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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I recently purchased a LEAF 40kWh from a car dealership (nameless for now as I'm currently working through their internal process although their latest stance is 'nothing we can do').

It was a high mileage car, advertised as 124k. When I went to pick it up after paying for it and giving it a brief once over, I then realised it was actually 136k. I couldn't not take delivery as I needed a car. Their response was that they were misled by the person who traded it in, and so there was nothing they could do but apologise and throw in a set of car mats.

The person who traded it in had also taken out both charging cables, but the dealership did provide me with a replacement Type 2 cable.

Once I got it home I noticed also that the tyre repair kit was missing from the boot.

All of this is annoying but it wouldn't prevent me from using the car necessarily. However, I then discovered, after covering a few miles, giving it a couple of rapid charges, then charging it on type 2 up to 100%, that there's an issue with the battery pack.

I drove with 100% and the battery behaved normally, pretty poor consumption of 3miles per kWh, but otherwise fine. However, once it got just under 50%, I noticed that the battery percentage figure started to drop, and then bounce around based on acceleration amounts. It went down to 40, 30, 20, 15, then back up to 35, and back down again under acceleration. All this within the space of a couple of miles of driving.

I've taken a screen recording of LEAFspy whilst accelerating for short bursts to demonstrate the issue. The LEAFspy video shows the battery percentage as steady, however, it was jumping around under hard acceleration, and it ended as showing 19% on the dash reading. I've also shown the battery at 100% charge after a Type 2 charge (the screenshot doesn't suggest 100% but the dash does and it was plugged in for 8hours so it's definitely full).

Is this indicative of a completely cooked battery? If so, with it being a 2018, would it be covered under warranty? It hasn't always been serviced at a main dealers according to the paperwork but it has been serviced. If it's unclear regarding warranty repair, how do I demonstrate this fault to a dealership which doesn't specialise in used EVs and clearly had the wool pulled over their eyes when they were traded in this car..

Any suggestions/advice would be very welcome.


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Reject the car, it's not worth the grief.

The battery is out of warranty even with a full Nissan dealer service record.

The SoC figure jumping around is indicative of one or more damaged cell pair. A LEAFSpy at a high SoC is meaningless, you want one at as low a SoC as possible - certainly under 10%. That will identify which, if any, cells are weak. It's possible to replace cells but few will do the work, at the age of your car Cleveley are the obvious choice.
 

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Reject the car, it's not worth the grief.

The battery is out of warranty even with a full Nissan dealer service record.
Why are you saying "The battery is out of warranty" ?

A LEAF 40kWh couldn't have been sold before March 2018 (mine with VIN : SJNFAAZE1U0000034 - i.e. 34th one ever built - was first registered in Feb 2018 ) and the battery was advertised as having an 8 year warranty !
 

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In your shoes, I'd reject it. They may assert that it's too late for that because you accepted the resolution of some mats, but it's doubtful a court would accept that, and moreover the battery fault was not evident until you had driven the car.

I'd be seeking legal advice, too. Their utterly frivolous excuse that they were deceived by the person who traded it in is suggestive of a trader who needs to be compelled to do the right thing.

I'd also take care not to let them drag out their resolution process long enough to close any window for rejecting the car. I expect others here will be able to advise how long you've got to unequivocally reject the car and demand a refund.

The battery warranty, as I understand it, is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
 

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Why are you saying "The battery is out of warranty" ?

A LEAF 40kWh couldn't have been sold before March 2018 (mine with VIN : SJNFAAZE1U0000034 - i.e. 34th one ever built - was first registered in Feb 2018 ) and the battery was advertised as having an 8 year warranty !
8 years or 100,000 miles according to the Nissan website... the original post mentioned 124/136 thousand miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice - I too am extremely disappointed by the dealership - it is a large franchise so I was surprised at how unphased they were by having clearly misrepresented the car mileage.

They have provided a 90 day warranty but without reading it, I imagine it's full of loopholes to prevent them from having to actually take responsibility for any issues which become clear after sale.

I will take another LEAFSpy screenshot at under 10% charge. But from the fact of the SOC jumping and the overall range being close to 70 miles (based on miles covered so far), is it not worth holding on to at all? I paid £13k for the car - is it uneconomical to repair, even if the dealership offered me a £1000 or £2000 refund?

I have no expectation of this happening as it stands, I'm just trying to figure out whether it's worth trying to get a partial refund and then repairing the battery, or just trying to get them to take the car back (which might be hard work and involve taking legal advice).
 

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Afraid I don't remember what the Nissan website said (of course what it says now may not be what it said at time of first sale)
 

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It wasn't the mileage stated and car mats aren't really adequate compensation. It also looks like there is an issue with the battery. The dealer should have been more careful when it was traded in to check a) the mileage and b) everything was there. If it's under finance then finance companies can take a dim view of when it's not as described. 12k is another year or more's worth of miles to most people so it's a noticeable difference. Again dealer fault for not examining the car properly.

