Nissan Moves to Resolve More LEAF Range-Loss Claims
More than two weeks after offering to buy back a pair of range-depleted LEAFs in the Phoenix area, Nissan appears to be moving swiftly in resolving remaining weather-related battery-loss claims in the Southwest. On Friday, the carmaker contacted at least four LEAF owners to schedule tests on their cars, with one of those owners reporting to PluginCars.com that he has already received a buyback offer for his LEAF.
John Noble, a Phoenix resident who purchased his car with his wife in November of last year, told PluginCars.com that he and his wife are happy to have achieved a resolution. “It took Nissan months to react, which left my wife and I very upset,” Noble wrote in an email last night. “Over the past few days Nissan has personally worked with us to regain our trust. Nissan has met our expectations and we are satisfied.”
John was particularly pleased with the support he received from his local dealership, Coulter Nissan. “As you can imagine, having one week to find a new car and get together a down payment is tough. Luckily, our dealer has exceeded our expectations and is contributing thousands to help us get into a new car.”
Noble says Nissan told him that its engineering team had reviewed his case and decided that his ownership experience stood out. So, in the interest of customer satisfaction, they decided to expedite his request and will be sending him a check for his car this week.
Over the course of his first eight months of ownership, Noble says he lost two bars of range, a significantly higher rate of loss than most of the other cases logged at a user-generated MyNissanLeaf.com wiki, which documents the claims.
On the MyNissanLEAF forums, at least three other owners whose cars are listed in that wiki claimed to have received calls from Nissan on Friday. Two of those owners reported Nissan requested that they bring their cars in for testing.
After a nightmare summer of slow sales and mounting customer dissatisfaction in the Southwest, Nissan’s recent moves indicate a determination to rebuild its relationships with aggrieved drivers and the EV community at large. There will be several new team members in place when Nissan commences marketing the first American-made LEAFs to roll off its Smyrna assembly lines next year, as well as changes to the car that could make it more affordable and better suited to colder climates.
Though sales in the United States have been disappointing of late, the LEAF was never expected to take the market by storm in its first few years of existence. Rather, this is the kind of car that will succeed or fail based on the enthusiasm of its early owners. Most LEAF drivers get used to explaining the ins and outs of the car to curious friends, family members, neighbors and strangers pretty early in the ownership experience. How they respond to those inquiries will make all of the difference in the world for the future outlook of the vehicle.
Every bit of time and money invested in engaging early adopters and ensuring their satisfaction will pay dividends in the long run. Right now, it’s looking more and more like Nissan has learned that lesson and is taking the right steps towards implementing it into their product strategy
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