NissanConnectEV, formerly Carwings, is a telematics system available in the Leaf that lets owners remotely monitor things like the climate control and charging. It runs on AT&T's aging 2G cellular network, which the communications company will discontinue at the end of 2016. Without an upgrade, this useful feature will no longer work in the EVs. A statement from Nissan says the vehicles will require a new telematics control unit to continue access to this functionality, and the automaker will contact customers once the parts are available.
For most owners, we know the switch won't be free, though. Nissan will pay for the upgrade for 2015 Leaf owners. However, the company will only cover "a portion of the costs for parts and installation" for drivers of 2011-2014 models, which amounts to about 55,000 vehicles, according to Green Car Reports.
Nissan says it's still working out the price for the new telematics control unit. "Cost, pricing and other details are in the process of being finalized and we expect to be able to provide additional information in a notification to affected customers beginning in late summer 2016," company spokesperson Paige Presley told Autoblog.
To ensure a smooth transition as AT&T discontinues its 2G cellular network at the end of 2016, Nissan will cover a portion of the costs for parts and installation that are required to update the telematics control unit (TCU) in 2011-2014 Nissan LEAF vehicles. Nissan also plans to cover all of the parts and installation costs to update the TCU in 2015 LEAF vehicles. Owners who are not already enrolled in NissanConnect EV should do so via the Nissan Owner Portal before June 30 in order to activate the service for utilization on the 2G network through Dec. 31.
Nissan will directly contact affected consumers with additional information regarding options for upgrading the TCU hardware in their vehicles once the hardware is readily available.