really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,257 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Nissan Leaf electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Nissan Leaf Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jan 171016


  • 38,000 miles


Vehicles electric windows malfunction. Window will not open or close on the drivers side, but the others will. Many Leaf owners are having the same issues. Please look into this.

- Bonney Lake, WA, USA

problem #20

Oct 072015


  • 40,000 miles
This is not related to anything specific that happened to my vehicle, but it is related to consumer safety and protection. Nissan settled a class-action lawsuit and amended their battery replacement/repair warranty shortly after they introduced the Leaf to the us. Very soon after this amended warranty went into effect Nissan sent a letter to all Leaf owners and asked us to bring our car in for a "software upgrade" that would give us a better range display. I suspect that this "upgrade" actually keeps the capacity (range) display above the threshold that would otherwise obligate Nissan to repair/replace the battery. Is your Agency the appropriate on to bring this suspicion/complaint to and request an investigation or should I contact someone else. I do not have evidence, but it is more than a hunch. Before this alleged ""fix" my car had lost 2 bars of display, after, only 1, yet it has been driven and recharged much more extensively than before the "fix". also, Nissan has been unwilling to share data on the Leaf or its battery, and insists that they are the only company who can diagnose the battery, and therefore, the only company who can decide if the warranty should be honored in any case. This is troubling. I would appreciate it if any resources could be devoted to looking into this software "fix" - though I understand budget and personnel constraints may inhibit this without evidence beyond my circumstantial experience and my gut feeling. Still, it bears contacting you to ask, as we have seen how other major auto makers are willing to bend rules and laws in order to pad the bottom line. Thank you!!

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #19

Sep 212015


  • 45,000 miles
2011 Nissan Leaf, have taken it multiple dealers and done the update(s) required by Nissan, which actually made matters worse, regen is not working like had prior to the P3227 update. The biggest issue with the Nissan Leaf is the battery capacity and advertised claims. Currently charging 100% and getting less than 60 miles range. The warranty apparently after two class actions is 5 years 60,000 miles whichever comes first. All anyone at Nissan or the dealers can say is to wait until we drop the 9th bar. But from what the customer service rep told me, I needed to drop below 70%, which according to my calculations I have. But Nissan does Nissan math, each bar is weighted and the software update made adjustments that are mysterious to most. Nissan misrepresented the Leaf and with the poor battery chemistry failed to deliver as promised, and now these cars are practically being given away. Nissan does not cool the batteries properly and there could be a danger that they are not disclosing. This needs to be investigated further by NHTSA/dot

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 222013


  • 10 miles


Vehicle has digital display that indicates how many miles of travel remain in the battery. Meter reads at least twice as high as miles actually delivered. Could cause unaware drive to run out of charge and stop in traffic lanes thus potentially causing an accident of bodily harm to occupants of vehicle.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #17

Mar 272013


  • 3,631 miles
Vehicle's main traction battery lost 15% of its usable capacity after only 1 year and 3631 miles of vehicle use. This rapid loss in battery capacity is contrary to Nissan's advertised service life of 70%to 80% capacity after 100,000 miles. Defective battery could potentially fail while the vehicle is operated at highway speeds and cause loss of steering and or brakes.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #16

Feb 042014


  • 25,500 miles
Two months ago I was braking moderately when the car shuttered, there was a bump and the car began coasting. I saw that it had popped into N (neutral) even though I didn't touch the gear shift. I tried to put it back into D (drive) but it wouldn't respond. I pushed the car to the side of the road and tried several times to shut it down. Finally, it responded, then restarted and drove normally. After that, there would be intermittent shuttering and bumping while braking. The recharging lights will pulse and I can feel the regenerative feature grab and then release. One morning recently, along with these symptoms the range plummeted quickly, by about 1 mile per second. After driving only 20 miles I had 17 miles of indicated range. Then, yesterday, the first problem reappeared: The car went into neutral and briefly wouldn't respond. The car is now at the dealer.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 072013


  • 21,982 miles


Battery capacity has dropped 1 bar. Nissan case number [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 032013


