It Appears Nissan LEAF 3G CARWINGS Upgrade Costs Thousands


Yes, to get the 3G upgrade from Nissan, you may have to put up over $2,000 out-of-pocket, it seems.

In-car internet and internet speed is a big deal in vehicles today. With 4G as the new norm and 5G potentially rolling out sooner rather than later, automakers are jumping on the opportunity to offer the latest and greatest when it comes to connectivity. Meanwhile, a 2012 Nissan LEAF owner reached out to us about the struggles he’s endured in the process of trying to get his interface up to date.

We’ve included the full email below, so as not to leave any details out:

I’m the proud owner of a used 2012 Nissan Leaf and received the email below yesterday. I thought you might be interested because I called a couple of local dealers here in Ottawa to see how much the upgrade would cost.

The first dealer (417 Nissan) had no idea what I was talking about and was unable to help me and even told me that it wasn’t upgradable because “it came with the car”. Unreal but sadly typical of dealers knowledge about EVs.

Undeterred I contacted a second dealer (Hunt Club Nissan) and they eventually figured out what I was asking for and were able to provide me with a quote (after putting me on hold for several minutes) for the part. Are you ready?

$2,298! Just for the module. That’s before tax and installation!

I don’t know if my results are typical for a Canadian Leaf owner but that is the cost I was quoted here in Ottawa. I thought you’d like to know and maybe do some digging about this. Needless to say I won’t be doing the upgrade at that price! Especially for an already obsolete 3G connection while Tesla and others are already using LTE(4G) in their cars and networks are talking about 5G roll out.

While Tesla offers free over-the-air updates fleet wide, and other automakers just expect you to buy a brand-new car when the old system becomes obsolete, this is compelling information for sure. Over $2,000 for a simple hardware upgrade goes against everything we keep preaching about electric cars being less expensive overall. Not to mention Nissan’s crazy expenses for a new battery. This is truly ridiculous, since it’s assumed that it can’t cost them very much to update the infotainment. Surely not some ~$2,300!

Disclaimer:  Since we only have this single account, and the situation could be dealer or geographically jaded, we’d really love to get a realistic handle on this as soon as possible. Please let us know your related, personal experience in the comment section below.

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64 Comments on "It Appears Nissan LEAF 3G CARWINGS Upgrade Costs Thousands"

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Disingenuous to compare a hardware upgrade to an over the air update.

IIRC, someone here in OR had it done for ~$1K when the 2G support was dropped a couple of years ago. It did involve swapping at least one computer module, so much more than “a simple software upgrade”.

Sorry, but 3G modem costs under $50 – there is no reason for it to cost anywhere near 1K including work unless Nissan design is completely idiotic and require an exchange of additional HW or an insane amount of work.

I think that the modem is soldered into the infotainement main board in order to decrease the manufacturing costs and increase the replacement cost. This means that the whole board will need to be replaced, since unsoldering then resoldering the chip that needs replacement is very unlikely to work.

Maybe it is a better solution to sell it to used car dealers from Norway and buy a new one. Here they are shutting down the 3G network to make room for more 4G and 5G. The 2G network will be kept alive as there are lots of cars and other remote stuff that are still dependent on 2G, and almost all equipment with 3G are also compatible with 2G. And these equipment usually uses very low amount of data traffic so no problem to stick with 2G.

Nope, it’s just about a 5x8x1 inch black box (lightweight), with three plug in harnesses. The box is easily accessible behind the glove compartment. It took the Nissan tech about 1.5 hours. He even gave me the old box. $199 total. You can find the service bulletin online, just search “Nissan Leaf 3G upgrade” and “pdf” or something close to that.

Sorry insideev, but you are comparing an update that can be send via internet to physically changing the module.

Yes it’s still way to expensive and Nissan is also charging the update of the map in the Nissan Leaf, but that scenario cannot be compared with tesla’s update

Tesla offers an upgrade for the old 3g cars to go to LTE for $500 installed.

