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US: Class action proposed on Nissan Leaf batteries

In the wake of news that Nissan North America has agreed to take back two Leaf EVs owned by dissatisfied Arizona owners, a federal class action lawsuit reported by Topclassactions.com accuses Nissan of concealing that its Leaf EVs have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life and driving range. The California-based … Continued

In the wake of news that Nissan North America has agreed to take back two Leaf EVs owned by dissatisfied Arizona owners, a federal class action lawsuit reported by Topclassactions.com accuses Nissan of concealing that its Leaf EVs have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life and driving range.

The California-based plaintiff Humberto Klee says Nissan advertises the Leaf’s driving range at 100 miles or less, depending on a number of variables such as road conditions and the weather. However, his suit claims, “Before purchase or lease, Nissan failed to disclose its own recommendations that owners avoid charging the battery beyond 80% in order to mitigate battery damage and failed to disclose that Nissan’s estimated 100 mile range was based on a full charge battery, which is contrary to Nissan’s own recommendation for battery charging.

“Consumers thus were misled by Nissan’s representations regarding driving range without being aware that these ranges were only achievable by charging the battery in a manner contrary to Nissan’s own guidance.” The suit also alleges that Nissan failed to disclose and/or intentionally omitted to reveal a design defect in the Leaf’s battery system that causes the Leaf to suffer “widespread, severe and premature loss of driving range, battery capacity and battery life.” 

The Nissan Leaf class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of a proposed Class of all California and Arizona consumers who purchased or leased any 2011 through 2012 Nissan Leaf vehicle. It is requesting, among other things, that Nissan remove and replace Class Members’ battery systems with a suitable alternative product, reform its Leaf battery warranty, cover the loss of battery capacity under warranty, and reimburse Class Members for any repairs made. The suit alleges that Nissan violated California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act and Unfair Business Act, and is guilty of negligent misrepresentation, and breach of Implied Warranty under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

Nissan North America, which has set up an independent panel to advise Leaf owners and deal with their concerns, has issued a statement made available to AutoblogGreen, saying “We believe the lawsuit lacks merit. We stand by our breakthrough technology and the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. We also acknowledge and are grateful to our customers who have chosen to embark on a zero-emission leadership path with us.

“In bringing this exciting new technology to market, Nissan has sought to educate the public and potential purchasers about the unique operating characteristics of an electric vehicle. 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.

“While Nissan regrets that a very small number of Leaf owners are dissatisfied, Nissan stands behind its product and consumers, and remains committed to electric vehicle technology. Globally, more than 38,000 Leafs are on the road and have travelled collectively more than 100 million zero-emission miles. In fact, Leaf customers are some of Nissan’s most satisfied. Just as a pickup truck or a sports car isn’t right for every customer, an electric vehicle may not be right for a specific customer. But if you’re determined to have minimal impact on the environment then an all-electric vehicle remains the only pathway to zero-emissions mobility.”

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