  • 11,645 miles
The intelligent key system allowed the vehicle to be driven off without the key present (it was in the pocket of a person standing outside the car). The driver and passengers then went on a 15 mile trip, wherein the vehicle was parked (safely). After awhile the vehicle was re-entered, but the driver could not start the car because the key was not present. 2 young children were left waiting in the hot sun, but were not injured. Eventually another person retrieved the keys and brought them to the disabled car and driver using a second vehicle. It was very inconvenient and stressful for all parties involved and luckily no one was injured. Note: Later on, after testing the vehicle in a controlled situation, the warning system did not indicate that the key was not present as the owner's manual states it should.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012012


  • 6,130 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Leaf. The contact stated that the electrical and battery system failed numerous times and the electrical system discharged numerous times at low speed of 35 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure. The dealer advised that they could not repair the vehicle. The manufacturer advised that nothing was wrong with the vehicle and that it was performing according to the electrical specifications. The failure mileage 6,130 was and the current mileage was 6,900.

- Tucson , AZ, USA

problem #12

Jun 212012


  • 14,232 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Leaf. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the battery and rapid range capacity bars disappeared, making it difficult to decipher how much further the vehicle could accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but the dealer stated that they were not allowed to diagnose, repair or admit that there was an issue due to company policy. The manufacturer was notified and denied any assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 14,232 and the current mileages were 17,025.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #11

Aug 292012


  • 25,725 miles


I am filing a complaint about the main battery in my 2011 Nissan Leaf. According to Nissan, I should have expected about a 20% battery capacity loss after five years of ownership. I have had the car for 14.5 months. As of 8/29/2012, the battery has lost 3 bars of capacity (approximately 27.5% capacity loss). This rate of capacity loss is far beyond what Nissan expected and possibly modeled/engineered. Please help insure there will not be any safety issues with the battery as the capacity deteriorates.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #10

Nov 162011


  • 5,000 miles
I have run into what I believe is a small design flaw. Scenario: 1) Leaf is parked in condo parking garage with gentle uphill slope on parking space. 2) startup sound is turned off. 2) forget the Leaf is still plugged in to av L2 evse. 3) put foot on brake, push start button. 4) shift into reverse, not looking at dash screen to see warning that Leaf won't start. 5) press down on parking brake lever to disengage parking brake. 6) press accelerator. Result: The Leaf doesn't start since it is still plugged in to evse. The Leaf shifts out of park into neutral after step #4. once parking brake is off and foot is on accelerator, there is nothing to keep the Leaf from rolling back. If it rolls far enough it will damage either the L2 connector to the car or the evse or both. Comment: This is not a hypothetical, it has happened to me 3-4 times in the last year. Fortunately, I quickly realized the Leaf was still connected to the evse and applied the brake so that no damage was done. In my opinion, you should not be able to shift the Leaf out of park or release the parking brake while the Leaf is still plugged in. I would suggest changing the software to avoid potential damage to the Leaf L2 connecter, evse or damage to property in the vicinity.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

May 162012


  • 8,000 miles
I have run into what I believe is a small design flaw. While user error is clearly involved, a simple software fix could prevent this from happening. Scenario: 1) Leaf is parked in grocery store parking lot on a slight downhill slope. 2) startup sound is turned off. 3) push start button while not pressing on brake pedal adequately - Leaf goes into accessory mode. 4) try to shift into reverse, not looking at dash screen to see that Leaf is in accessory mode. 5) press down on parking brake lever to disengage parking brake. 6) press accelerator. Result: The Leaf is still in accessory mode, but has shifted into neutral after step #4. once parking brake is off and foot is on accelerator, there is nothing to keep the Leaf from rolling forward. This is not hypothetical, it happened to me twice in the last year. One time I hit a shopping cart, but fortunately put the brake on in time and the front license plate holder protected my Leaf from damage. Comment: In my opinion, trying to shift into drive or reverse while the Leaf is in accessory mode should not put the Leaf in neutral--it should still be in park. This simple change would prevent the possibility of this happening. The Leaf can still shift to neutral in accessory mode by moving the shifter to the left and holding it there for 2 seconds.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172012


  • 20,206 miles
Lost first battery capacity bar after one year of ownership. This results in a 15% loss in capacity. Difficulties are occuring to achieve driving distances and habits from the previous year. Vehicle will soon no longer function as an form of transportation if range continues to diminish. The capacity loss seems to be a defect in the battery and is unacceptable to loose a large amount in a short time frame.