Just to clarify, it’s hardware a upgrade, not a software upgrade. The 2G cell modem in the car is going to become non-functional when Rogers kills its 2G network forcing us to upgrade to a 3G cell modem if we want to maintain connectivity with the car.

The Leaf 2014 or older can have the data module for CarWings upgraded for $200. It’s part of a campaign by Nissan to move to 3G when the 2G/EDGE networks were shut down.

The 2013 Leaf, which is my model year, was offered the same ($200.00) deal, a little over a year ago. This “deal” may not be in effect currently.

It seems like that may have been a limited time thing for US owners. We’ll see if something similar is offered to us here in Canada.

Two years ago this hardware upgrade cost $150 (in Seattle).

Soon early Gen 1 Leafs will be $150 too, with their horrible battery degradation and now lack of manufacturer support.

Making them an excellent used purchase. You really can’t beat a used Leaf for cost efficient electric driving. Sure a Bolt is a better vehicle, but you are never making that purchase price back unless you drive excessively.

Or unless you buy a used Bolt.

Not in the same price range….

Used Bolts can be purchased around 2020 for about 26k. My leased premium Bolt will be swapped for a Tesla Model 3. Not a bad deal for an EV with 200+ mile range and premium features.

Maher Chevrolet in St Petersburg Fla will sell you a new Bold for $27. Then even deliver all over the US and maybe Canada. They take the Fed $7,500 incentive so you don’t have to wait or mess with it. Ask for Ginny Marquez
Internet Sales Associate

I don’t think either of the people that bought a Bolt will sell them yet.

Nissan issued a service bulletin that the module installation would cost $199 for MY 11/12. This one individual was clearly ripped off and is not an indication of the actual cost. I personally had the repair done on my 2011 SL for $199, although it took 3 visits to correctly program the new module.

By any chance, was that was over a year ago?

Some Nissan Leaf part prices have skyrocketed recently. The 24 and 30 kWh battery price increase, is the current maximum inflation offender.

It was done in April 2018


Are you in the US?

“While Tesla offers free over-the-air updates fleet wide,”

Is that why Tesla did when they beefed up the battery pack back in 2013 or just recently upgraded the CPU onboard to handle the demand of 8 cameras at the same time?

Seriously, mixing the two topic is just stupid.

What you should have complained is that why did Nissan put in a cheap 2G back in 2011 when 3G was already everywhere and 4G was already on the market. Why was it so cheap and so far behind when LEAF was launched?

2010 is calling and would like its technology back.

Good for Ford, I suppose, who did this for free on my 2013 C-Max Energi.

A few years ago, this 3G upgrade was offered by Nissan, in a mailer to existing registered owners, for, IIRC, $200.00 here in the States.

I think the 2G carrier at the time (AT&T), was discontinuing its previous network agreement with Nissan, and Nissan was giving an early notice to its loyal Leafers, who may or may not have used CARWINGS in the past.

2G was actually shut down completely.

It seems like that may have been a limited time promotion offered in the US. In any case, that is not what is being offered now. Perhaps they will offer something similar for older Leafs like mine next year as the 2G shutdown in Canada approaches.

What a sham, or maybe I should say… What a shame.

It would be interesting to hear what a third dealer might quote.

I’d just buy all that from a junk yard and be up and running in no time.

