Nissan Motor Co. said it will offer to replace some poorly performing batteries on its Leaf electric car and improve warranty coverage for the battery systems for its almost 20,000 U.S. owners.
The move comes as the Japanese automaker closes a year marked by disappointing sales and complaints by some U.S. customers about the Leaf's battery capacity.
Nissan will repair or replace lithium-ion batteries that have fallen under a specified capacity as well as expand the warranty on the battery to cover for lost capacity for the first five years or 60,000 miles.Meanwhile, regarding sales:
Nissan is falling well short of its goal of doubling Leaf sales in the company's current fiscal year, which runs through March 2013. Demand in the United States is particularly weak, with sales through November down 4.5 percent, at 8,330 cars.
Leaf is not the only electric vehicle to struggle in the U.S. General Motors' Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car has come up short of expectations, previously forcing the U.S. automaker to idle the plant that makes the car. However, Volt sales are 2 -1/2 those of the Leaf this year.