- Midlothian, TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 212012


  • 10,219 miles
2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, purchased on 8/6/2011, lost a battery capacity bar on 06/21/2012 - 10 months, 15 days after purchase. This is a 15% loss of battery capacity. Nissan advertises an expected 80% capacity remaining after 5 years. I took the car to the dealer the next day for inspection and was told my battery is "normal, " and so is the lost capacity. I disagree and believe the batteries Nissan is using in this car are unfit for the high temperatures in my local area of phoenix, AZ.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #6

Aug 042012


  • 7,200 miles
Battery capacity has decreased over 15%, in just 7200 miles. Please investigate defect in Nissan Leaf battery. Please have Nissan institute recall for defective batteries in 2011/2012 Nissan Leaf vehicles.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #5

Apr 072012


  • 20,000 miles
The Nissan Leaf is a 100% battery operated vehicle. There is a built-in battery capacity indicator that is displayed as 12 indicator bars. Each bar represents a % of the batteries capacity to hold a charge. Nissan claims that gradual capacity loss is normal and that driver should expect to have 80% of their capacity left after 5 years and 70% after 10. I lost my first bar at the beginning of April, second bar first week of June, and third bar first week of July. Nissan has not defined what these bars mean, however, I do not believe that the loss of three bars in 4 months after owning the car for a year is gradual. I have sent my car to 2 different Nissan dealerships and even let Nissan North America take my car for 16 days for testing. So far, Nissan has told me that everything is normal. I believe that having a 100% battery operated vehicle marketed to a mass customer base and being driven on our streets and highways should have a dependable battery.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jul 042012


  • 22,000 miles
The problem is the battery, we where told by Nissan that there would be a slow loss of capacity and up to 20% loss at 5 years. This is only in hot climates like Arizona, tx and ca. The car should have had a battery cooling system. Now after pay $40,000 for the car in the first year my driving range is down so much in my second year the car will be worthless to drive or sell.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #3

Aug 032012


  • 9,570 miles
My Nissan Leaf has experienced a 1 capacity bar loss for it's lithium-ion battery, reducing the amount of available miles to drive. I believe that this is premature and that this is in relation to living in a hot weather climate area (summer months). Nissan has been informed by me of this condition. This is not the only instance, if possible, please see attached site: mynissanleaf.com/wiki/index.php?title=real_world_battery_capacity_loss.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 162012


  • 6,350 miles
About a month and a half ago, I purchased a 2011 Nissan Leaf from my local dealer. Everything was going great until about a month ago when I was driving on the highway around 20 mph or so when the power suddenly shut off. The entire dashboard instantly went off but the radio+touchscreen remained on. The car came to a crawl and I was able to pull over and restart without any problems. It was a little scary to say the least. I called the dealership where I bought the car from and left a voice mail for the service dept. Since it was Saturday but never received a call back. I kind of shrugged it off that day thinking it might have just been a quirk so I didn't follow up with the dealer. About a week and a half ago, I was pulling into a parking lot going around 10 mph and the same thing happened. I called the dealership and took it in the next day. They've had the car for about a week and said that Nissan told them to drive it and try reproducing the problem. I didn't expect them to reproduce it since it has only happened twice within weeks. As expected, they couldn't reproduce it so I was told that I would have to take the car back since they couldn't do anything about it. I am taking the Leaf back tomorrow to start driving again but definitely have concerns since my wife also drives the car and who knows what she would do in a shut-off while driving situation. Luckily, the past two incidents were not in high speeds and I was able to react quickly. My worst nightmare would be if we got rear ended due to instantly losing power. I have called Nissan directly to let them know about my car but no one has called me back. I assume they were already in touch with the dealer. I don't like the fact that I am being handed the car back at a potential safety risk.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

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