Things appear to be heating up in the desert.

Some Nissan Leaf owners aren't buying the automaker's claim that suspected loss of battery capacity stems from issues related to the car's display readings and not fundamental battery issues.

To prove the point, about a dozen Leaf drivers are getting together in Phoenix this weekend to compare capacity-display levels with actual driving range, according to Green Car Reports.

Leaf owner Tony Williams, who is leading the effort, says that, while batteries with a full set of "bars" indicating battery capacity will provide as much as an 84-mile range, cars missing two bars and four bars will come up anywhere between 18 miles and 28 miles short of that range.

Reports started surfacing this summer about Arizona Leaf owners complaining that the heat caused the cars to rapidly lose battery capacity. Nissan, which has long said that a battery pack will keep as much as 80 percent of its capacity after ten years, more recently noted that heat could only hurt capacity if it climbed as high at the 130-140-degree range.

Either way, the publicity doesn't help Nissan, whose Leaf sales have lagged this year. Last month, Nissan sold 685 Leafs in the U.S., which was up from 395 in July but way down from 1,362 units in August 2011.


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