2018 Nissan Leaf Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, braking system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

EV cars are nothing new, and the 2018 Nissan Leaf continues to take one of the front spots. In fact, the automaker claims that the newest models are “our technology flagship,” but no one wants to follow the Leaf’s examples. This system features a malfunctioning Forward Collision Avoidance system, defective service brakes, glitchy vehicle speed control and trouble with the electrical system.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019

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Problems with the Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEB)

Modern vehicles have systems that prevent accidents by helping the driver take action sooner. However, with the 2018 Leaf, it appears that owners are left taking action when none is needed.

Read this example from an Edmunds review. “After only 2 weeks the pro-pilot assist went out, and the pedestrian braking never worked.  One dealer had it 3 days saying they were waiting for Nissan corporate to look at it–but couldn’t say when that would be. I returned it to the dealer where I purchased it and have been told it will be 7 business days to get a new sensor that “might” fix it. I called Nissan EV support–the first complaint never got logged–the second one did, and at least they have agreed to reimburse gas. I will be without my new car for at least 2 weeks because of weekends and a holiday not included in the business day estimate. So, maybe when I get it back if it works as it’s supposed to I will like it…but at this point I wish I had put those dollars elsewhere. I paid cash.”

Nissan does have a fix for some of the trouble listed in Service Bulletin #NTB18-057a. If there is a malfunction and the AEB warning light is on, the dealerships may install new sensors and align them, but several people have also stated that this repair doesn’t fix anything. The problems persist and continue to cause trouble. If this is a technology flagship, it would be sad to see what a lemon looks like.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

A system that works in conjunction with the braking is the speed control. Again, it’s clear that the Nissan Leaf is beyond defective when it comes to technology.

Listen to what this NHTSA user has to say, “Nissan ProPilot has a serious safety flaw. When using ProPilot on my 2018 Nissan Leaf SV in stop and go highway traffic, sometimes when my Nissan Leaf coasts to an almost complete stop 15 feet behind a ‘boxy’ vehicle like a semi-truck, the Leaf suddenly accelerates like if there is no vehicle directly in front of me and if I am not completely attentive and if I do not immediately apply the brakes, the Nissan Leaf would rear end the semi-truck. This has happened to me 4 times over the past 6 months when following a semi-truck with trailer and this morning it occurred again a fifth time but this time I was behind a sedan. I have a dashcam video of the incident from this morning. I have reported this issue to Nissan but they have done nothing about it.”

Again, Nissan is quiet and doesn’t want to talk about the situation. Considering the flagship definition is “the ship in a fleet which carries the commanding admiral,” it might be best if the person in charge wasn’t found in the Leaf. Otherwise, people might have to search for a new leader after a catastrophic accident.

Problems with the Electrical System

Finally, a look at the defective electrical system reveals the trouble that leads to every other issue. This system is the basis of everything else. When the foundation isn’t good, nothing can work right.

Read this NHTSA comment, “While driving the vehicle, without warning the car stopped itself simulating a ‘slamming on the brakes’ affect. There was no warning, the car just stopped. After the car stopped, an error appeared on the screen saying ‘power supply failure. To avoid accident, serious injury or death Do Not Drive. Contact Dealer for Service.’ The car stopping suddenly is very dangerous, if there was another car behind me, or if I was on the freeway, I would have gotten rear ended.”

What a terrifying situation, but at least Nissan is being honest that driving the Leaf can cause an accident, injury or death. It’s the first time that the automaker has been transparent and honest. Sadly, there is also an electrical system-related recall that owners must be aware of. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000 states that the back-up camera might stop displaying the image and could lead to a collision. If Nissan wants to continue using a nautical analogy for the Leaf, it might be best to talk about this ship as a dilapidated, run-down model that is going down.

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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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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