The quicker you do reject it if that's what you want the better. Battery wonky is a serious fault to me. Range on the leaf 40 isn't brilliant especially when it's cold. It's annoying really as it is actually a well made decent car but the battery bit is pants.

I'd get Leafspy on it to check for weak cells at the low SOC.

If you say take £2k off (which you probably won't get I think £13k is close to the suspiciously cheap side of things as it is) then a battery repair of one cell will be much of that. You'll then spend the next years chasing and repairing more weak cells. The Leaf 40 also suffers from warped battery packs. Personally I wouldn't touch one without a battery warranty with someone else's bargepole.

Handy guide for used cars and legal rights again:

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
In your shoes, I'd reject it. They may assert that it's too late for that because you accepted the resolution of some mats, but it's doubtful a court would accept that, and moreover the battery fault was not evident until you had driven the car.

I'd be seeking legal advice, too. Their utterly frivolous excuse that they were deceived by the person who traded it in is suggestive of a trader who needs to be compelled to do the right thing.

I'd also take care not to let them drag out their resolution process long enough to close any window for rejecting the car. I expect others here will be able to advise how long you've got to unequivocally reject the car and demand a refund.

The battery warranty, as I understand it, is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Thanks, just to clarify I didn't accept the mats as resolution - they mentioned that it was all they could do when I spoke to them at one juncture but I definitely didn't say anything to suggest that the problem was accepted because of that.

It is funny you should think they saw it that way too, because at the final visit to collect the car, I mentioned I was unhappy still about the mileage when it came to completing their internal feedback survey, and the person I was dealing with said 'I know, but we've had that conversation already haven't we' - so clearly he also was under the impression that a set of mats was enough to have resolved the issue regarding the mileage.

I made it clear at that point that I was only taking the car because I had no choice at the time (because I needed a car and had sold my previous one), and I would be escalating it to their head office - again this was just regarding the mileage as I didn't know about the battery issue at the time having only done a 7-8 mile test drive.
 

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From your Leafspy evidence provided, cells 16 & 24 are very week and likely to be on their way out.
I doubt this battery is 'cooked' in a typical fashion that a Taxi battery may be, as has had only 42 DC Rapids.
It may be difficult to locate a 2nd hand a circa 2018 130,000 mile leaf advertised for sale that has a perfect battery.
As others have said, reject it. Dealers need to improve their act, it all down to Nissan wishing to protect their reputation on battery life, hence they do not report on battery health in the way that LeafSpy provides.

As a side note: contact HEVRA garage group, possibly go straight to Cleevely requesting their independent opinion and price to resolve to week cells. Cleevely Motors | Car Maintenance and Servicing Cheltenham
At least you will have an independent report and cost to resolve the issue should the dealer prove resistive. It will also place an ownership on this Dealer to resolve the issue in full before resale or as is more likely, place in Auction for some other poor sole.
 

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Heck, just send a letter rejecting the car due to a faulty battery and mileage higher than advertised.
You have all the rights on your side and I certainly wouldn't be thinking of getting a battery repaired.
Sounds like if you hang onto it you are looking at a money pit long term.
 

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Heck, just send a letter rejecting the car due to a faulty battery and mileage higher than advertised.
You have all the rights on your side and I certainly wouldn't be thinking of getting a battery repaired.
Sounds like if you hang onto it you are looking at a money pit long term.
That's what I'd do. Dump it on their forecourt, leave the keys on their front desk with a copy of the letter. Tell them you are also sending the letter by registered post.

Not defending them but I do wonder if dealers have the tools they need to properly evaluate the batteries. If the "battery health check" they do when they service the car is any indication then the answer is probably no.
 

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I would advise forgetting the mileage issue - you accepted the car with the mileage as seen by you at the time of collection. Get hung up on that, and it'll confuse the real issue which is a dodgy battery, which is the same problem as having bought an ICE car with a dodgy engine. If you are 100% certain the battery is dodgy, then you need to give the dealer the chance to repair it first - if they do, then you will get an amount of warranty on that repair; if they won't, then you can reject the car and noone will find against you. Even with a repaired battery, after 90 days you will be on your own with regards to the rest of the car - but at the price you paid, I'd be tempted to say that's a risk worth taking. At this point in time, without a battery repair by them, your cheap car will turn into an expensive mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Some strong views on how to proceed! I do agree that the buck needs to stop with the dealership. I don't think they intentionally mis-sold the car but they have failed in their duty to ensure what they sold was as advertised at least with respect to the mileage. I expect that they'll quibble regarding the battery issue due to lack of obvious proof (it's not the same as a gearbox or suspension failing), but I imagine the mileage issue is obvious enough that they can't argue. My initial instinct is to post something to their public twitter if they continue to fail to respond but I will give them another week or so - I still have time according to the diagram posted earlier.

I worry that they will just resell it without doing any further inspection - they told me that they had a local Nissan garage inform them the battery health was '100%', and if not for my having reserved it, that's what they would've been telling other potential buyers. I assume they said 100% because there's no dropped battery bars on the dash.

