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2011 Nissan Leaf - Click above for high-res image gallery

Electric vehicles are quiet as a mouse at startup, but for some Nissan Leaf owners, this push-button process is a little too quiet. Reuters reports that Nissan admits some owners in the U.S. and Japan are having difficulty starting up their EV. Company spokesperson Toshitake Inoshita tells Reuters that the problem has been traced back to the air conditioning system, but the exact root of the problem is still unknown.

Since a failure to start isn't a safety issue (at least if you're not parked in a seedy neighborhood), Nissan likely won't issue a recall, but Inoshita adds "when we know the exact cause, we will decide whether to issue a service bulletin, or take other steps."

There are currently only 452 Leaf EVs that have been sold in the U.S., so the fact that these issues are already being seen and reported on means the problem could be fairly significant. Still, the automaker has sold a more significant 3,300+ units in Japan, so it's possible that the majority of complaints are from Nissan's home market. Either way, the news isn't exactly good for Nissan, which is hoping that consumers see its first modern mass-market EV as a halo car.



[Source: Reuters]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You get what you pay for which in this case is a fugly, poorly engineered, useless piece of junk.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is this not surprising, this car came out of the air, it was a counter-punch to the Volt......it missed the mark dramatically.
        • 3 Years Ago
        So rushing a product out to be first to market can come with consequences? Go figure that...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MechE, it might, but this is not the first problem with this car, leaving people stranded and not starting cannot be a good thing. This car was rushed to market, the Volt was not, has lots more technology that a battery and a plugin on wheels.
        • 3 Years Ago
        And you don't think there will be a very similar article regarding the Volt in the near future?

        Not saying this car is better than the Volt but these sorts of problems are common with new tech cars.
      Hans Uetz
      • 3 Years Ago
      well im pretty sure it will outsell the Volt by leafs and bounds.......im still waiting up here in Canada.....so theres a small bug big deal.......
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't get more green than leaving the Leaf in the Garage and riding your bike to work. Brilliant!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, at least they don't catch fire!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you depend more and more on electronics over mechanics.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Owners of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata are also having problems with push-button start, involving switches in the brake pedal and gear shifter. I don't remember seeing that one being widely reported, though, so Hyundai must be keeping it hush-hush.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow - already seeing issues with non-starting, after only ~4k units made?

      That's not good. I wonder how Nissan missed this in their QC evaluations.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Then again, I wonder if this is related to the rolling blackouts that Japan is experiencing following the tsunami/nuclear plant meltdown.

        Maybe the chargers get "clicked off" during a blackout and fail to recycle.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, less things that someone can fix themselves...
        • 3 Years Ago
        ^ read the article. It's owners in the US *and* Japan having issues.

        Still, this is wierd. EVs are touted as being "simpler" with *less* things to go wrong.
      • 3 Years Ago
      a car that doesn't even run. can't get more green than that I guess.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe each one should come with: A bike, Versa, Ford F650 towing rig, and an extra Leaf?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Leaf is great car! But if Toyota has built, it be magical!
        • 3 Years Ago
        if yuo speak english better, its nice for americans
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should not have rushed it to the market so they could beat the Volt going on sale first.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What sucks is that if the Volt was having all these issues GM would be getting destroyed on the car blogs/mags.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Absolutely, and by the same "leaf blowers" that are defending a car that leaves people stranded and won't start............
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