really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,177 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.

2015 Nissan Leaf brakes problems

brakes problem

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2015 Nissan Leaf Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Jan 062019


  • 51,000 miles


Brakes failed upon starting the car. Multiple warning lights on the dashboard (brake, ABS, traction control, and brake system) resulting in total brake failure - cannot stop the car with normal braking even while just putting the car into drive/reverse from park. Started happening ~3 weeks ago. The only thing that stops the car is the emergency / parking brake. If pressing the brake pedal all the way, just before hitting the floor there is a loud popping / grinding noise and the parking brake (?) engages. The first time, turning the car off/on fixed it. We took it to our local Nissan dealer, they said "could not find the issue in their system" and said it was a "fluke" and wouldn't happen again. Happened again a few days later and turning the car off/on didn't help, and the car was stuck in our driveway. Tried replacing the 12V battery, which fixed the issue temporarily. Happened again a few days after that and had to get it towed back to Nissan.* they found the issue in their system and think it's the "driven intelligent brake unit" and costs $2600+ to fix. They also say the "main engine harness" may need to be replaced for some reason as well, costing another $2400+. have contacted Nissan usa, they told me they don't have a record of this being a problem with Leafs (even though there are dozens of complaints on here) and refuses to provide assistance. This brake system is *extremely unsafe* for the driver & passengers, and everyone around it. My kids could have been near the car when it started moving on its own even though I was pushing the brake pedal. No one needs to die or get gravely injured because of this faulty system.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #31

Jan 212019


  • 20,000 miles
The brakes stopped working this morning when the temperature reached 0F. Pulling out of a parking spot on low speed I saw the "brake" and "ABS" warning icon on the dashboard. When I tried to stop by pressing the brake pedal, the car wouldn't stop at all, when the pedal was pressed all the way, I could hear the ABS engaging, but it still didn't work. I was only able to stop using the emergency brake. I did not observe any obvious blockage(snow or otherwise) on the brakes. Later in the day, the brakes started working again when I warmed up the car before operating. Because I was not sure of the cause of malfunction, I've sent the car to the dealer to be seen.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #30

Oct 312018


  • 56,320 miles
I brought the car in for brake safety recall in 2017. On Oct 31st, 2018 with 56,320 miles the brakes failed in driveway twice in cold weather. On Nov 1 the brakes were working again with warmer weather. I drove to the dealership. Ran tests, found nothing wrong. I was told it was a low 12 volt battery even though I had replaced the battery 24 months prior (now 3rd battery in 3 years). I was charged $388 for a new battery. But I could not leave the dealership. The brakes failed again before I could leave. I had the technician test. Here are notes he wrote: "brakes failed again in service parking lot. Advisor verified concern. Yellow ABS light, yellow brake system warning light and vdc warning lights were on. No brake pedal pressure. Pedal went to the floor and could hear an electronic clicking noise. Had to use the emergency brake to stop vehicle. Vehicle was in ready mode when concern happened. Cause: Electronic brake control unit failing to communicate with other control units." $2500 fix. Nissan covered 80%, bill was $553 with no refund for the 12 volt battery.

- Fall City, WA, USA

problem #29

Dec 102018


  • 19,000 miles


Whenever you brake and hit a bump or pothole the brakes disengage launching you forward causing a huge danger of hitting other cars, people or other objects

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #28

Nov 142018


  • 37,000 miles
Brake warning lights on dash may turn on at startup sometimes, and pressing brakes cause grinding noise (like anti lock activated). Located in san jose, ca, weather is about 50-90 degrees F. Nissan keeps on saying there's no issue, and it's a $4K fix to replace the whole brake system, and will not look at the issue. Have gone to several dealerships, no help.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #27

Dec 052018


  • 33,000 miles
I was driving fown the highway and the car in front of me stopped. I was going 45 mph. I was two car lengths behind him. I hit the brakes and the car wouldn't stop. I then slammed the brakes and the car slowed down, but I ended up rear ending him. It felt like my car was on ice, but the roads were clear. It was 29 degrees outside.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #26

Nov 092018


  • 29,000 miles


The morning of November 9th, 2018 I attempted to start the vehicle after having been parked overnight in our garage. When I pressed the brake pedal, I did not feel any resistance. After pressing the on button, I felt the pedal resist and vibrate. I heard a grinding sound from behind the pedal and warning lights illuminated for brakes and ESC. The vehicle would not start so I had it flatbed towed to the Nissan dealership. They determined the electronic brake controller had failed and required replacement. The dealership and Nissan jointly covered the cost of the repair, to their credit. I am concerned this component could fail while driving and result in a loss of braking force, creating an unsafe situation.