I've attached some more pictures of LEAFSpy down to 3% which was as low as I dared go. Strangely the percentage of charge on LEAFSpy never matched the readout on the dash.

From the feedback provided, it sounds like:

1) the dealership ought to accept a return
2) there is no '£' figure by way of a partial refund that would make it worth keeping the car due to it probably needing repeated future repair
3) the mileage issue alone should mean they accept a 'not as advertised' basis for return
4) 40kWhs even if not abused by lots of rapid charging, are potentially not worth buying once they exceed 100-120k miles.

Only other problem is that I won't find a 40kWh LEAF for £13k, and once I return it I will be without a car for a period until I find another more expensive one. The dealership does have other 40s for sale but they are a third of the mileage and an extra £8k or so, so I can't imagine I'll be able to a) get them to sell me one of those for a reduced price on the basis of what's happened, b) afford one immediately. So even if they do accept a return and refund, I'll likely still be significantly out of pocket/inconvenienced but will just have to take that as a learning experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would advise forgetting the mileage issue - you accepted the car with the mileage as seen by you at the time of collection. Get hung up on that, and it'll confuse the real issue which is a dodgy battery, which is the same problem as having bought an ICE car with a dodgy engine. If you are 100% certain the battery is dodgy, then you need to give the dealer the chance to repair it first - if they do, then you will get an amount of warranty on that repair; if they won't, then you can reject the car and noone will find against you. Even with a repaired battery, after 90 days you will be on your own with regards to the rest of the car - but at the price you paid, I'd be tempted to say that's a risk worth taking. At this point in time, without a battery repair by them, your cheap car will turn into an expensive mistake.
Thank you - I will relay that to them but I cannot imagine them taking on the responsibility of fixing it, it seems too involved for them to take on, and potentially too expensive - I imagine they'll take the car back and then resell it either through their normal website, or at an auction. But I will see what they say.
 

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So even if they do accept a return and refund, I'll likely still be significantly out of pocket/inconvenienced but will just have to take that as a learning experience.
You will be no worse off than before you thought you'd found a bargain.

Reject it. It's not your problem if they sell it to someone else and they'll be in the mire legally if they don't declare the issue on resale.

Not defending them but I do wonder if dealers have the tools they need to properly evaluate the batteries. If the "battery health check" they do when they service the car is any indication then the answer is probably no.
I'm sure that they are too lazy to learn how to do it and currently just resell any rubbish whilst accepting the risk of occasionally having to take it back. I would suggest that the same applies to ICE and hybrids, they have no knowledge of modern systems, transmissions etc.
 
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No missing bars on the dashboard, with 82% SOH, looks fishy to me. Makes me wonder if there's been some spoofing.

A query using Autotrader's valuation tool indicates that £13k is within the normal range of a dealer selling price for that car at 136k miles — in good condition. So in your situation, I'd not be confident that a demand for a partial refund based on mileage alone would succeed.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You will be no worse off than before you thought you'd found a bargain.

Reject it. It's not your problem if they sell it to someone else and they'll be in the mire legally if they don't declare the issue on resale.
Thank you - I am going to reach out to them again today. In bank balance terms yes I'll be in the same position, I meant more that I won't have a car and will have to quickly buy whatever's available on the market rather than being able to wait for a good buy - and I will have to budget a greater spend. Or otherwise get a stop-gap hire car from somewhere like Onto for a month or two until I find a good deal. So it's the inconvenience plus the cost - but I suppose rather that than own a potential future money-pit.

I will offer to send them the screen recording of LEAFSpy, but I strongly suspect that they wouldn't understand/accept this so I will offer to demo the fault in person and see what they say.

Would you recommend calling them to discuss this, or is it better to keep everything in writing as far as possible via email?

Thanks again for any advice.
 

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@ShouldIBuyaUsedLeaf

Next best one from a proper seller is Cleevely with a Grey 2018 Tekna. I'd buy from them long before I'd risk an independent garage. That's just under £3k more and it still has a smidge of Nissan battery warranty.

It's a few cars down.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No missing bars on the dashboard, with 82% SOH, looks fishy to me. Makes me wonder if there's been some spoofing.

A query using Autotrader's valuation tool indicates that £13k is within the normal range of a dealer selling price for that car at 136k miles — in good condition. So in your situation, I'd not be confident that a demand for a partial refund based on mileage alone would succeed.
Yes I thought it was a little strange - I was under the impression that the first bar drops after 15% capacity loss. Wasn't aware it was possible to spoof batter bars though, so I didn't query it. I think based on all the comments, a partial refund isn't worth trying for, more just a refund and return. Some online guides seem to suggest the dealership needs to be given the opportunity to repair first, but based on my experience they aren't going to be in a position to do that, so I would hope it's a case of return and refund in full. Just depends on how hard they decide to argue the issue and what sort of evidence they request to verify the fault in black and white.
 
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