As anyone who has had a laptop for more than a few months knows, fully charged lithium-ion batteries aren’t quite so fully charged after multiple cycles; your usable time drops a little, then a little more, and then finally a lot. If this is bad in a computer, it’s horrendous in a car, and Nissan, which has come under some criticism for not being able to subdue the laws of physics, is adding a new provision to the warranty on their all-electric Leaf: if, in the first five years/60,000 miles, your battery pack can’t make it up to at least nine bars on the 12-bar dashboard display, they will replace it with one that can.
This warranty covers all Leafs sold thus far in the States, and these questions come up in Nissan’s press release:
Q. Why did you decide to enhance the warranty policy and implement this program now?
A. The expanded warranty is intended to put customers’ minds at ease concerning battery capacity loss, although it is expected that the great majority of LEAF owners will not have to use this enhanced warranty. Nissan’s decision is to demonstrate its confidence in the integrity and performance of its battery system.
Q. What is the status of the class-action lawsuit against Nissan related to battery capacity issues?
A. The lawsuit has been settled as part of our effort to address customer concerns including those expressed by the two customers who filed the class-action lawsuit.
The original eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery pack covers only complete abject failure, not routine capacity loss, so as CYA maneuvers go, this is pretty thorough.