the percentage lost, date lost, miles driven to date, and months in service.
1 bar - 15.00% to 21.24%: Apr 07, 2012, 20000 miles, 10 months of service since new
2 bars - 21.25% to 27.24%: Jun 07, 2012, 23800 miles, 12 months (3800 miles/2 months)
3 bars - 27.50% to 33.74%: July 07, 2012, 25870 miles, 13 months (2070 miles/1 month)
4 bars - 33.75% to 39.99%: Aug 31, 2012, 28190 miles 14 months (2320 miles /1.7 months)
5 bars - 40.00% is the next threshold displayed on the LEAF's dash instrument of 12 total bars.
September 2, 2012 - The first overseas report of reduced battery capacity, from Hong Kong.
September 4, 2012- Andy Palmer, executive vice president of Nissan also dismissed recent reports of battery problems in hot weather for the LEAF. A number of owners in America complained of reduced range during summer, but Palmer says the problem is a faulty battery level display.
"We don't have a battery problem," he says.
Andy Palmer holds global responsibility for product planning, program management, market intelligence, IS, marketing communications and corporate planning, including in a leadership role for the zero-emissions business unit during the development of the Nissan LEAF.
September 15, 2012- In response to Andy Palmer's comments, some of the Phoenix cars, including Scott Yarosh's LEAF that currently has the most displayed battery capacity loss, will be tested to determine if in fact the cars can physically drive as far now as they did when new with a "faulty battery level display", or if this is merely another attempt by Nissan execs to deflect attention from the serious battery issues that were predicted by many experts before Nissan manufactured the car.
A total of 13 Nissan LEAFs were ultimately driven, with ranges between 83 miles for a brand new car, and 59 miles for Scott Yarosh's LEAF. Here are the results of the test.
September 2012 - Awaiting official word from Nissan as to the results of their studies, and their intentions going forward. Many have expressed concern that if the results are "everything is normal" and try to "explain things away", aka "whitewashing", that those affected owners will then have the resolve to move forward with more robust methods to address these issues. As of the end of August, 2012, one Phoenix owner reported that Mark Perry, Director of Product Planning for Nissan North America, "didn't seem so interested in determining the root cause of the LEAF's Battery Capacity Loss issue." In addition, he told the owner (with 3 battery capacity bars lost on his LEAF) "(paraphrasing)'...well that battery must not of been cared for very good…'" and that they "are trying to learn the drivers habits with the state of the batteries with making a determination if there is any problem."
We did get word from Nissan, as expected, that all is "normal" because driving the car over 7500 miles per year is extreme use, according to Nissan, and so is driving down the freeway. Naturally, these limitations were not disclosed to the owners/leasees prior to their acquisition of the LEAF.
January 8, 2013 - (Scottsdale, Arizona, USA) - A meeting is held with Nissan executives and LEAF owners to answer questions of battery degradation and Nissan's new battery capacity warranty. The 2013 LEAF was also on display. Here's the local Phoenix news story on the meeting:
http://www.kpho.com/video?autoStart=tru ... Id=8156098" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Here's a video of the meeting:
April 10, 2013 - http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/c ... 3bb98e1607" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"How long a battery pack lasts in an electric or hybrid vehicle depends on many factors. Mikael G. Cugnet, Ph.D, explained that the lifespan depends mainly on the battery’s temperature, state of charge and charge protocol. Battery performance begins to suffer as soon as the temperature climbs above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. “The higher the temperature, the lower the battery service life,” he said. “A temperature above 86 degrees F affects the battery pack performance instantly and even permanently if it lasts many months like in Middle East countries.”
November 18, 2013 - A class action lawsuit against Nissan was filed by two LEAF owners in 2012. The settlement approval hearing was held on this date. The judge has taken the request to approve the settlement under submission. Only one of those filing an objection to the settlement was represented by counsel. His name is Alex Kozinski. An Alex Kozinski [aka "the big Kozinski"] is the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He submitted a well-written, colorful, and persuasive objection:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ks02n77tksftz ... ection.pdf
Why Did Nissan Develop an EV Battery? "A battery that can control its heating without a cooling mechanism is also longer lasting, since the biggest cause of a battery's lifetime being shortened is overheating."