It amazes me the frequency in which authors publish articles without doing so much as a Google search worth of research. Literally Google “Nissan LEAF 2G 3G Upgrade Cost” and the top results detail how Nissan ran a campaign 2 years ago, sending letters to all registered LEAF owners that they could upgrade their units for $199. (I was one of those owners who received such a letter.) Yes the “internal cost” shown in the dealers system is much higher but Nissan said they would pay the difference and owners would only need to pay $199. *Maybe* it was a limited time deal, or maybe it was for USA only… To be fair this was 2 years ago when the 2G service was shut down. I’m not sure why you would go 2 years without service before deciding to get your unit upgraded (unless they recently bought the car used and didn’t realize it had an old 2G?) Either way service bulletins like this are generally not time limited nor limited by country. (IE: Everyone in North America is generally treated the same although the actual price may differ due to currency exchange rates.) I would just print the… Read more »

2G is still active here in Canada (until Dec 2020) so what you’re talking about would have only applied to the US market when AT&T deactivated its 2G network. Canadian Leafs, per the letter we received here, are on a 2G network maintained by Rogers. Rogers is slated to deactivate their 2G network in Dec 2020. There was no mention of any plan to help us pay for replacement and the letter clearly stated that the module would be replaceable at the owners expense.

Also service bulletins are country-specific because regulators are country-specific. Just because NHTSA or whatever says something about a vehicle doesn’t mean that Transport Canada will have the same complaint (although they usually do). Just because a car maker does something for the US market doesn’t mean it applies to the Canadian market. While Americans like to think that everything they do applies to the whole continent, that is simply untrue.

Just change “whole continent” to “whole world” and I think that is more accurate.

Trump. Done.

“Just because a car maker does something for the US market doesn’t mean it applies to the Canadian market. While Americans like to think that everything they do applies to the whole continent, that is simply untrue.” Wow, really? At no point did I insinuate that “Everything Americans do applies to the rest of the continent”. I simply pointed out that they are often treated the same given how similar the markets are. In fact, it’s sometimes the opposite affect where Canadian regulations affect the USA market. For example: When Canada started requiring daytime running lights in 1990: Cars bought in the USA suddenly started having them also even though they weren’t required in the US. Because it doesn’t make sense for auto manufacturers to have “Canada specific” and “USA specific” vehicles. They are often the same cars off the same assembly lines. I would be willing to bet that the 2G modem they use in Canada is *physically* identical to the USA model with only a different SIM card for Rogers vs AT&T. Similarly: While the rest of the world has a different electrical grid voltages, cellular radio frequencies, drive on differing sides of the road, etc: Most of… Read more »
They actually do make different versions of cars for Canada and the US. Heck, they make different versions for different US states! My 2017 Pacifica Hybrid is missing several features that the American version of the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid has even though they were built on the exact same assembly line in Canada!. It’s called localization and car makers absolutely do it all the time! A lot of American versions of cars cannot be imported into Canada for this reason. The Tesla Roadster is just one example. My father-in-law was looking at getting one used and found that while the Roadster was sold and delivered in Canada they were in such vanishingly small numbers that they almost never show up in the used market. He though importing one of the more plentiful American versions could be an option but it turns out that is not possible (legally). Sure you could buy one in California or something and drive it back to Canada but you wouldn’t be able to get it plated and registered. This is because of localization. There are different laws and regulations in the two different countries. As you pointed out, sometimes we add safety features and drag… Read more »

The 2015 LEAF was sold in Canada with absolutely no promise of an upgrade even while U.S. customers were being given discounted 3G TCUs.

The real issue for me was, even though I got one of those letters, and my upgrade was supposed to be free because I have a 2015 model, the local dealer had no idea how to do it and kept claiming it was only a software upgrade. They actually marked it completed in their system but never actually replaced the module. I finally just gave up because Carwings is pretty much crap anyway.

I heard soon they’re bringing the Kenny G.

Car haters gotta hate. Ok, so the Canadian situation is pretty bad, the module would be $50 bucks if your lucky, installation will take time and so based on hourly rate, maybe $500 bucks (being pretty generous). Who knows how many of these modules Nissan has in stock, but as time goes on it gets worse.
Across the world this 3G module upgrade had various values. In Australia it was provided free of charge. In the good old US of A it appears to have been about $200. Maybe the Canadian can drive to the US and get it upgraded there?
And you would expect a few junk yard Leaf in the North American continent, maybe find the unit and do it yourself (or get a friend to help), then you just need Nissan to program it for you. Or more likely of the 2G service doesn’t close until Dec 2020 just drive the car and enjoy the CarWings for 2yrs. The 3G doesn’t improve anything, and in 2yrs you might be looking at another car, or realise CarWings adds little to your needs anyway.

