Nissan LEAF Rapidgate Software Fix For Europe Only

JAN 26 2019 BY MARK KANE 66

Only European LEAF owners complained about fast charging speed?

It seemed like the 2018 Nissan LEAF‘s Rapidgate had come to an end with a software update for cars manufactured between December 8, 2017 and May 9, 2018 (we guess that all new LEAFs after May 9, 2018 already have the new software).

However, according to the latest news provided by Gary Lieber from CleanFleetReport.com, further research for the U.S. market revealed that the software fix will be available only in Europe. Attempts to find out how LEAF owners can get the fix done had no results. Jeff Wandell at Nissan PR in Franklin clarified that there is none available because there were no customers experiencing the problem (at least considering complaints at dealer service centers).

Here is the response, which Gary Lieber received from Nissan:

“Hi Gary – to follow up on our call, the vast majority of our US customers don’t use multiple fast charging procedures in any single day, so they are not affected by the charging safeguard feature on the new LEAF. Regarding the software update in Europe, Nissan is not currently planning to conduct the update in the US. For LEAF customers who expect to consistently use fast charging procedures more than twice per day for extended distance driving, we would suggest they contact their local Nissan dealership for advice on how to get the best out of their LEAF under these exceptional driving scenarios.”

According to the last part, the multiple use of fast charging (more than once in a single day) was considered an “exceptional driving scenario”. From the statistical point of view it’s maybe rare to charge more than once, but without the ability to charge at full power, the charging will be longer on those occasional long-distance journeys.

“I further asked about how Nissan USA arrived at the decision not to offer this change to USA customers, and this was the response:

“the decision not to extend the European SW date to the US was based on actual charging session data that the 2018 LEAF fleet generates, and the repair requests that dealers receive from owners presenting this issue”.

Essentially Nissan has data that shows that a very small number of the 2018 LEAF universe actually experience this situation, and Nissan has no service reports from dealers with customers presenting the symptoms of this type of a charging slowdown.”

Well, if LEAF owners are ok with the fast charging speed, Nissan does not feel obliged to provide updates.

The 40 kWh battery version of LEAF was launched in the U.S. a little later than in Europe and at a smaller scale (just several thousands in the first half of the year and less than 15,000 total in 2018). Sales in Europe were over twice times higher early in 2018, which probably also generated more feedback.

2018 Nissan LEAF’s Rapidgate

Let’s explain the Rapidgate once again. The issue was discovered early after the second-generation LEAF launch in Europe. It turned out that the LEAF’s charging power (at the CHAdeMO DC fast chargers) decreases when such sessions are repeated or the battery is hot (lack of active battery cooling).

Nissan released a statement:

“The 2018 Nissan LEAF has charging safeguards to protect the battery during repeated fast charging sessions in a short period of time. While the safeguards may increase charging times after multiple fast charging sessions, they are important to maintaining battery life over an extended time period.”

Nissan has addressed the issue through a software update in Europe (for cars manufactured between December 8, 2017 and May 9, 2018 ) and implemented it in new LEAFs produced from May 9, 2018.

We don’t know whether the safeguards were removed or just changed, and how multiple fast charging sessions will affect battery capacity / degradation over time.

Nissan LEAF charging rate compared by Fastned:

The charge speed is up to 50 kW at all of our chargers. In the charge curve below you can see the charge speed of the Nissan Leaf and e-NV200. On average both cars charge 100 km of range in 20 – 25 minutes. Charging behaviour largely depends on the battery size:

  • 24 kWh edition: fast charging until 25%, charging will gradually go slower after this
  • 30 kWh edition: fast charging until 80%, charging will go slower after this
  • 40 kWh edition: fast charging until 60%, charging will go slower after this

Hat Tip to Gary Lieber, Senior Editor at CleanFleetReport.com

Categories: Charging, Nissan

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66 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Rapidgate Software Fix For Europe Only"

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More stupidity from Nissan. These folks are completely on crack. I wouldn’t buy anything from such coots.

The MAGA states get the Nissan Leaf special “innovation that excites” battery software, in what is described as “an exceptional driving scenario”!

2018 Leaf “intelligent mobility”, is for European consumption only!

Lol, Nissan F’s it all up again.

So basically contact the dealership before going on an exceptional road trip over 300 miles (500 km) ?

