Nissan Leaf owners complain that the car fails to start on certain occasions

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 10, 2011

Nissan Motor Co. has been getting complaints from car owners in Japan and in the United States that the company’s Leaf electric vehicle fails to start on certain occasions. Such reports could potentially hinder the company’s aim of pushing for zero-emission cars. The company is currently investigating the real reason for the glitch, tracing back to the air-conditioning unit of the vehicle model.

Nissan’s spokesperson, Toshitake Inoshita, said that the company has yet to determine whether such defect was due to the programming or a certain component.

He added that a recall is not likely for now because the situation does not affect safety. The company will decide how to proceed with the issue after the source of the problem has been identified. The five-seated Leaf was launched in the United States and Japan last December.

More than 3,300 units were sold in Japan as of February of this year, while 452 were delivered in the United States through March. Leaf was also introduced earlier this year in Portugal, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Nissan is working with Renault SA to become market leaders when it comes to the electric vehicle field. Leaf is manufactured in Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan, where the company’s operations have gone back to normal on Monday for the first time in a month. Production at the plant was previously halted due to the March 11 earthquake that hit the country.

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