Agree, Carwings is basically useless. The only useful feature is to pre-heat the vehicle, but that uses so much of the limited battery that I never did it anyway!

Yeah, either way I’m not spending that much money just so I can turn on the car’s heater with my phone.

downpayment for a new Leaf

Or Model 3…

BMW did a free hardware update, or you could have received a $200 gift card if not interested.

Smart because the shopper in the family will always remember BMW if they took the Gift Card.

Hi got a 2013 leaf 62000 miles done. Your right nissan is a rip off will never buy a nissan again. The air con went after 61000 miles needs a Ptc heater you won’t believe how much this cost 3150 pounds or about 5000 usd. My next electric won’t be a nissan crap customer service and rip cost for parts.

It was done for free for my 2016 US based Leaf.

Done free on our 2015 also… would have been a few hundred for our 2013 so we didn’t bother with that one… and sold it off.

I upgraded my 2013 Leaf last year to 3G at Lia Nissan Albany NY for $200 out of pocket.

The 2014 and earlier campaign number is PC499. We had it do e to our 2013 last year. I would let the service provider know thar number and see what they come up with.

It’s $200 in the U.S. and always has been. I doubt it’s any different in Canada.

I like how Insideevs gets a random email from a stranger and turns it into LEAF hit piece. How about you do some actual reporting and research it yourself like an actual news site before publishing.

But hey, anything to discredit a Tesla competitor.

I had my 2011 Leaf SL upgraded to 3G just under a year ago, the cost was $150.00. I had received a letter from Nissan offering this $150.00 price and advising me to do the upgrade soon, but there was no mention of an expiration date for the offer. i did have to tell the dealer about the letter I received and they confirmed with Nissan North America before they would order the parts.

At least your dealer actually did it. I never could get mine to do it, even after bringing them the letter I got from Nissan!

How many car owners have actually used the cars internet anyways. Charge, drive, charge, drive, charge drive

You will never need it. Charge, drive, charge, drive, charge, drive. Its a exceptionally reliable car not a television or entertainment center.

Dudamus -Your comment made me wonder:
“Is it just me (2104, then 2018 Leaf)? Or do more people find the Nissan over-the-air functionality worse than useless?
Whether on laptop or iPhone, it’s just cumbersome and amateurish. Most features are dysfunctional (as in; worked once or twice, then quit).
The only solid feature is the remote battery charge status check – and yes, that’s handy, but Good Lord – what a ridiculous load of rigmarole I had to go through overall. Absolutely not worth upgrading to 3 or 4G at any price!

More recently got a Tesla Model 3. It’s remote features worked first time on iPhone and iPad and are well presented and operate as smooth as silk.

Check out this link to a Canadian FB group about the upgrades:

It includes links to the Nissan notices where it clearly states the co-pay. However, this may only be for US Nissan owners, which is why so many Canadians have flocked down the border to get this upgrade done.

Glad I upgraded mine when it first came out for the 2011/12 vehicles, it cost just $200 a few years back.

Nissan must have got greedy.

Got my 2015 done in Dec 2016 for $0, and count myself lucky. Took a while to get the dealership to understand what was needed and to get the part required but glad I had it done. I think 2015s were free according to the bulletin Nissan put out. Remote climate control and logging off mileage to my web account have been very good to have.

This article makes no sense whatsoever. I just bought a 2012 Leaf in November of 2018. The local Nissan dealer just updated my car to 3G for $199. It works great. I do wish it also had a door lock feature, but the climate control, status and ability to start charging are great.

Do you live in canada ?