• Nov 24th 2010 at 9:28AM
  • 24
2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

The very first 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (Leaves?) are set to find their way into American hands next month, and Nissan is ready for whatever issues may arise from the vehicle's launch. According to Automotive News, the Japanese manufacturer has assembled a rapid-reaction task force to pin down customer complaints before they get out of hand. The Los Angeles-based team is led by a group of 10 engineers that have been thoroughly trained on the vehicle's drivetrain, and each engineer will have a squad of around 30 technicians at their beck and call. Nissan is currently looking to install similar outfits in both Europe and Japan.

The move is part of an effort to assuage any worries that buyers may have about being among the first to sign on the dotted line for their very own electric vehicle. In Japan, Nissan has even gone so far as to roll a program with free towing, unlimited free charging at dealerships and a 24-hour hotline for owner questions. So far, there's no indication that Nissan USA will do the same.

Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      how about an emergency rapid-charge system? can they plug a battery into the lighter and get and extra 5 miles to get to the road shop? a use for old laptop and cell phone batts, lol

      or a reealllllly long extension cord?
      • 4 Years Ago
      But will they rapidly respond with a tow truck when you run out of juice 5 miles from home?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dr. Greenthumb...you say "Don't care what anyone says, even if this car was free, the Volt is still the better buy"

        You forgot to say the Volt is the better buy FOR YOU. For many people I know living in Chicago, this car is perfect for them to get around the city and suburbs each day. There are many more people like this in cities throughout the country that the Leaf would work just fine for, so while your commute may require more than the Leaf's capacity, it works for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of other people who don't need the extended range.

        Besides, I guarantee that the sales demographics for both the Volt and the Leaf will show that they are households with more than one vehicle, which means you can use either to get around town but then switch to the other for long trips.
        • 4 Years Ago
        PTM: Got to disagree with you there. Any car that needs an army of rapid response rescue workers, is not worth its salt. Here's the real kicker, if the car is shared between two drivers, each relying on the other to be responsible and charge the car after each use, will find themselves stranded halfway to work, even within the city limits.

        This car works in theory. In the real world, there will be thousands of these on Chevy used car lots all across America. Remember, these are fickle Americans that we are talking about here, they will NOT put up with the aggravation of owning this car.

        Give it about 18 months, people will throw these cars out like old toasters.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @The Other Bob: Wow, I guess you can interpret things anyway you like. I saw it as Nissan smartly helping relieve the range anxiety fears.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It seems like that is what they are saying:

        "In Japan, Nissan has even gone so far as to roll a program with free towing, unlimited free charging at dealerships ..."

        It seems like pretty bad marketing when a car-maker has to say:

        When your car stops working, we are glad to tow you home!

        Not good.

      • 4 Years Ago
      The free towing will come in handy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice gesture.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ring Ring Hello - Nissan Leaf Complaint line Hi, I'd like to call in a complaint Ok, what is your problem My battery is dead Ummm ok, what would you like us to do about that? Ummm, my battery is dead, I'm in the fast lane on the parkway in bumper to bumper traffic, it's 95 degrees outside and the car won't move. Ok, I understand your situation, we here at Nissan would like to first thank you for buying a Nissan Leaf. Secondly we'd like to thank you for calling the Nissan Leaf Complaint line. This will help Nissan to understand problems experienced by Leaf owners in the real world with real feedback to Nissan. Ummm, ok. Is there anything else you would like to report today. Umm nope, just that my car won't move, my kids are crying in the back seat, my wife is looking at me like she wants to kill me. Ok, so we here at Nissan are logging your complaints as: You're battery is dead. You are on the Parkway. Your kids are crying. It's 95 degrees out. You wife thinks you are no longer a worthy husband. Anything else sir? Yes, how are you going to help me? Sir we here at Nissan are not able to help you. What should I do? Sir, we at Nissan encourage you to charge your battery and never let it get below 25% charge, so you don't get stuck in this situation again. I understand that, but there was an accident and traffic just stopped and it's 95 degrees out and I had the A/C on to keep my wife and kids comfortable. What Should I do now? Sir, we here at Nissan suggest you charge your battery. F-ck you. Good day sir and thank you for buying a Nissan Leaf. We hope your experience in keeping the world a greener place is a joyful one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, they are really betting the horse on this one. Well better safe than sorry. Good luck Nissan!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is very smart. It completely takes a page from Apple. Offer a gutsy product to the masses and back it up with your smartest and best trained to be sure the customer experience is the finest available. Whenever I go to the Apple store, even when someone has a bummer of an issue, they seem to leave with a smile -obviously because they've been their problem was dealt with by seemingly caring, empowered staff that can make a situation right. This is precisely the experience an early adopter will appreciate. If GM is smart, they'll offer something similiar- even though the Volt doesn't have the same range specifics.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Note to Nissan:

      Let those 10 engineers use a leaf as a commuter car (It's LA anyway!).

      I'm sure they'll learn 100x more about diagnostics and debugging than basic training. And the info will be 100x more valuable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Excellent point...the best way to learn how to troubleshoot problems is to experience them yourself.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gee, thats real reassuring, Nissan.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if a paper bag with eye holes comes with the purchase of car?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The truth is: The customers who buy this car will be very familiar with its range. (JIM MBONGO: your arguments about range apply to EVERY type of car) Very few of them will run out of juice. This car will be fantastically reliable- heck, other than fixing flats, there's nothing to break on it. The response team will be more bored than the Maytag repairman.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Translation: We didn't test this piece enough so we are going to let our customers be the guinea pigs and iron out the bugs for us. I still don't understand how they think an air cooled battery versus the Volt's liquid cooled battery is a good idea.
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