Nissan claims to be at the forefront of all-electric vehicles with the Leaf. Yet the Japanese company and its U.S. division are currently been accused in the U.S. that it has misled buyers about its EV's battery life and true driving range.
Humberto Klee and David Wallak say that Nissan advertises a range of 100 miles (160 km) or less, depending on a number of variables like the road conditions and the weather.
The plaintiffs claim is that the carmaker does not say that the Leaf can attain this range only if its battery is fully charged.
One can’t help but wonder what this is all about; until, that is, you read the rest of the federal class action lawsuit:
“Before purchase or lease, Nissan failed to disclose its own recommendations that owners avoid charging the battery beyond 80 percent in order to mitigate battery damage and failed to disclose that Nissan’s estimated 100-mile range was based on a full battery charge, which is contrary to Nissan’s own recommendation for battery charging.”
It does sound odd for Nissan to recommend not charging the battery beyond 80 percent and at the same time, releasing a maximum range figure that is attainable only with a 100 percent charge.
On its behalf, Nissan replied even though it “regrets that a very small number of Leaf owners are dissatisfied”, in its opinion “the lawsuit lacks merit”.
Among other things, Nissan's statement reads:
“Nissan has provided information on how the vehicle works, its estimated range and factors that can affect both range and battery life through many sources, including the Nissan Leaf website, owner's manual and detailed written disclosure.”
The lawsuit has been filed against both Nissan Motor Company and Nissan North America with the Central District Court of California, which will be the one to decide whether the plaintiffs’ class action has merit or not.
By Andrew Tsaousis