What a Crock.
NoFixItGate

Probably staying with a more conservative “thermal charge schedule” for the hotter climate and increased likelihood of multiple fast charges U.S. drivers will encounter (vs european). (?)

Would think so. Nevada and Nissan does not sync well. Most LEAFs in Europe are sold in the cooler parts too.
Weird they didn’t have active cooling/heating of the battery in the first place though.
I have several friends and family members that owns a LEAF, and they have not har any problems. They usually slow charge anyway, at home and at work.

Report and make a complaint with Nissan. Then send a letter to your AG and afterwards sue them and take them to court and bring the media involved. Then they will get the message

And just what would the lawsuit be for? Nissan keeping your car’s battery from degrading faster than it should?

More likely people will be thanking Nissan for a really cool car. Thanks Nissan.

Rasmus Birkegaard Christensen

Look on the bright side.
Funds saved on not having to do liquid cooling are now at Carlos privat bank account 👍🏼

So The dealers never complain about the so they can make more money in service

Nissan dealer and their hotline wouldn’t let me complain in the past for 2012 leaf issues. They just said that’s as designed and failed to report. I advise anyone not to buy a Nissan ev

2012 was a long time ago…

Something-gate is so played out. Can’t journalists come up with something better? Is it just laziness? Calling everything this-gate that-hate for heavens sake!

It’s been decades now. Earn your chops instead of piggy backing.

Maybe a new term could be appended to situations involving lieing or hiding the truth.
How about a prefix of ‘Trump’ e.g. ‘TrumpCharging’?

I didn’t even bother to look at the leaf when I went to the car show since why bother with a hot degrading battery.
Sad, they could have spent $50 on cooling tubing and it would be a car worth looking at.

These are just flat out lies by Nissan. Rapidgate didn’t break until a couple week after I leased my Leaf and less than a week after I heard about Rapidgate I was charging at 11 kW because of a hot battery. I took the car straight into the dealership and they said nothing was wrong with the car and wouldn’t do anything to address my concerns. One of reasons I bought the Leaf in the first place was because I wanted to use it to take advantage of the new Electrify America stations on my yearly trips between Texas and Colorado. I usually drive straight through from Texas to Colorado, which would mean ten consecutive fast charges for the 2018 Leaf. I would have had serious reservations about leasing the Leaf if I had known that most of my charges on long trips would take four times as long as what Nissan had claimed. I have fast charged over 130 times and many of those were at a reduced rate because of high battery temperatures. I recently have been trying to get a Nissan dealership to get me the software update but I didn’t realize the dealerships were not informing… Read more »

60% duty cycle on 40kWh battery is 24kWh; to get 4 miles/kWh you gotta go 60mph so that’s drive 90 minutes for 90+ miles, recharge 30 minutes, for an effective speed of 45mph….

How much do rental cars cost in Texas???

I have several smokers sitting in the driveway. Why would I need a rental? The whole point is to eliminate the use of smokers.

Rent a Tesla.

That’s not cheap…

Nissan are idiots. The 40kWh Leaf would have far likelier to be used for road trips than previous smaller-battery Leafs precisely because fewer charging stops should have been necessary. Sure, not for people who make long trip every weeks, but certainly a 130mi range is fine for such trips 2-3 times a year — why buy a 2nd car just for that? Instead, this trip actually takes more time on the 40kWh leaf than the 24kWh Leaf (actual tests in the UK).
The fix would have cost Nissan virtually nothing — no HW retrofit needed (unless they think they’d a lot more battery warranty claims as a result, which means their battery & charging system design is total crap). I hope a class action suit forces them to fix this, or, alternatively, require them to state in all advertising & marketing that the Leaf cannot be quick-charged more than once per day.

My most recent experience doing a cross-state drive was Ok in my 40kWh Leaf.

I topped off from 60% to 90% @22kW after a 50 mile drive, then went from @20% to 60% @36kW after 90 miles of driving to get home. This was Jan 1 in the nice & cool California winter, in the hot summer I’ve seen slower 2nd charges.

Thanks for the actual data! However, the numbers you give are exactly what’s meant by throttling (-: The car should absolutely be able to charge at 50kW under pretty much all conditions until 80% SoC, certainly after only driving 50mi or on a cool day; in fact, it should be able to do this after 130mi of driving on a 90°F day as well. The fact that the car can’t do this is by definition a badly designed cooling system. As the video below (one of the first that publicized RapidGate) show, this was also a problem in cold, rainy UK weather, where the 40kWh Leaft takes hours longer to do 400-500mi trips than both a 28kWh Ioniq or a 30kWh Leaf– the latter is ridiculous.
https://insideevs.com/watch-2018-nissan-leaf-40-kwh-fast-charging-issues/

I can smelt it, can you?

