I built this site to expose Nissan and their lies about the Nissan Leaf. Below is a quick overview of my experiences. I will be updating the site as often as I can.
I purchased my Nissan Leaf a little bit over a year ago at Nissan of Valencia.
I explained to them I commute to Toluca Lake which is approximately 27 miles away from my home. The Nissan Leaf is promoted as having 100 mile range under optimal conditions.
I need to make it to work and back every day which is 54 miles of driving. I thought to myself no problem, I have plenty of range left.
The salesperson explained the range is a little exaggerated and it is more towards 80 miles range.
Great, now I really feel confident thinking the dealer is being up front with me and 80 miles is more than enough for me.
The dealer also disclosed some more info, after 5 years the battery experiences 20% degradation.
I figured I’m only leasing the car for 39 months and even with 20% degradation I should get 64 miles, well above what I need.
Well, at this point we have ourselves a deal. Nissan even states in the agreement that the car can travel a distance of 70 miles, with the air conditioning on high at an average 55 MPH.
Great, done deal!
For the first year things were great, I was able to make it back and forth from work without any issues, even with the air conditioning on.
Luckily my garage at work allowed me to start charging while there, free of charge…. This was great, not only could I come home with more battery but I don’t have to pay to charge!
The months went by and eventually there were 6-7 electric vehicles in the garage at work. The electrical system in the garage was not built to handle such a toll and eventually decided to no longer allow people to charge their cars.
No problem, I thought to myself. Boy was I wrong…
I noticed my car battery had used 3/4 of the battery to make it one way to work. Uh oh, now I was in some trouble.
I was forced to use a charging station near my work, unfortunately they charge $1/hr. If I wanted to pay that kind of money I would have bought a gas powered car.
I was on a frantic search to find a new place to charge. Luckily the Nissan Dealership in Van Nuys installed a quick charge station, 45 minutes and you can go from zero to full.
I started stopping by on my way back from work for a 15 minute charge (just enough to get me home). Unfortunately this was causing me to get home an hour later than usual.
With a wife and kid to come home to this wasn’t exactly a great option.
I then heard Chase opened a charger down the street. I quickly opened an account and started charging there. I still to this day spend most days charging at Chase.
The only drawbacks are having to walk several blocks to my office and the charger has errored several times not allowing people to charge. Another issue is competition, I’m always having to compete for charger use.
Today I switch between Chase and Nissan depending on where I can charge. Competition is a drawback at Nissan as well, I once waited an hour to use the Charger because several people were in front of me.
I really tried to make the best of things but nothing has been easy.
Step 1. Complaining to Nissan of Valencia
My wife and i went to Nissan and on our first trip explained the situation. Nissan wanted to test our car and see what the issue is. They couldn’t find anything immediately wrong so they asked us to come back and test again, this time remotely testing with Nissan Headquarter with Leaf experts.
No problem, we came back and let them test the car out. Again, they claimed it was normal.
When we asked what they could do they said we could trade the car in but it would only be worth a fraction of what bluebook listed it at. I believe bluebook lists the car at slightly over 20k, Nissan says it’s worth 16k to them. When the buyout price is over 16 and I owe over 6k in lease payments it’s hardly worth trading in the car, nobody was willing to work anything out.
When we told them to break the lease since the car did not have the range we were told….they said they couldn’t and it would have to be done by Nissan Corporate.
Step 2. Complaining to Nissan Corporate
Fine, so we called Nissan Corporate. Apparently nobody over there could do anything at all. All they did was create a case number and said they would get back to us. No managers to speak to, NOTHING! This was getting to be hopeless.
Step 3. Complain to Nissan of Valencia again
We then spoke to the Manager of Nissan of Valencia. Right away he seemed irritated and unwilling to accept any responsibility he immediately exclaimed “We are not Nissan, you need to speak with Nissan”. Really??? I mean WTF…. We told the guy, look outside what does your sign say, “Nissan”! What does your shirt say? “Nissan”! Who signed the lease agreement? “You did”! I’m pretty sure you represent Nissan in some capacity. This was getting nowhere fast and we asked to speak to someone above him.
He gave us the GM for Nissan of Valencia. He supposedly was in touch with someone at Nissan Corporate, relaying our responses (why we couldn’t speak with someone directly is beyond me, apparently Nissan Corporate is too important to be bothered with things like …ummm i dunno, customers?)
Anyways, we went through everything again with the GM, the same nonsense of battery degradation, making sure we knew it doesn’t make 100 miles, only 70. When I responded they just ignored everything. They even went as far as to tell me the problem is having a trickle charger only and I obviously needed a 220v charger. Really? where was that disclaimer? haha According to Nissan you can reach a full charge in 21 hours from zero to full. I assured them I was charging more than an adequate amount of time, sometimes over the weekend my car is charging all weekend and STILL reaches the same full charge as it always does. It’s really pathetic how nobody wants to take any responsibility at all.
Step 4. File complaint with the BBB
His ending remarks were “I suggest checking out the BBB lemon law”. Well, how nice of you to suggest something….I went through the process of submitting a claim to the BBB in regards to the lemon law. Surprise surprise the lemon law does not apply to this situation and the range is not something covered by the warranty meaning they can’t do anything. Somehow I think the GM realized this and wanted to point me in the wrong direction to waste some more of time.
Step 5. Spreading the Word
I really don’t see any other options, i’ll be spreading the word and will post my progress (if any) here.
Working in online marketing I don’t see any issues getting the word out. Stay away from Nissan of Valencia, Stay away from Nissan and especially stay away from the Nissan Leaf!