10 Major Problems With Nissan Leaf (You Must Know About)

The common saying, “prevention is better than cure,” has never been more accurate than with vehicles. Nissan Lead is a reliable car if compared with its counterpart. However, you will only enjoy the vehicle because of proper maintenance. Learn more about common problems you may experience with your Nissan Leaf and how to overcome them.

Nissan Leaf is a top vehicle with an eco-friendly powertrain and an affordable price. Its sleekness is without question as it is the first mass-marketed electric vehicle in the world. Despite how great this vehicle is, it has its common problems.

This content analyses different problems your Nissan Leaf can face and the possible solution you can administer. Follow closely.

Is Something Wrong with Your Nissan Leaf?

There are different signs your Nissan Leaf can display to imply something is wrong. The commonest ones are unusual consumption of fuel, uncomfortable sound at any part of the vehicle, or malfunction of body parts. Whichever case it is, it is essential to decipher and resolve the problem.

How Reliable is the Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf has been reviewed to be a reliable vehicle. According to Shannon Martin, a licensed Insurance Agent, Nissan leaf is a strong choice in the market of electric vehicles. Nevertheless, the rating may seem average on a general basis.

Nissan Leaf is a superb electric vehicle. In addition to its lovely design, the cost of ownership is affordable. The worry about this vehicle is the battery. A new Nissan Leaf may have a good battery, but the chances are slim with a used option.

How far your vehicle can go shows the effect of a poor battery. As an electric vehicle, a defective battery may only sustain you for 120,000 to 150,000 miles. At this point, you may need to get a new battery. You would agree that is an additional cost.

You should insure your car from purchase. This helps to cater to possible cases that may arise. 

This section addresses the commonest issues with a Nissan Leaf.

Most common Issues with the Nissan Leaf

1. Air Bag Problems

Air Bag was the most reported problem with the Nissan leaf 2011 and 2012 model years. The primary indicator of this problem is that the airbag light comes on. This shows there is obviously a failure with the passenger occupancy sensor.

According to the Car Problem Zoo website, there were more than 65 reported complaints about the Nissan Leaf airbag.

The bigger part of this issue is that the airbags become disabled once there is a failure with the passenger occupancy sensor. As a result, it poses a significant threat to the passenger’s safety and the vehicle’s general well-being.

Possible Solutions

The best advice is to consult the service of professionals at Nissan. They may have to replace the entire passenger seat to fix the airbag sensor. You can plan some thousands of dollars to fix this.

2. Occupant Classification System (OCS)

Occupant Classification System (OCS) refers to a system that equips the front passenger seat with a sensor. The reason is to prevent the passenger airbag from deploying when a non-living body is on the seat.

This OCS is an important feature that guarantees safety while in your Nissan Leaf.

3. Battery Capacity

The battery is the life of a vehicle as it determines if it would move or otherwise. As stated earlier, the battery capacity of the Nissan Leaf has come under intense scrutiny.

A user needs to have enough information about their vehicle’s battery capacity before purchasing – you do not want your vehicle to fail you on a rainy day.

Nissan Lead uses a similar battery to several expensive electric cars. In fact, the battery is the same as other electric vehicles that are more expensive than Nissan Leaf. Hence, a bad battery will only incur a costly battery pack replacement.

Here is some figure to show you what you can expect as a user;

Your vehicle may have been less than $20,000. However, the battery replacement price for a 40 kWh is between $6,500 and $7,500 based on Recurrent Auto. That implies that you will spend about 38% of a new vehicle on battery replacement.

Possible solutions

The positive side of this is that you can extend your vehicle’s battery life. Ensure you carry out necessary care processes that will leave your Battery in a good state.

Here is a tip: it is improper to top up the pump of your Nissan Leaf to full like you would for a gasoline-powered car. You do not need to charge your batteries to 100% constantly. Charging fastens their degradation process.

Instead, allow the battery to run as low as 15% before charging. Also, you can charge till 80% and not 100%.

Finally, allow it to cool down after a long drive before charging. Overheating is bad for them.

4. Sunroof Tempered Glass

Another constant complaint between the 2012 to 2018 models is the fragility of sunroof tempered glass. Different users have lamented that they experience an unpleasant sound while driving. The implication is that the glass is prone to breaking or cracking.

A crack or break leaves the driver and other passengers vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. Hence, there is a need to address this. 

Possible Symptoms and Solutions

The most characteristic symptom of this is the unpleasant sound while driving. On the other hand, the solution is to adopt the new tempered glass by Nissan. It is a more durable accessory and less prone to breaking.

