Nissan Leaf Owners Claim They Were Misled by Company

Customers who purchased the new electric car it for its purported long battery life and driving range say the car hasn't held up to these standards.

In a report by the BBC, some owners of Nissan’s new electric Leaf claim that the company lied to them about battery charge times and driving ranges on its website. 

“If Nissan at the start had said what the car is capable of, without exaggerating the fact on their website, I’d have been fine with it,” said John Weatherley, a company director from the Forest of Dean, told BBC

Nissan reportedly told potential buyers that it would take approximately 40 minutes to charge their vehicles “in moderate driving conditions” for an 80 percent charge using rapid-chargers. The company then changed the time needed to charge to 40-60 minutes. Nissan also allegedly advertised that a single charge would allow the car to drive for 235 miles before needing to recharge. 

But British drivers have complained they need up to two and a half hours to recharge and that charges do not allow their Leafs to drive nonstop for 235 miles as advertised on the website.   

Gareth Dunsmore, director of electric vehicles for Nissan Europe told BBC that “External ambient temperature, the type of driving you’ve been doing beforehand, and the heat you put into the battery if you’ve been doing successive charges can impact the timing.” 

The company also said that the car’s manual explains that rapid charging is only intended for use once in the same trip.

Nissan said that the original claim of 235 miles was correct under the New European Driving Cycle, an official means of measurement designed to asses a car’s fuel economy. But carmakers have since moved to a new system called the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure, and the range is now officially 168 miles.

Up to 2,600 new Nissan Leafs have been sold in the U.K. and a number of customers have canceled their orders, the BBC said. The Advertising Standards Authority, the self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry in the U.K., is considering launching an investigation.