Nissan developed a service bulletin specifying the range of the LEAF that you can download from http://www.NissanHelp.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Search for NTB11-076a.
A recent study by Pikes Research with U.S. Department of Energy data shows, lithium ion batteries (like those in the LEAF) exposed to hotter average temperatures lose their ability to store energy; the hotter the temperature the faster they lose their storing ability. So BEV owners in Phoenix will likely be looking to replace their batteries faster than owners living where the thermometer doesn’t often reach 110°F.
A very technical discussion, dated Sept 2004, of Lithium Ion cell degradation over time shows "the largest capacity loss has been found for the cell stored under the FL condition at temperature of 35C (about 95F) with 4.2V EOCV (fully charged)". They did not test extreme temperatures like Phoenix, that can exceed 50C (about122F) on an asphalt car park.
Nissan specifically DOES NOT WARRANTY BATTERY DEGRADATION (capacity losses), however, changes to range / autonomy are not specified as a result of battery capacity losses. Nissan's sister company, Renault, does warranty the battery for 75% capacity with a virtually identical battery of four AESC cells per each of 48 modules. General Motors also offers this protection with a far more robust Volt battery pack, mostly because there are emission control considerations (the gasoline/petrol engine will run more if the battery degrades). NOTE: Volt battery uses about 60% of capacity, LEAF uses 93%. Volt battery is liquid cooled, LEAF has no battery cooling.
“Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of all-electric vehicles because extreme temperatures can affect performance, reliability, safety and durability,” says a Ford press release.
“Extreme temperatures impact a battery’s life and performance, making it crucial to have an effective cooling and heating system to regulate temperature for these demanding applications,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford executive technical leader, Energy Storage and HV Systems.
Arrhenius Law - while I expect this will come up in legal challenges against Nissan, it has nothing to do with "Law"
Some owners suggest that the battery degradation is contingent on "Arrhenius Law" formula of double the degradation per 10C rise in temperature. So, a 0C battery has X loss per hour, then a 10C battery has 2X loss per hour, 20C = 4X, etc. Here is a graph of this formula on various US cities.
An excellent technical published paper on Arrhenius Law on batteries, page 326. Here's the discussion about this paper.
From battery expert Charles Whalen:
"The salient point and operative principle here is that lithium battery life follows an exponential Arrhenius relationship with respect to temperature.... let’s say that at 100F lithium battery life is 3 years; then at 75F it’s 6 years, and at 50F it’s 12 years. Those probably aren’t too far off the mark, though there is some differentiation for the various different cathodic subchemistries (e.g. LiCoO2, LiFePO4, LiNi.33Co.33Mn.33O2, and the LiMn2O4 chemistry, that both GM and Nissan are using in the Volt and Leaf, being the most heat sensitive and having the shortest life at higher ambients).... it is the combination of: a) the high ambients in hot climates like Phoenix and South Florida, b) the exponential nature of this Arrhenius function relating lithium battery life to temperature (where battery life roughly doubles for about every 25 degrees F reduction in temperature), and c) the high current cost of lithium batteries [$625/kWh for the Volt ($10,000/16kWh) and $750/kWh for the Leaf ($18,000/24kWh)], … that makes a liquid-cooled, water-chilled, active thermal management system economically advantageous and viable ***FOR AN EV THAT WILL SPEND ITS LIFE IN A HOT CLIMATE***."
Some owners are making plans for legal help or class action status. Some Phoenix area attorneys have expressed interest in suing Nissan over these issues. Please PM "opossum" and "Azdre" for more information. At least one LEAF owner received a solicitation from one of the law firms actively looking for clients on these matters. Here is a thread discussing law suit issues.
There could be a claim against Nissan for violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Here is a law firm that is interested in this case.
Choi & Fabian, PLC
90 South Kyrene, Suite 5
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 517-1400 (voice)
(480) 517-6955 (fax)
The forum's most dedicated data collector, and a reduced range Phoenix LEAF owner, has started this thread concerning his data driven findings.
