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USA; Nissan settles class action lawsuit in battery capacity loss case

Nissan Leaf owners facing battery capacity loss stand to gain some relief thanks to a class action lawsuit settlement in which Nissan will extend the battery warranty to cover this condition.

This time last year a hot item of concern among Nissan Leaf owners was the phrase “premature battery capacity loss.” Several owners, especially in Phoenix, complained of rapid loss of battery capacity, a Leaf-owner-organized battery capacity test was performed, and eventually several Leaf owners filed a class action lawsuit. A settlement was reached in that lawsuit, with Nissan agreeing to expand battery warranties for the 2011-12 Leaf’s, while not admitting the suit had any merit.

At issue is Nissan’s claims concerning the useful lifetime of the Leaf battery pack, versus actual battery pack behavior in the field. Specifically, Nissan claims the Leaf will have 80% remaining capacity after 5 years, and 70% remaining capacity after 10 years. However, some Leaf owners were seeing degradation at a faster rate than this. A stink was raised via online message boards, which rose to become news coverage, even involving a Nissan Executive Vice President (Andy Palmer) answering questions from Leaf owners. See Nissan’s Andy Palmer explains Leaf battery capacity loss to Chelsea Sexton for the gory details.
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