You can drive into any Nissan company with a broken sunroof to get a resolution.

5. Braking Problems

Like a proper car should have, Nissan Leaf has an automatic braking system. However, there is no reason this should stop the vehicle. It is a safety feature that should be for emergency cases.

The automatic braking system works with the camera system to stop the vehicle when it detects an obstruction. Instead, many users have complained about experiencing several false stops while driving. This poses a big question on the safety of lives and property.

You do not want to imagine having a stop on the highway. It can result in a collision with accompanying vehicles or even cause a more fatal accident.

This condition has been rampant between the 2011 and 2017 models. They all belong to the first-generation Leaf.

Possible solutions

They have developed a solution to the automatic braking system malfunction thanks to Nissan. The solution is a software that helps to correct the bug and makes the system only function when it senses an obstruction.

The lovelier part of this solution is that you do not have to drive to a Nissan store to fix this. Reliable technicians can know the code for the malfunction and fix it accordingly. However, ensure you have tested and proven the reliability of such an individual.

6. EVAP System Issues

Evap System refers to the evaporative emission control system leak. It could appear a small detail, but it can have far-reaching implications, such as heightened fuel consumption or further drivability problems.

If the severity is low, you can still drive your Nissan Leaf for a short period. However, do not overstretch this but only drive it to a place of solution.

Different indicators show there is a need to resolve the EVAP system issues. Common indicators are;

  1. The difference in fuel odor
  2. Heightened consumption of fuel
  3. Engine light

Do not ignore any of the above, as you need your vehicle to always be available for you.

Possible solutions

The most important solution is to carry out a diagnosis on the car. You will only administer the most suitable solution when sure of the course. You should use a registered diagnosis center near you and fix it with the appropriate repair.

7. Soy-coated Wiring

Soy-coated wiring is not peculiar to Nissan Leaf alone but to several other vehicles. Most automobile companies opt for soy-coated wiring because it is eco-friendly. Also, they are more affordable options than plastic.

Nevertheless, they have their downside. They seem attractive to rodents who destroy these wires. The rodents do not only eat the cables, but they nest around them.

Once the wiring system is compromised, you can believe the vehicle is at risk of not moving forward. In all honesty, the soy-coated wiring has been a big issue for many car makers as they have not devised a permanent solution to it.

So, what’s the way out? Read further.

Possible solutions

As stated earlier, prevention is the ultimate care you can give your Nissan Leaf. The ideal solution to the soy-coated wiring problem is to prevent these rodents from having access to them. You should check the hood frequently for rodents or shredded wire pieces.

Finally, eliminate any food particles or crumbles that may attract rodents. Remember, their damages can be too expensive.

8. Uncompetitive Range

There are two options of battery for the Nissan Leaf. They are 40kWh and 62kWh. However, you can only use 37kWh and 56kWh from the above battery life.

Also, the 40kWh is averagely around 150 miles in the real world. It may be higher during the summer. The story is different with a 62kWh battery, as it can be as high as 239.

Nissan Leaf has a lower range than other types of luxury EVs. The range is 239 miles.  

Possible solutions – compared with other EVs

As compared with other vehicles, here is what you can expect;

Nissan Leaf – 239

Tesla Model 3 – 315

Chevy Bolt –  259

Kia Niro –  275

Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 275

The design makes users think they are to charge their vehicle to get maximum results. This is false, as you only have to manage the battery to maintain this range. However, no Nissan Leaf can go beyond the stipulated range.

9. Compatibility Problems with Some Charging Stations

This has been another consistent frustration several users have expressed. The vehicle’s design has made it only compatible with specific charging stations. According to Eaton chargers, the 2018 Nissan Leaf has been the most reported car with incompatibility problems.

The most appropriate solution is to be proactive. You can visit only specific charging stations that have proven to be helpful. Also, some claim they used the station’s reset button over and over until they could charge. Remember, this is not recommended, but it is a suggestion from popular votes.

What years did the Nissan leaf have problems?

Across board, Nissan Leaf has good ratings. Generally, Nissan is a reliable product with consistent products. The Nissan Leaf is one of their latest productions.

The Nissan leaf has been a top choice with several quality models. However, some models are less reliable than others. It is advisable to avoid these three model years, like 2011, 2013, and 2015.

These models often encounter the following problems;

  1. Air Bag Sensor Failure
  2. Untimely Wire Tear
  3. Brake Problem

On the other hand, the reliable models of Nissan leaf are;

  • 2012
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

This means that the Nissan Leaf is, beyond all doubt, a top car.

