Nissan Admits Leaf at Fault in G.E. Home Charger Malfunction

Nissan Admits Leaf at Fault in G.E. Home Charger Malfunction

General Electric is swinging back after reports earlier this month said its WattStation home charging system was responsible for several Nissan Leaf charging system malfunctions.

Originally, G.E.’s charging system was believed to be at the root of the problem some drivers reported after charging their Leaf EVs, but Nissan and G.E. have completed an investigation that concludes the specific charger is not at fault. Instead, it seems the Leaf’s on-board charging software (OBC) is to blame.

In an official release, G.E. representative Sean Gannon said the OBC can allow damage to occur while using certain chargers in certain instances. It isn’t clear what is specifically wrong with the software, but Nissan is advising customers to “avoid charging during times when brownouts or momentary power dips may be likely, such as during electrical storms or high power usage on the grid.”

This is only one of the reported problems with the Leaf’s battery system. Scores of owners living in hot climates have also complained that the battery pack suffers from shrinking power storage capacity unreasonably quickly. Nissan doesn’t seem to be addressing the issue for now, saying the Leaf’s battery pack will retain 80 percent of its charge over five years, at which point it will need service but not replacement.

If flaws continue to surface with the Leaf, it could spell a struggling future for the fledgling EV that has a lot to prove and a rickety stage to do it on.