Just like all of its predecessors tinkering with electricity such as the Prius or Tesla’s Roadster, the Nissan Leaf has already been tagged with problems by some of its only 450 owners in the U.S. The issue in this case is not safety-related, but merely a functional one: at times, the Leaf refuses to start.
U.S. Nissan representatives said on Monday that the fault lies within a sensor inside the air conditioning system.”If this sensor is activated, it will illuminate a warning light on the instrument panel and may cause the vehicle to not restart once it has been turned off. We are actively investigating to determine the root cause and what action is necessary to address the issue.
“This is not a safety issue, as the vehicle will not stop running while being driven, but may not restart after being turned off. Nissan is committed to a high level of customer service and satisfaction and is working to promptly address this issue.”
Since this is not a safety-related issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not been alerted, and didn’t file a defect investigation. Nevertheless, this problem could turn some potential future customers off, because nobody wants their car to be disobedient.
Still, rising fuel prices are the main driving factor behind the electric vehicle market, followed by the green trend and the desire of really being greener (not for snobbery). Priuses have had safety issues, and so did Civics, but the stake is even higher when a defect like this occurs in a new-generation vehicle such as the Leaf, even if it’s not life-threatening.