Thought of the Day: Nissan LEAF Telematics Upgrade

Welcome to Thought of the Day! Join Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield as she poses a question for you all to think about and answer.

Today, we’re asking if Nissan’s decision to charge owners of 2011-2014 Nissan LEAF electric cars $199 to upgrade the telematics control module (something we covered on our site earlier today) is a smart move, or if Nissan should be fitting the bill for not thinking far enough into the future — just as Ford will be doing with its Focus EV customers?

We’re keen to hear from LEAF owners, as well as those who don’t own a LEAF, so watch the video above, and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Øivind Johansen

    Haven’t even heard anything about this from Nissan.
    I have a 2014 Leaf and a 2015 e-NV200.
    Totally think that Nissan should cover this.
    One of the reasons we did choose Leaf was the possibility to turn on heater/cooler. But it turned out to be crap. Not working most of the time, and having Windows Phone, which Nissan haven’t made an app for and also blocked 3. party apps, I’m not a very satisfied customer. Love the cars, but Carwings/NissanConnect are truly Stone Age!
    And to make the disaster complete, Nissan is using FLASH! So I can’t even use my mobile browser to turn on Carwings.
    Come on Nissan, FLASH!
    No serious business is using FLASH!
    Get your act together and take the step into the future!

  • What of 3 year (36,000 miles) comprehensive LEAF warranty?

    If a part fails in service within the warranty period, it shouldn’t cost to have it replaced.
    ie: 2013+ model LEAF’s … my argument is that Nissan stated back in March* that it would release details of the update by summer. The first sales of 2013 model LEAFs began ~March 2013 in the US from new production at Smyrna, TN plant.
    (* I don’t have the reference URL to the post handy, but can digg it up)

    For 2011/2012 LEAF, very few were sold in 2013. BUT based on purchase date a few would have been owned under 3 years (as of March 2016). Based on purchase date, the warrenty could have been in effect at the time Nissan acknowledged a replacement for the failing part would be made available.

    Just my 2¢ …

  • Martin Lacey

    Nissan developed a great car, but the telematics (including mapping software) is crap. Asking the American buyer to upgrade from a 2G to 3G connection is very short sighted. How many years does 3G have left in it, before it too is silently switched off? It would make much better sense to upgrade to 4G. Perhaps doing a deal with a big cell provider (OTA adverts and such like) would help them to do this at no cost to the end user.

    When they switch off 2G in the UK, I’ll not upgrade. The dealer can, when he puts it on his lot!

    • James

      I agree, Martin. Designing the system around 2G was really short sighted event when the car was on the drawing board. 2G was introduced in 1991, 3G in 2000, and 4G in 2010. I feel for the design team because carrier fees would have been cost prohibitive on the 3G network being this was the service most cell subscribers were on. It shouldn’t have cost more than $50 to have included a 3G chip and leave it disabled for the time being. But even more short sighted is not including 802.11 WiFi capabilities. Let’s face it, you generally need to pre-heat your car at home when you are close to your wireless network.

      I would gladly pay $200 for the upgrade if it included WiFi so that I know I would rely on the features when at home and to future proof the investment. $200 dollars for 3G just seems like I am subsidizing shortsightedness.

  • Albemarle

    I am afraid this is not a surprise. Car companies are legacy manufacturers, begrudging a fix even during warranty. Nissan has shown it’s good at big issue thinking (we want to lead EVs) and weak on the important details. . Should Nissan step up more? Yes; charge the out-of-warranty customer no more than $100 and give it all to the dealer and provide the upgrade to the dealer for free. Nissan loses a bit (can’t believe their module cost is more than $30), and the dealer loses a bit on standard shop rate. Dealer and customer becomes more loyal.
    I am impressed that Ford is stepping up

  • Surya

    Nissan sells a car with certain functionality. When you buy a car, you expect all that functionality to keep working until the end (unless something breaks and needs replacing). It was Nissan who didn’t opt for the most future proof technology from the start, so they should cover the costs. The users have no had in this and shouldn’t have to pay to keep the car working because they didn’t break the car.

  • Glenn N. Davis

    Re: 2g to 3G Upgrade!

    So, I bought my Red Fully Featured 2014 Leaf SL as a CPO (Certified Pre Owned car) in August 2016 apparently after the news was that The unit would not work came to users and dealers. CPO means that everything works as of sale date. That absolutely must include the telematics. I just had telematics fail and no notice was sent to me! The dealership that i took it to for service did not know about this problem. I was trying to talk to Nissan from the dealership showroom by phone when the showroom was closing last night trying to sort it out. I use this every day. They did not tell me that I was buying a broken car! I had NO NOTICE! This is to Nissan’s SHAME!

    3g is not that much better than 2G but Nissan knew that AT&T was going to abandon 2G so this is just a rapair that needs to be covered under the warrantee!

    I was hoping Nissan would offer an upgraded additional incremental battery for additional range at reasonable cost when these became available. Someone in CA offers this I have read for $5500. I would gladly have bought a HEATED WINDSHIELD if offered Because Electricity being very efficient produces almost no HEAT to keep it clear on this -2 degree day! But this treatment BY Nissan makes me not trust Nissan! I like the sled. But the electronics were not well thought out even before THIS. I would have offered money for better Safer (Quicker & Easier To Use) Map/GPS The unit seems not to know that I most likely am not going more than 60-120 miles for a first guess as to which instance of a location to try. My 2005 Honda Odyssey has much better thought out electronics. Both cars I would pay for Maps if they came with improved software Just For better working features. Does anyone offer aftermarket software?

  • Joel Reed

    I once developed a non-telephone device that used GSM (2G) technology to communicate. There’s a little more to it than just buying a chip and flipping a switch. The approvals/certifications that have to be obtained and network contracts that have to be worked out in each individual county/region was maddening. I really did not expect Nissan to develop and offer a fix when 2G died off. I don’t know if Carwings is still free everywhere, but it is for me. I have no problem paying for the upgrade … or maybe I’m just glad I found out today that I’m getting a new, free battery for my 2012 (picture on old fat guy doing the happy dance!)

  • Stuart Smoot

    We just bought a 2014 Leaf, upgrading our 2011. No one told us that the telematics needed to be updated when we bought the car. Surprise!! (bad surprise) I agree with some of the comments that say that if the car is still under warranty when you buy it used, that Nissan should have the obligation to ensure that everything is working–however they need to do that. As it is, I had to go back after we bought it because wherever the dealer had gotten it from, they had taken out the SD card so not even the radio worked. At any rate, now I have to take the car back AGAIN and this time PAY for an upgrade. Not cool, Nissan. Tesla does all their firmware upgrades remotely. This feels a bit Fred Flinstone.