Here's a first hand account by an owner who met with Nissan engineers in May 2010 (well before the car was released) at the Arizona Testing center, "They did admit that the high temperatures reduced the mileage by 10 to 20%."
Some have suggested that this must be a software issue, and further that "high up" Nissan folks think so too, instead of a battery issue (by Nissan's use of 93% of the capacity of the battery, and not using a temperature management system on the LEAF), however another data driven LEAF driver with capacity and range reduction says that his low serial number car (185) with the original firmware went through last summer in Phoenix without issue, and now has capacity / range issues this summer with the same firmware. The same was expressed here.
Some owners have sold their purchased LEAF, only to lease a second LEAF or other EV, as a method to mitigate any impact to value of the vehicle because of battery capacity and range reduction.
Going to a Nissan dealer has thus far resulted in a response of "all is normal" with the battery, regardless of the range / autonomy reduction and/or battery capacity degradation. Also, any battery report conducted at a dealer, and the subsequent results given to a consumer, will likely have "5 of 5 stars" in every category, regardless of the range / autonomy reduction and/or battery capacity degradation.
Please read the comments posted on this "autoblog" website in an article titled "Is the Nissan LEAF Battery Pack under Engineered?". These comments were made almost one year before a single LEAF was produced, and suggests Nissan seriously made a mistake selling the car in hot environments like Phoenix and Texas.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in 2009, well before LEAF was released for sale rips on Nissan's battery technology, and says it's "primitive" without a temperature management system. PLease read the comments on this article, also. Very well thought predictions that this would not end well for Nissan, and the greater electric vehicle community.
Naturally, the Nissan legal department made clear the battery capacity is without warrantee, but as we know, consumers have been sold a car in hot places like Phoenix that the manufacturer knew would NOT survive the heat and did NOT tell the consumer of these shortcomings.
The US government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an presentation from Nissan concerning their theory on how the battery handles heat (see slide 12 of the presentation). While I am not suggesting that this may happen, if the NHTSA orders a vehicle recall for a safety defect, the manufacturer has three legal options for making good on the order. The manufacturer can:
- Repair the vehicle free of charge (this is the usual remedy you see offered for a vehicle defect);
- Replace the vehicle with an identical or similar vehicle that is free of the defect; or
- Refund the purchase price in full minus a reasonable allowance for vehicle depreciation.
Why is the range advertised as "100 miles" when EPA says it's 73 miles?
Some have suggested that manufacturers should not be allowed to market any other range figure except what a standardized EPA test has determined. Also, to include the effects of local climate on batteries that are without any method to protect from ambient heat.
Maybe it has something to do with CARB ZEV credits? (California Air Resource Board - Zero Emissions Vehicle)
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/fa ... torial.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;,
See page 46.
Vehicles which offer 100 mile range with "Fast Refueling" are considered "Type III" and qualify for 4 credits per vehicle. 100 mile range without "Fast Refueling" is a Type II for 3 credits.
California Air Resource Board (CARB)
Zero Emissions Vehicle Requirements
Type V - 300+ miles range with fast refueling - Credit 7
Type IV - 200+ miles range with fast refueling - Credit 5
Type III - 100+ miles range with fast refueling - Credit 4
Type III - 200+ miles range……………………... - Credit 4
Type II - 100+ miles range…………………….... - Credit 3 (the Nissan LEAF)
Type 1.5 - 75-100 miles range………………... - Credit 2.5
Type 1 - 50-75 miles range…………………..... - Credit 2
If you are experiencing reduced range / autonomy issues, and/or your dash battery capacity instrument is missing one or more of its twelve bar segments, here are some suggestions to pursue:
1. Report to Nissan at 877-NO-GAS-EV (1-877-664-2738) and get a "case number" concerning the issue
2. Report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "Office of Defects Investigation" and get a Confirmation Number (ODI Number) concerning the issue. Address: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Washington, DC 20590, 1-888-327-4236 or 1-202-366-0123. Here is a NHTSA presentation about electric vehicle safety from Nissan. Check out slide 12 about heat affects on lithium batteries.
