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October 16, 2012 / Jordan Parkhurst

Nissan Offers Reimbursement for Defective Leaf Models

Nissan recently agreed to issue full refunds to two former Arizona drivers of its Leaf model  because the cars were deemed “lemons,” meaning that they failed to meet certain quality standards.

The Nissan Leaf runs entirely on battery power and currently advertises  that it drives  as far as 72.5 miles per charge. Andrea and Mason Convey experienced different results, however, when they lost 27.5% of their battery capacity after owning their Leaf a little more than a year. For Mason Convey, this meant his Leaf’s range fell 3 miles short of his 45 mile commute.

Eventually Mason Convey returned his Leaf, initially encountering $700 in fees, but later received a full refund from Nissan. The company insists it refunded the Leafs for the Masons and others to maintain customer satisfaction, not to admit guilt.

Some other former Leaf drivers expressed their dissatisfaction by filing a class action lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles in September. They intend to represent those in California and Arizona who bought or leased 2011-2012 Nissan Leafs and experienced similar problems.

Humberto Klee, one of the drivers suing, leased a new Leaf in June 2011 and within 15 months, noticed a 21.5% drop in battery capacity and a steep drop in driving range. David Wallak purchased a used 2011 Leaf with less than 8,000 miles and saw a drop of approximately 27.5% in battery power within two weeks. The Leaf manual states that drivers may experience a drop of 20% within the first five years.

The drivers state that Nissan overestimated the Leaf’s range, because the company based their estimates on a 100% charged battery. At the same time, Nissan only recommends that drivers only charge their batteries to 80% capacity to avoid battery damage. The drivers also accuse Nissan of failing to install a heat shield, standard on other electric car motors, which they argue would better preserve the battery.

If you believe you were misled into purchasing a defective product, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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