The weather may have cooled off in the Valley of the Sun, but not the sentiments of some Phoenix-area owners of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.
A town hall meeting that Nissan executives held with about 50 Leaf owners who felt scorned by the automaker for the EV's battery performance doesn't appear to have appeased many of the customers, according to the MyNissanLeaf blog. One attendee named "Volusiano" wrote that the meeting was "all for show" and that a recent expanded warranty from the company "does not remedy anything at all for the hot climate owners."
Another reader remarked that the meeting represented "allota [sic] wasted exec brass time just to blow us off." KPHO, CBS's Phoenix affiliate, reported that the meeting was off limits to the media but quoted Nissan executive Andy Palmer saying the meeting represented a "start of a dialogue" between the company and car owners who've said that high heat has caused the battery to lose capacity at a quicker rate than advertised.
Last month, Nissan said a new warranty policy would repair or replace degraded batteries with new or remanufactured batteries that have at least 70 percent of their capacity, as Nissan originally promised. The first rumblings of a problem came last summer, when Phoenix-area Leaf owners started complaining about EVs whose single-charge driving range had dropped as much as 50 percent from a year before. Given the contention surrounding the issue, this town hall will likely not be the last.