2019 Nissan Leaf Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Visibility, electrical system and battery issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

This article was written by Brian Jones, ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Automotive Contributor

Everyone is in a race to create the perfect electric vehicle to keep up with demand. Some enthusiasts thought the 2019 Nissan Leaf would be the answer to prayer. Even the newer models are hailed by Nissan as being “our technology flagship.” Yet, customers couldn’t be more disappointed in the electric battery, electrical system and visibility.

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Problems with the Electric Battery

One of the most important parts of any electric vehicle is the battery system used. Yet, this is also one of the top complaints about the Leaf.

Read this Cars.com customer review. “Wait until you hit 12 months of owning this vehicle. The batteries that Nissan uses are terrible and dwindle fast. You will have great mileage on a full charge then one day it was drop, extremely low. We started out with ours at about 130 miles to the charge. 12 months in it dropped to 50. The dealership(s) won’t do anything because the vehicle is showing the batteries at more then 70% capacity. When you do the math of full charge to mileage, we are actually at about 50% capacity. None of the dealers will replace the batteries even though they are under warranty. The biggest problem Nissan has is their batteries are air cooled instead of liquid cooled. We will never buy, rent, lease a Nissan ever again after how the dealerships have treated us, corporate treated us, and mostly because of how the vehicle has treated us. Don’t take my word of advice alone, search the internet, you’ll find hundreds of dozens of people just like us.”

This customer is dead on with the assessment as countless other people are complaining about the same situation. Even the company knows there are issues with the battery. Service Bulletin #NTB20-017 discusses all of the reasons why the EV Battery Warning Light might come on, even though it shouldn’t. Maybe it’s time for the automaker to “turn over a new leaf.”

Problems with the Electrical System

While the battery is undoubtedly the most vital aspect of the electrical system, there is so much more that could go wrong – and has.

Here is one NHTSA complaint worth reading. “I was driving down the freeway going roughly 70 mph with Pro Pilot Cruise Control Enabled. The car sensed a car ahead and slammed on the brakes, but there were no cars in front of me and was almost rear ended by a car going 70+ mph on I5.”

What a dangerous situation this malfunction creates. However, it’s not the only safety system struggling. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000 states that over one million vehicles suffer from a non-functioning back-up camera. Without this image working correctly, pedestrians and other drivers are at risk, which is what sparked the massive recall. Yet, the general public is supposed to believe that the Leaf is Nissan’s “technology flagship?” It’s scary to think about the defective tech in the other models if that is true.

Problems with the Visibility

Aside from these inexcusable defects, there are other issues going unnoticed.

One NHTSA review states, “When the vehicle is in stop and go or heavy traffic, the air conditioning system throttles itself back to conserve power in the traction battery. Combined with the fact there are no rear seat vents (either in the console or the floor), it gets dangerously hot in the vehicle, especially in the back of the vehicle. According to Nissan, USA, this is the design of the vehicle. Temperatures of over 100 degrees have been recorded in my daughter’s car seat while in traffic with the air conditioning hardly running or running at a very low power. According to Nissan, this is the only way they can meet their advertised EPA range. Another area this problem effects is that when the windshield is foggy, and you are in traffic, it will not properly defrost causing a serious visibility problem. I have multiple videos of all of this. I contacted Nissan but they claim the car is operating as designed. I am contacting the BB Lemon Law section. My local representative has asked me to file an NHTSA complaint as they feel this is a serious safety issue.”

Obviously, there is little care about the safety of occupants inside the Leaf. If there were, the air conditioning would work as it should, without regard to the driving range. Yet, that’s not where Nissan’s goals are. Instead, the company would rather put lives in danger than have to admit that the car doesn’t perform the way it should. What could be worse than driving in a roasting hot vehicle? How about getting stuck in one? Service Bulletin #NTB18-042a goes on to further discuss how the front door can become inoperable, leading people to be trapped.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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