Brake and battery drain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
As the world’s first mass-marketed electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf has been a huge success. Nissan calls it the “ever-evolving electric car” that is “loads of fun to drive.” But some owners of the 2022 Nissan Leaf aren’t so sure. There are lots of complaints about insufficient battery capacity and dangerously inconsistent braking issues that aren’t much fun at all.
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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Nissan Leaf
All the consumer complaints about the 2022 Nissan Leaf to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relate primarily to the brakes of the car. But complaints also point fingers at other components: the electrical system, forward collision avoidance, the fuel/propulsion system, and so-called unknown or other problems.
The owner of a 2022 Nissan Leaf SV Plus 4-door hatchback reviews the EV on Edmunds, concluding that “everything seems lacking.”
“Overall, the price is fair for an entry electrical vehicle, (but) it’s nothing special with a driving range of 220 per full charge. With the clean air and tax rebate, it’s a great buy compared to many other competitions, but for us, it was a nightmare to own.” Their typical daily commute was about 100 miles a day. So, with gas prices at an all time high, they were saving money.
“But unfortunately, the car broke down within 6 months.” It sat in the shop for about six weeks, towing it in twice. At least 10 issues had to be fixed to get the car running again.
Additionally, he says the seats aren’t as comfortable as some other Japanese brands. “The on-board infotainment screen is unresponsive and laggy (and) Apple Carplay is hit or miss.” That was a real miss when he was told by the dealership serviceman: “There are no fixes; simply don’t use Carplay”
2022 Nissan Leaf Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control|
Problems with the Brakes
Stopping a vehicle should be one of the main priorities. If the brakes don’t work, the likelihood of a crash becomes a major issue. The first complaint issued to the NHTSA by an owner in Florida describes how an accident “totaled” a new 2022 Leaf the day after he bought it. His complaint is filed under Service Brakes and Forward Collision Avoidance.
“I had an accident that totaled the Leaf the day after I bought it. It was dark. The road was more congested than usual and a dog ran out into the road. According to eyewitnesses, three vehicles” were involved. “The Nissan Leaf could not brake quickly enough and I rear ended a CR-V with enough force that the Leaf airbags deployed and I could tell the Leaf was totaled at the scene. The emergency braking system never engaged and the brake pedal felt the same from beginning to end. I was not tailgating.”
“Bottom line: I expected the Leaf to behave in an emergency the same as a vehicle I had been driving without incident for 18 months and it didn’t. My 2020 Kia Niro does not have emergency braking and I hadn’t planned to test it out with the Leaf. Being dark, I saw the instant the vehicle in front of me slammed on their brakes and slammed on mine, but it felt the Leaf wasn’t slowing down fast enough.”
Nissan introduces drivers to the e-Pedal feature stating it allows “easy driving using only the accelerator pedal.” It allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop using only the e-Pedal, they say. “After the vehicle comes to a complete stop, the hydraulic brake system is automatically activated to keep the car stationary.”
When this doesn’t work as designed, your Leaf can crash, as an owner from California discovered.
Stating that the e-Pedal was on, he says he was trying to park the car when it jumped the curb and lurched forward. The “brakes would not engage so I had to hit a tree to stop the car.” Two people were injured in the crash.
An owner from another part of California also describes e-Pedal problems that have happened to him daily since he bought the car in November 2021.
“When you press the accelerator the car will move forward and when you let go of (the) accelerator the car will come to a stop. However, sometimes the car does not come to a stop and it will coast as if the e-Pedal is not engaged. This happens regardless of the battery’s SOC (state of charge), weather, angle of the road, temperature, or road condition.”
“When (the) e-Pedal is engaged and you lift off the accelerator, the car should always come to a stop, and it doesn’t. This is dangerous because there have been many times where I have run a stop sign or almost hit the car in front of me because I’ve had to slam on the brakes at the last second.”
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Battery Capacity Concerns
The low battery range of the Nissan Leaf has been an issue since Day One. It doesn’t generally affect people who make short trips, but it impacts negatively on anyone who regularly drives any distance. Even a reviewer on Edmunds who’s awarded the EV 4 out of 5 stars warns, “If you’re a heavy road-tripper, the Leaf likely isn’t your best choice.”
The limited range of the Nissan Leaf battery isn’t a secret. Nissan claims it lasts for up to 226 miles, which isn’t very far. But there are owners who say if you get 150 miles you’re lucky. It may not be an issue if you can recharge your battery en-route to where you are traveling, but in some parts it’s not that easy. S
The reviewer on Edmunds, mentioned above, is a former Tesla owner and points out that the Leaf doesn’t have the same “oomph” or cruise capacity. These can, of course, be downloaded using a mobile or cellular network. Nevertheless, he is finding he gets the 225-mile range Nissan advertises.
Impact on battery capacity probably comes from usage factors.
Battery Usage Factors
A recent article on Forbes delves into warnings that anyone using highway fast-chargers up to 4 times a day risks damaging their Nissan Leaf batteries. They quote a British university professor, David Greenwood, as saying the EV is “ideal for commuting,” but its limited cooling abilities “make it susceptible to overheating and multiple fast charging.”
They quote Nissan as saying that most buyers of the Nissan Leaf charge their cars at home. Nissan also warns that the use of high-speed chargers should be avoided. But they say charging the battery to 100% before long journeys is “fine.” There is a clear trend and demand for fast-charging EVS, but many competitor manufacturers recommend charging no more than 80%.
They also warn that when drivers consistently raise their speed over 60 mph, the battery range begins to drain away. This doesn’t only apply to the 2022 Nissan Leaf, but to all EVs.
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
If you have recurring problems with your 2022 Nissan Leaf that are impacting its value or use, you might have bought a lemon. But that doesn’t mean you are necessarily stuck with it. An experienced legal firm like Lemberg Law can help you get the lemon out of your life without you having to pay a cent. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners.
The law makes Nissan pay the legal fees of lemon law cases, so if you’d like us to assess your problems, please call our Helpline. Alternatively, you can fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you asap.