Class Action Lawsuit.

Driving the Leaf 2.0 at 25C (77F) ambient temperature at 130 kph (80 mph) for 160 km (100 miles) is already heating the battery up towards 50C and resulting in rapidgate for the very first charge of the day. The same battery temperature can be achieved by driving 140 kph for 70km.

Strange that Nissan USA stealership are not reporting customer complaints to the headquarter, so that headquarter can state it’s no problem.
And an article about Nissan rapidgate and poster ‘Dudamus” from the PR department of Nissan USA is not yet showing up ?!?

Instead of getting my 2018 LEAF, I coulda waited and paid say $10,000 more for a Niro or Kona, or $20-30,000 more for the very superior Model 3.

Thing is, I’ve gone to the coast (150-200 miles one-way) four times fine now.

Yes, I gotta drive a little slower to save battery SOC (and heat) and spend an extra hour at the chargers on the way there and back.

But the $10,000 in the bank throws off $50/mo in interest for me . . . I’ll survive, yaknow?

(If I made long drives more than once every few months maybe I’d think different.)

The bank gives you 6% interest annually? Lol…Do tell…

As a 6-year Leaf driver, the entire “Rapidgate” hoolaballoo seems like much ado about nothing to me, particularly seeing these plots from Fastned.

I can see why…you just can’t go any lower from your position.

Really? I recall you’re environmentally minded. This essentially means the 40kWh isn’t usable for road trips unless one is willing to spend 4-5 hours more when doing a 400mi trip, which most people wouldn’t, and would make many people retain an ICE they otherwise wouldn’t need.

May I remind you that (1) You live in the PNW, where this is much less of an issue, and (2) Your experience is mostly with an older Leaf (24kWh, IIRC) where this isn’t a problem — the 400mi trip actually takes less time on the older, smaller-battery Leaf.
Many people only do long trips 3-4 times a year, but RapidGate makes the car unsuitable for them, esp. if they have young kids.

(sorry, editing didn’t work, so replying to myself)
You’re a former Israeli. Even with the local short distances, would you still consider a Leaf for the hot climate? Really? Consider someone living in Haifa, and vacationing in Eilat. Driving distance is ~450km / 280mi . That’s two charging stops on the way (actual AER with full airconditioning and at Route 6 freeway speeds is more like 110mi than 150mi), or 4 long stops on the round trip. Even if a person only does this 2-3 times a year (and I know many people who do), RapidGate would make this drive an absolute hassle.

The Leaf is scheduled to start selling here in Israel this year, together with lots of other BEVs. I’m making sure all the folks I know who are considering an EV take the Leaf off their short list. Not just RapidGate, but the lack of any active battery cooling. That design together with the bad rep of Israeli car importers vis-a-vis honoring warranties is a really bad combo.

@Assaf being in a prolonged state of denial may keep you happy but it doesn’t help EV adoption.

I’m in NorCal Sacramento. I have 3 Leafs. All it takes is one DCFC session for the battery temp to hit red. You may love to sit at the station frequently for a long time just to get the equivalent of 2 gallons of gas but the rest of us have a life.

Well this confirms that the “fix” actually does cause accelerated degradation. If it didn’t they would have rolled it out worldwide. Looks like they only rolled it out in regions where there was enough of a backlash to protect sales at the expense of higher degradation

Pretty much this. They expect fewer extra warranty claims from Europe (milder climate) so they deem the marketing gain of the update worthwile.

In the US avg climate, it would probably cause very bad degradation so they don’t do it and lie about the reason. I am quite sure that the problem was reported by many owners.

Not just this. In Europe it’s much easier to fool customers. Less people will sue them due to different mentality, laws, etc. Also customer protection and government ‘s approach is a bit different – it’s probably better on a paper but in the reality not much so. As a result, companies can lie to the customers with no punishment, just look at diselgate – buybacks and fines in US and notnilg in Europe. The same will happen with degraded batteries here.

Tell that to Google 😊
In Europe they made changes to the cars.
Everything said or written to a customer have to be true, even commercials.

