The law in Arizona states that vehicles sold to consumers must be represented accurately and fairly or the dealer will be forced to compensate the owner of said vehicle. That’s the gist of the law which was enforced against Nissan in favor of owners of their all-electric ‘Leaf’ vehicles. The problem seems to stem from the unusually high temperatures experienced in the state. This type of high heat results in faster depletion of the batteries power and reduced life of the battery over time. It also impacts the ability of the batteries to be re-charged.

The issue is that Nissan’s promise was the Nissan Leaf would have “80% remaining capacity after 5 years”, which would lead a Leaf owner to expect their car to have a 58.4 mile driving range after 5 years of ownership. However, many Nissan Leaf owners have reported a steeper than expected loss of driving range….The basic problem is that some Nissan Leaf owners (or lease holders) are suffering from range degradation, and battery capacity loss, at a faster rate than is implied by “80% remaining capacity after 5 years.” While the biggest problems are seen by Leaf owners in hot climates, like Phoenix, others who live in mild climates are having similar issues. The problems are being compounded by statements from Nissan over the last few months, as well as details of the Leaf battery warranty.

People who bought the Nissan ‘Leaf’ have been experiencing problems with the batteries and complaining that they believe the high temperatures in the state are to blame. To answer the question of whether or not this was happening a large scale test was conducted in Phoenix a couple weeks ago, the results of which indicated that indeed the hot weather is having a devastating effect on the life of the battery. So, Nissan is starting to buy back vehicles from consumers who are unhappy with them. So far, two ‘Leaf’ models have been re-purchased by Nissan.

‘Lemon Laws’ have been around for decades and exist in many forms in every state. They are intended to protect vehicle owners from unsavory business practices at some car dealerships. In this case, it is not so much a problem at the dealership or even the manufacturing of the vehicle. Nissan ‘Leaf’ vehicle owners in other cities are not reporting problems, including owners in other parts of Arizona. But in Phoenix, where temperatures during the summer months often exceed 100 degrees, the technology inside the ‘Leaf’ simply can’t take it.