- Jericho, VT, USA

problem #25

Oct 242018


  • miles
Has the recalls been taken care of yet

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #24

Oct 062018


  • 35,000 miles
My car was parked in the driveway of my house. I turned it on like I do normally and I then I see the red brake warning indicator lights and the ABS warning indicator lights on the dashboard. I didn't think too much of it as I was rushing to get somewhere. My driveway is sloped down so when I put it on drive, I had to step on the brakes. I noticed it didn't work as I depressed it all the way down. Then I quickly used the emergency brakes since my car was slowly rolling down. My car is 3 years old, has about 35,000 miles and has never been in an accident. This was the first time this happened.

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 252018


  • 12,000 miles
I was driving in somewhat heavy traffic in an urban setting at 25mph when, unexpectedly, I had great difficulty applying the brakes to stop at an intersection. It took considerable effort, including swerving, to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of me, and I pulled into a parking lot as soon as I was able, again having great trouble stopping. The loss of control of the brakes felt like I was skidding on snow or ice, despite the fact that it was a fairly warm August day. There was an accompanying loud, unpleasant sound coming from the brakes when I stomped on them. I had also noticed that a number of warning lights on the dash had come on all at the same time when the problem started. After coming to a complete stop in the parking lot, I turned the vehicle on and off many times, and each time, there was a low but clearly audible thrumming sound, plus a vibration I could feel in the brakes. The sound was particularly surprising to hear, given that the vehicle is otherwise an extremely quiet (100% electric) vehicle. After attempting to restart the vehicle about ten times, I decided to leave to wait for awhile before attempting to start it again. After about 20 min., I started the vehicle without trouble and cautiously drove it home on largely empty side-streets.

- Cleveland Heights, OH, USA

problem #22

Jun 052018


  • 30,000 miles


When the 12-volt battery failed on my 2015 Nissan Leaf, the car would still turn on and would move forward without pushing on the accelerator. The brakes did not work either. This happened to me both in a grocery store parking lot at night and then the next morning on a residential street. Similarly, when it turned the car on in my driveway, I put it in reverse, and the car moved without me pushing on the accelerator and the brakes did not engage when I pushed on them. The car behaved this way 4 times, including once for the Nissan dealership service worker who had to pull the car forward in the line of cars waiting to be serviced. After Nissan replaced the 12-volt battery, the problem disappeared. Several Leaf owners have told me to report the problem, because it is a safety concern that the car can move but the brakes do not work when the 12-volt is failing. I called Nissan to notify them of this problem but did not get a response beyond a call from consumer repairs saying she would make a note of it.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #21

Feb 142018


  • 24,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light with my foot on the brake pedal and the car started to roll forward. I pressed hard on the brakes and noticed some strange noise as if the brake pedal was hitting something. The instrument display showed multiple warning signs like a skid symbol, brake in red font. Fortunately, the parking brake worked and I was glad I was stopped at the traffic light when this happened.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #20

Jan 202018


  • 32,114 miles
Brakes were not functional after starting the vehicle. The brakes pedal would depress without resistance to the floor. The car was able to be be placed in drive and attempting to use the brakes to stop was useless. Had to place car in park and hold E brake. Brake malfunction light was present. Issue occurred multiple times sporadically in both cool and warm weather over the last one week. Had prior brake recall addressed last year at dealership.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #19

Nov 282017


  • 25,000 miles
Much like other complaints here, just after starting the car and putting it into reverse from a parking spot, pressing the brake pedal did not slow the car down, even with the pedal fully depressed. Only after letting the brake up and pressing it again did it work. Fortunately I didn't hit anyone or anything and was able to get the brakes to work in time. The next time I went to start the car, the dashboard display kept telling me to press the brakes when pressing the start button no matter how much I was pressing the brakes. I could not get the car to start. Only after plugging the car in and returning to it an hour later did the car start.

