Nissan has a problem. A potentially very big problem with its brand new, highly-touted, and all electric LEAF. Seems the car that could revolutionize the auto business is having trouble starting in certain situations.
Today, Nissan publicly acknowledged some electric LEAF's have a problem with re-starting after the car has been running.
Nissan issued a statement saying, "This is not a safety issue as the vehicle will not stop running while being driven but may not restart after being turned off." According to Nissan the issue stems from a problem with a sensor in the air conditioning unit, adding, "If this sensor is activated it will illuminate a warning light on the instrument panel and may cause the vehicle to not restart once it has been turned off. We are actively investigating to determine the root cause and what action is necessary to address the issue." So far, Nissan won't say how many LEAF owners have reported this problem, but it has happened in both the U.S. and Japan.
How big of a problem is this for Nissan? If the Japanese automaker can find the glitch and correct it in models being built, the issue will fade rather quickly. The bigger problem for Nissan is in public relations and public perception. The longer this story festers the more it will re-enforce the idea that you can't trust electric cars. Trust me, there are more than a few people out there who think anyone buying an electric car is making a foolish decision that will backfire when the car eventually short circuits, won't start, etc.