I certainly have complained and Nissan USA opened a case number… Other owners should also call Nissan Consumer Affairs in Tennessee.

To add some more info why this is important to me: I did a drive from San Diego to San Francisco, 500 miles in one day, a Christmas trip. I’d like to do that maybe once or twice per year. It took a long time! About 17 hrs, for an average speed of 30 mph. Ambient temperature was less than 60 degrees F the whole way. Got home at 3AM. I had hoped on driving 70 mph with 4 charge stops of 45 minutes each, approx 100 miles apart. Instead I discovered I had to drive 55 mph and charging took 60 to 90 minutes at reduced charge power of around 20 kW because of battery overheating. So, I discovered the car is temperature limited, not limited by battery size, peak charge rate rate or availability of charge stations (at least on this trip). This is not explained clearly in the owners manual or marketing materials! Maybe Nissan wants us to buy the 62 kWh upgrade? I wonder: what is the point of the larger 62 kWh upgrade if that car would be temperature limited as well? For short and local trips the 40 kWh battery is fine; for long… Read more »

You use case is exactly what I meant above. 60°F is hardly an extreme temp; with 3 hours of charging, this is doable as a long day trip (3 hours charging & 8 hours driving). If charging is a total of 5-6 hours, that’s no longer the case.

This decision, or should I say series of decisions, by Nissan are bewildering.
Unfortunately, I don’t think enough Konas and Niros will be made available in the U.S. to pick up the slack.
Are we to assume that the Rapidgate issue will persist for the U.S. e Plus models due out this Spring?

Yes, demand is so high atm that people buy everything. It will damage the EV market in time though.

I really dont understand Nissan. Liquid cooling should not cost that much in pack cost or driving range that they risk all of this negative marketing and customer dissatisfaction when the packs degrade badly after 5-7 years the latest.

I would rather have a solid product even if it costs a bit more to build.

Makes sense since Europe is the only climate where the battery can handle the SW change to fry it…

In the hotter climate, the SW “fix” would cost Nissan so much in warranty that it won’t be able to handle it.

Don’t you think they have summers in EU?

Seville, Spain, average daily high in summer, 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

The real reason is the car has to be taken to dealer for update, dealer charges Nissan for labor, Nissan has to pay dealer, it’s about money and no over air update capability, so customer is porked again by Nissan that on top of a growing string of broken promises and old or lack of technology, never again for Nissan.

Software update is a very quick job. It’s not like installing an OS. It is just to connect a plug, press a key, and software starts to load. In a short time, it is finished. It does not require the tech to stay there, and it could be done by anybody at the dealer, even their kids. The real cost is minimal.

Also, this isn’t a safety recall. Many people who aren’t planning a long trip anytime soon will simply wait until the next scheduled service appointment instead of going to the dealer especially for this. Added time at the dealer or cost to Nissan should be negligible.

Re diagram:
80% of 30kWh is the same 24kWh as 60% of 40kWh.

So could it have benn an error due to recycling code of the old version kicking in at 24kWh instead of at 80%?

It is entirely possible that Americans had the same issue but simply did not complain.
Worked for Brother here in Austria and had insight into WW situation back then. Had a major issue with our first self designed leaser printer engine. Americans accepted the first fix, which was almost as shitty as the original implementation.
We Europeans did not and were only happy with iteration #4. which took as many years.

My 2018 Leaf exhibits this problem after one highway session driving around 60 MPH. My battery will be at 70% temperature and the charging starts at 30 kW and drops to 20 kW. This one session won’t bring me to 80%, the subsequent charge will start around 20kW if I am lucky and it can plummet to 12 kW. My first run with this scenario, it was 45F outside. In order to reach 85% charge, I needed 3 charging sessions ( This was required to reach my next charger ). To be clear, my daily driving whilst L2 charging at home is fine and works exceptionally well. I would guess that the firmware was made to be ultra conservative as they do have an 8 year battery warranty with degradation protection. Both of these are reasons enough for a company that makes a sub-par product with an obligation to repair/replace one of the most expensive parts on the car. It appears their lack of interest in updating all are cars is like others have said, 1. Issuing an update that requires dealer intervention will cost an excessive amount of mount on Nissans part. 2. It may actually be damaging to… Read more »

All of the 100k + Tesla Model 3’s WILL NOT “intrude on our far and few between CHAdeMO chargers”(because they CAN’T).