- Shorewood, WI, USA

problem #18

Sep 262017


  • 51,000 miles
I activated my vehicle by placing my foot on the brake pedal and pressing the ignition button. I placed the transmission in reverse. Immediately after, my vehicle began to move, but the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. At this point my vehicle would not stop and I frantically pumped the brake pedal. After about 5 or 6 feet of distance in reverse, my vehicle finally stopped and I placed it in park. Note: There were no prior warning lights or sounds before the brakes failed. The incident I experienced was a very close call. The parking lot I was located is frequented by many people taking exercise walks. If someone had been walking behind my vehicle when it malfunctioned, my vehicle would have struck them. Moreover, another parked vehicle was just a few more feet from where I eventually was able to stop. The dealership said the reason this happened was due to 12V auxiliary battery failure. I have asked Nissan Consumer Affairs department multiple times over the past month (email/phone) for an explanation and they have ignored me. I would like to find out if this is a problem that may occur again and/or how it can be fixed. They will not respond to my emails or voice mails. I hope you can help in some way to get information. At the very least, make you aware of this problem. Note: I have not experienced the problem again, but am especially concerned now because Nissan is ignoring me.

- Lake Elsinore, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 242017


  • 34,000 miles
This morning after dropping my kid at daycare, I was backing up my car in the parking lot. During backing up, I pressed the brake pedal but the car didn't slow down and kept moving. After a couple of seconds, it finally stopped. Fortunately there was no one in the parking lot. Nissan needs to investigate the brake issue. I have seen similar complaints but there is no recall to fix it.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 152016


  • 19,100 miles
Brake recall issue NHTSA campaign number: 16V119000 I have been to the dealership three times to get this fixed, but every time the dealership comes back and says that they could not reproduce it so it is fixed. But every time I park in the garage at my work place or park overnight outdoors, I run into this problem where the exclamation icon would light up and the brakes would malfunction where I have to press harder for the brakes to apply. The workaround I follow is - pressing and releasing brake pedal will make the exclamation icon turn off and the brakes would function normally. I have had atleast two instances where the car will start moving even with my foot on the brake. I was very close to running into another car two times! I live in austin tx and these incidents happened during summertime when the temperatures were above 70F.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #15

Sep 232016


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Nissan Leaf. The contact stated that the brakes failed to function while driving 20 mph. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a software malfunction with the ABS. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 23,000.

- Kaysville, UT, USA

problem #14

Apr 122016


  • 12,000 miles
I was driving down a busy street at approximately 25 mile per hour. I pressed the brake pedal to slow down for a stop light. The pedal went all the way to the floor and the car did not slow down. I tried to put the car into "B" mode to slow it down and that did not have any effect (normally it would slow the car down through regenerative braking). I then continued to drive the car slowly (15-20mph) for ~ 3 more minutes until I was in a safe place to pull off the road. I pressed the brake pedal again and it felt "normal" (pedal did not go all the way to the floor) and the brakes operated normally. I called Nissan customer service and they opened a case number, told me to either call roadside assistance, or if I feel comfortable, drive the car to a Leaf-certified dealership. This was a very dangerous situation that could have had a tragic ending. Since I did not (luckily) get into an accident, the Nissan representative did not seem too worried about it. I was extremely disappointed in her reaction. This is an incredibly serious safety-related issue that the company should investigate.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #13

Jan 292016


  • 11,000 miles
Brakes failed upon starting the car, though I didn't know it when I began to drive the car. I had several error lights come on, but I couldn't figure out what the error was, but then figure out as soon as put the car in reverse. I couldn't stop using the brakes and only got myself to stop by using the emergency brake. I was backing out of a parking spot onto a city street, but fortunately there were no cars parked behind me or any moving cars on the street. I also attempted to drive forward, albeit very carefully, assuming it was a strange one-time occurrence. But the brakes simply did not work. Upon inspecting and repairing the car (after being towed to a Nissan dealership) Nissan informed me that the ABS brake controller failed.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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