Strike Two!

August 10, 2015

Mark D Larsen

2nd Capacity Bar Loss
(click to enlarge)

I had been expecting this to happen for a couple of weeks. Today the wait was over. When I got in my Leaf this afternoon, I saw that it had lost its second battery capacity bar, as shown in the above photo.

Ergo, the loss occurred 1,231 days since taking delivery, with 32,255 miles on the odometer, shown below on the left. As today’s LEAFStat readout shows on the right, the battery registered 77.70% capacity:

Miles driven
(click to enlarge)

Capacity remaining
(click to enlarge)

What concerns me most is that said capacity is 1.05% lower than when the second bar was supposed to disappear at 78.75% according to the Nissan Leaf Service Manual. When meeting with owners in Phoenix over two years ago, Nissan’s representatives stated that the P3227 software upgrade would “tighten” the gauges to be more accurate. Apparently not. This graph shows the trajectory of my capacity loss to date:

Since my second bar did not disappear until the battery’s capacity had dropped to a percentage lower than the Service Manual claims, I can only assume that the same discrepancy will likewise occur with the 3rd and 4th bars. If so, at this point it looks extremely doubtful that my Leaf will qualify for a replacement battery before Nissan’s warranty expires. Indeed, when I calculate the polynomial curve of all the LEAFStat readings I have taken to date, this is the projected trajectory:

If the calculation proves accurate, getting a free battery replacement for my Leaf... just ain’t gonna happen. It took nearly a year and a half after my first bar loss to lose the second. I can’t imagine losing two more bars before the 60-month warranty runs out in 18 months. It now seems clear to me that Nissan was very clever to not base the warranty threshold upon actual capacity loss, but rather upon mere bar loss, controlled by its... ahem... “tightened” software upgrade. It pains me to have to admit that I am disappointed in the automaker, and only hope that Nissan can redeem itself with special offers for early adopters when my Leaf grows long-in-the-tooth and the next, new-and-improved model enters the market. Brand loyalty is, after all, a two-way street.

In the interim, I will continue to monitor my battery’s capacity, and periodically report the results.