British Leaf owners say Nissan misled them

Some owners say it took two and a half hours to quick-charge their car.

Introduced last fall, the second-generation Nissan Leaf promised to offer more range and faster charging than its predecessor. It keeps its promise on paper, but several owners in England say it doesn't do as well in real-life applications.

This is the problematic scenario: an owner charges the Leaf at home, presumably overnight, and sets off on a long drive that exceeds the car's range. He stops at a service station to plug the car into a quick charger, which gives the battery an 80-percent charge in 40 to 60 minutes. So far, so good. The next time he stops, an 80-percent charge takes considerably longer. Some owners told the BBC they waited on the side of the road for two and a half hours while electricity trickled into the battery pack.

Nissan told the BBC charging times can vary. Owners argue the company didn't make that clear enough in its promotional material.

"External ambient temperature, the type of driving you've been doing beforehand, and the heat you put into the battery if you've been doing successive charges can impact the timing," a Nissan spokesman explained. He added the car sometimes decides to slow a charge to preserve the battery's longevity, and pointed out there are times when the charger itself is to blame.

The Japanese firm denies allegations of problems with the charging system, however, and it stresses it didn't mislead buyers.

Read more!