Recent Recalls

Airbag OCS Recall

According to Cars.com, Nissan recalled 3.2 million vehicles in the United States for passenger-side airbags.

This section contains different recent recalls. Some have been major, while others are minor. Here are the most recent ones;

2013-2016 Nissan leaf

The major problem is that the front passenger seat malfunctions. It cannot differentiate between a living body and a non-living body. In addition, a lightweight can deploy the airbag.

This misidentification is a sensor problem. Hence, the recall has been to fix this and provide a lasting solution for users.

Other affected Nissan cars and their model years include;

  1. 2013-2016 Nissan Altima
  2. 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  3. 2015-2016 Nissan Murano
  4. 2013-2016 Nissan NV200
  5. 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder
  6. 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue

Limited Rear Visibility Recall

Some 2018-2019 Nissan cars had limited rear visibility systems. This condition does not comply with the default view. The implication is that users cannot ascertain the proximity of images when they want to reverse.

The remedy to this was to reprogram the Nissan Leaf’s infotainment system.

Here is an example of such;

Recall No. 20v570000

Recall date 2020-09-21

Details: Nissan recalled a 2020 Altima, Vehicle, and Leaf vehicles for their rear window glass.

EVAP tube issues

The EVAP tube issue happened to a Nissan Patrol GU Model with ZD30 Direct Injection. Other compromised parts included the compressor, evaporator, thermal, and orifice tube.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall

You can check if your Nissan Leaf has an open recall. The easier route is to know the VIN of the car. You can input these digits and search on the NHTSA website. You will get enough details to know if your car has an open recall.

How is it compared to similar cars?

There are numerous options of vehicles that are similar to the Nissan leaf. Check the table below to compare their reliability score.

Model Consumer Report Reliability Score 
Genesis GV7090
2019 Hyundai Kona EV88
2019 Chevrolet Bolt 85
2019 Kira Niro Electric79
2019 Fiat 500e 70
2019 BMW i3 70
2019 Audi e-tron70
Hyundai Ioniq EV69
2019 Honda Clarity Electric65
2019 Volkswagen e-Golf50
Tesla Model Y18
NB: Different past users awarded these scores. Consumer Reports

What is the life expectancy and mileage?

If properly maintained, a Nissan Leaf has a life expectancy between 100,000 miles to 150,000 mIles. You should know that these figures are fixed before there is any upgrade. As a result, Nissan Leaf can serve you for eight to ten years.

Is it worth buying used?

Buying a used car is not the best advice any dealer would give its audience. Looking at possible issues that may arise, it is not worth buying a used Nissan Leaf. However, you may not have a choice if that is what your budget can afford.

What is Good and Bad about the car?

Here are the pros and cons you can examine before you buy your Nissan leaf.


  • Sleek and lovely design
  • Great features for quality experience
  • Quality life expectancy
  • Reliable battery system


  • Charging compatibility
  • Malfunction in some car functions
  • The range is smaller than other cars

What do Owners say about the Car?

“It’s the future… It’s a new driving experience, pleasantly so…”

John B., CT (2017 Nissan Leaf)

“Smooth, beautiful ride. The turning radius is amazing.”

Gabriel G., VT (2017 Nissan Leaf)

“Surprised by the acceleration! Handles cornering very, very smoothly (no sway).”

Stephen T., CA (2017 Nissan Leaf)

“What a treat! Car handles as well as or better than any car I’ve driven. Great pickup, amazing turning radius, very responsive, smooth, comfortable and of course quiet ride.”

Jo A., MA (2017 Nissan Leaf)

“never buying gas! incredible mileage! huge rebates, making this one of the most affordable cars anybody in our state can buy.”

Anonymous, VT (2017 Nissan Leaf)

“I purchased the Leaf because I installed a PV system on my house and have excess electricity. The price of gasoline is high in HI. This is a better alternative to gasoline powered cars. Since there is federal tax credit and the local electric company provided a $10000 credit to the puchase price it was a good buy. I have been very happy with every feature of the car so far. I have only had the car for 6 months.”

Janice B., HI (2017 Nissan Leaf)

Source: Consumer Report


Nissan Leaf remains a top choice. However, you must ensure you provide the necessary remedy to any arising problem.

Doing this will help to reduce the possibility of having heightened expenses in subsequent days. You can always refer to this article as your accurate guide to staying on top of your game.