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.