And, if the few Model S and X that are out there, need to DC FC with the rest of us bottom feeder Nissan/Kia/Mitsubishi crowd, I will gladly accommodate them, as these two Tesla Vehicles forced the ICE OEMs hand in bringing a somewhat competitive Premium 200+ mi. EVs, to local Stealerships (Jaguar-R.R. /Audi, so far in 2019) near you. It’s a small price to pay for the few stray Teslas with CHAdeMO adapters.

Not sure if your aware, but the current Tesla chademo adapter fits the model 3 albeit with a message that states it doesn’t work with Model 3’s, but a firmware update to the adapter will rectify that later this year. So yes, it would be much worse if only a fraction of the 150k model 3’s started use Chademo as well as their Superchargers.

In the US, owners of 2018 LEAFs get free quick charging with the “No Charge to Charge” program. In Europe, LEAF owners will get a modification so that their cars have a less conservative charge rate.

True, but to add insult to injury, Nissan limits all ‘No Charge to Charge’ sessions to 30 minutes. This means you have to manually reset and swipe card for each of the 3 sessions. On my first attempt it was quite annoying as I thought, “I will just go have lunch and come back to full charge or at least 80%”. Nope. Stopped at 59%. I would rather pay and have “Quick Charging” within reason. 15 kW or less isn’t that.

“In order to reach 85% charge, I needed 3 charging sessions ( This was required to reach my next charger ).”

I feel your pain quite literally since I’ve waited for free charging Leaf charging so slow.

Did you complain to the dealer

I’ve have had a 2018 40kWh LEAF for almost a year now, I Quick Charge it every day, and have had this issue only once where the car took about 15 minutes longer to charge to 80%. I don’t understand the outrage here. I suppose if all outranged folks got the SW that loosened up the charging rate, then they would be complaining because the battery got fried faster. Good Grief!

It’s nice that you’ve only encountered it once, but there are multiple reports both in this comment thread and on basically all EV sites of people who are encountering it a lot more. There’s no justification for this, and. again a 50kWh charging station should be able to charge the car to SoC 80% at 50kWh under virtually all conditions.

Do you not know how Quick Chargers work? If you think you do, then why are you asking such bonehead questions? Every BEV on every Quick charger tapers their charge as the battery fills up. This is so much about nothing. I bet you that multiple reports people would also be the first to complain if the change was made and suddenly their battery capacity dropped.

Is the time management skills of the complainers so bad that an additional 10-15 minutes to charge to 80% is so horrible?

I wasn’t asking anything, you bonehead. Why not try actually reading the comments you’re responding to? In all the discussion of RapidGate, absolutely noone was referring to the taper stage, which typically starts at 80% (in some cars, 90% or so). All the complaints were of the battery heating up due to previous driving, and resulting in throttling far earlier than SoC 80%.

Looks like someone NEEDS to READ about rapidgate FIRST before making stupid comments!

It’s very interesting that Nissan talks about the charging habits of the 2018 LEAF fleet. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that word about the LEAF’s charging issues has gotten out and people with “exceptional driving scenarios” have chosen to buy other electric vehicles.

If Nissan would address this issue, they could expand their customer base. That said, temperature extremes in parts of the US might require these charging protections to minimize degradation, whereas Europe is generally more mild.

I drove my wife’s 2018 LEAF model to work today for fun instead of my 2012 LEAF. I turned on the cruise control and it started driving itself. Cool, I never had used the autopilot thingy before. I thought you had to activate it somehow special. I also noticed it was following the car in front of me at an equal distance. I guess she had it set up to do that.

Anyways, families all over the world will love these cars, just make sure it has more than twice your daily commute mileage. You need extra mileage for AC, heat, and extra errands.

And a warning about autopilot and self driving cars. They do not avoid those craters in the road that will bend your rims. We have some really bad roads where I live. If you know of a bump be sure to take over control.

Interesting curves. We have a 40kWh LEAF but we doubt it will ever be quick charged anymore than once in any particular day. We just charge at home once or twice a week. We took a 30kWh LEAF out of town last year to a NDEW meeting. We atarted out dumb and forgot to charge the night before. we quick charged 4 times that day and 2 regular level 2 charges. We did not have any problems quick charging to 80% in 95F weather. If you go over 80% charges you might run into slower charge times just like the chart indicated, however it appeared to us we could quick charge indefinitely to 80% charge in 30 minutes.