really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,842 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 3)

problem #41

Dec 202019


  • 52,000 miles


On 20 Dec. 2019 driving ~25mph on city street, warning lights on dash lit up, regenerative brakes did not respond, brake pedal dropped to floor. Safely coasted to stop, hydraulic brakes worked at low speeds. After stop, brakes still did not work after vehicle restart. See attached dealer repair report.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #40

Dec 202019


  • 35,000 miles
When the car is powered on, the brakes do not engage; the car lunges forward or backward as if in gear, despite constant pressure on the brakes. The only way to stop the sudden movement is by throwing the car into park again. It first happened in 2017, was serviced by a local dealer, but started happening again in 2019. Contacted Nissan and they say there is no record of this being a problem and suggested I go to a different dealer - I will need to pay to have the car towed to the dealer as it is unsafe to drive.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #39

Nov 112019


  • 25,000 miles
Started the car to go to work and the brakes faulted. ABS, brake, tcs lights illuminated. Pedal goes to the floor and makes strange ABS noises on dry pavement. Tires are properly inflated. Dealer wants $4600 to replace brake control unit and ABS control unit. Car has 25K miles.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #38

Sep 242019


  • 36,969 miles


I have a Nissan Leaf 2015 S. I put my foot on the brake and put the car in reverse and my foot is still on the bake and the car moves backward anyway and there is no way to stop the car if someone is behind the car. This has happened more than six times now the last time was at publix and if someone was walking behind the car this would have been very bad. I am afraid to drive the car if this would have happen before opening the garage door I would have ran into the door. The car was parked each time this happen.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #37

Aug 112019


  • 40,000 miles
Brakes failed to engage when changing from park to reverse. Foot was fully on brake when changing to reverse. Car lunged backwards almost hitting someone in parking lot. No indicators appeared before driving vehicle. Incident occurred again later the same day backing out of garage. Issue appears to be related to secondary battery failing but the brake booster should be on primary power system and not on secondary.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #36

Jul 082019


  • 37,000 miles
Occasionally, brakes fail to work properly when applied at normal (not abrupt) pressure. Then anti-lock brakes activate. This issues is all over the forums, and many have experienced this. Each time the car was brought in, Nissan says there is no issue. They reset all the lights and return the car. We have pictures of of warning and maintenance lights on the dash indicating a malfunction when this occurs.then it comes back a few days, or sometimes a month later.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #35

Jun 172019


  • 42,000 miles


Upon startup, one of two things has occured. The first is that the car creeps forward even tho I have my foot on the break. Pressing harder did not seem to stop the motion. This happened in D (forward) and R (reverse) motion on 2 separate occasions. The second thing, related, was that upon vehicle startup, even with my foot on the break, the car did not recognize that I had my foot on the break and would not go into drive.

- Manheim, PA, USA

problem #34

Jun 092019


  • 31,000 miles
Urban streets, driving at 30-40mph as posted, at stops several times the vehicle felt as one would when skidding on gravel or ice, which caused me to hit the brake harder, then the car stopped in a jerky, fast way.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #33

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 #32

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 #31

Dec 132018


  • 64,893 miles


Upon starting my 2015 Leaf, with my foot on the brake, I was able to place the car in reverse; in spite of the brake being depressed, the car immediately began to move. With the brake pedal depressed to the floor, the car continued to move in reverse, until I frantically applied the emergency brake. All dash warning lights became illuminated and the car made a grinding sound, when I stepped on the brake. The tow truck driver had to put car in reverse and use the emergency brake to move the car into a towable position. Per Nissan, the intelligent brake control unit failed and would need to be replaced along with the associated harness. Nissan offered to pay $5,500, leaving me to pay $1,500 to cover cost of repair. This is a significant safety concern that the vehicle can have a catastrophic brake failure which completely disables the vehicle. I am very fortunate the failure occurred in an area devoid of any pedestrians and clear of any moving or parked vehicles. I expect that it won┐T be long before someone is seriously injured by this failure.

- Pomona, CA, 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

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