Settlement Reached In Nissan Defective Battery Class Action
That lawsuit was then amended in December, and just settled now.
The complaint alleged that the LEAF suffered from a thermal defect, and that when exposed to a high temperatures the battery degrades at a excessive rate – and that the vehicle does not have the driving range represented by Nissan.
The lawsuit specifically said the defect caused “widespread, severe and premature loss of driving range, battery capacity and battery life.”
As a rectifier, the complaint sought injunctive relief in the form of a new and/or extended warranty to cover the LEAF’s battery shortcomings.
At the heart of the issue, and why Nissan decided to settle and amend the warranty of the LEAF, was that the Japanese company did not adequately disclose that owners should avoid consistently charging the battery above 80% (especially in times of extreme temperature) to preserve the life/abilities of the LEAF’s 24 kWh battery.
In conjunction with this alleged non-disclosure, Nissan promoted an “up to” 100-mile driving range that included the full 100% use of the battery, which Nissan itself was advising consumers to not do (at least on a regular basis).
As part of the deal, Nissan still maintains that the class action lawsuit does not have merit, but will add specific battery capacity loss (60 months/60,000 miles) to its existing limited warranty, something that was not present at the LEAF’s launch. This new warranty provision requires Nissan to restore at least 70% of the original capacity of the LEAFs battery during the warranty period.
Nissan made a public declaration of a new warranty deal on June 7th (details here)
The deal – which affects about 18,588 LEAF owners, still needs approval from the California federal court, which will happen on August 12, 2013 (if you want to attend), and notice of the settlement will be mailed out once the deal is finalized. Current LEAF owners affected by the class action also have the ability to opt out if they choose.
Law360 (sub), hat tip to John H