3. Report to Consumer Reports. This can be a little confusing. In fourth line click on Non-Consumer Reports product or services, click again for Share an experience and then click again on Defective but non hazardous.
4. Report to respective Better Business Bureau. Here is Arizona BBB and here is California BBB. The Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. is at 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203; 1-703-276-0100
5. Report to your State Attorney General’s Office
6. Report to Center for Auto Safety, 1825 Connecticut Ave, NW, Ste. 330, Washington, DC 20009-5708. You may send them a letter sharing your experiences with them. Should they have any information on your particular automobile, they will forward it to you, along with helpful information and advice within 10 days from date of receipt of their letter. They ask, but do not require, a $.60 SASE to help keep their costs down.
Here's some options on how to dispose of your car, should it no longer meet your needs, or you are concerned about loss of value concerning loss of range / autonomy. First, you must determine what your end result needs to be:
1. Wait for Nissan to acknowledge there is a problem, devise a plan and implement a fix to your satisfaction.
2. Nissan may take back leases under certain parameters.
3. Sell the car. CarMax has been a good place to start.
3. Use your state's Lemon Law. It may be prudent NOT to address battery capacity, as that is specifically not covered by warranty.
4. Hire legal help for individual (tort) suits.
5. Join a class action suit.
Nissan Corporate Contacts:
Mark Perry, Director of Product Planning for Nissan North America. On August 3, 2012, he was reported to have said, "We've also been very transparent in making sure people know that battery capacity will degrade in very high heat – for instance, if the cars sit out in 110-degree heat for five hours a day." He was also quoted as saying sometime before January 25, 2010, "We don't need thermal management for the U.S., but we are looking at the technology for Dubai and other locations like that.... We've gone on the record saying that the pack has a 70 to 80 percent capacity after 10 years."
Here are some average temperatures:
May: avg high 100F avg low 76F......ave high: 95F, average low: 69F
Jun: avg high 103F avg low 81F....... ave high: 104F, average low: 78F
July: avg high 105F avg low 86F.......ave high: 106F, average low: 83F
Aug: avg high 106F avg low 86F......ave high: 104F, average low: 83F
Sept: avg high 102F avg low 81F.....ave high: 100F, average low: 77F
Bradley D. Thacker
Vice President, Total Customer Satisfaction Nissan Americas
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brad.thacker" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8811388" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Nissan North America, Inc.
Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Anna-Naraeva/1646221651" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
ARIZONA’S LEMON LAW
- two years or 24,000 miles, whichever is earlier
- a problem with the car that substantially impairs the use and value
- fails to successfully repair the defect after four attempts, or...
- out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days
CALIFORNIA’S LEMON LAW
- the lessee or buyer is completely free to choose whether to accept a replacement or a refund
- Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act applies to your warranty period (3 years, 36,000 miles on LEAF in USA)
- does not apply if the problem was caused by abuse; follow the terms of the warranty for maintenance and use
- reasonable number of repair attempts for problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle
- during the first 18 months / 18,000 miles "Lemon Law" presumes four or more repair attempts, or.....
- vehicle is out of service of more than 30 days since delivery of the vehicle
TEXAS' LEMON LAW
- $35 filing fee is charged for complaints about new vehicles
- Case Advisor to determine whether it meets the jurisdictional requirements of the law
- Administrative Law Ruling
- if unresolved, the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) has hearing(s)
- consumers must prove to the Administrative Law Judge that their vehicle is a lemon
- manufacturers also have the right to appear and present evidence and argument to the contrary
FLORIDA'S' LEMON LAW
- consumer has an unconditional right to choose a refund rather than a replacement motor vehicle
- "Lemon Law Rights Period" is the first 24 months
- recurring problem not fixed after three attempts, or....
- out of service for repair for 30 cumulative days
- you must complete a specific form provided on the Florida Secretary of State website
- you must submit your information to the proper arbitrator