The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one of the cheapest and most efficient electric cars on the market. But in terms of amenities and performance, it exemplifies all of the stereotypes of electric cars being little more than fancy golf carts. It's tiny, slow and tippy. The i-MiEV is also cold in the winter, has a bouncy ride, and its four occupants feel crammed together.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV has been recalled 6 times by NHTSA. View Recalls

No Detailed Data Available

Consumer Reports obtains its reliability data from a questionnaire that is sent to subscribers. In the questionnaire, we ask subscribers to note any problems with their cars that occurred in the past 12 months. They are asked to identify problems that they considered serious (because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime).

A typical model has about 200 to 400 samples for each model year. For some model years, typically those of older or less popular cars, we do not have a large enough sample size to provide results of statistical confidence.

There are several ways in which a savvy car buyer can still research the quality of a car.

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Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Nov 08 2019
Without the brake vacuum pump, the driver will experience a sudden loss of braking assist, lengthening the distance needed to stop the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is recalling certain 2012-2017 i-MiEV vehicles. Water may penetrate the brake assist vacuum pump, causing corrosion and a failure of the brake vacuum pump.
What should you do:
MMNA will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake vacuum pump, free of charge. The recall began January 7, 2020. Owners may contact MMNA customer service at 1-888-648-7820. MMNA's number for this recall is SR-19-002.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V804000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2108
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 10 2017
An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is recalling certain 2012 and 2014 i-MiEV vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front air bags, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
MMNA will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began on March 10, 2017. Owners may contact MMNA customer service at 1-888-648-7820. MMNA's number for this recall is SR-17-001.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V022000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1964
AIR BAGS
Sep 23 2015
In the event of a crash, an air bag that does not deploy or deploys late, increases the risk of occupant injury.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage vehicles manufactured July 27, 2013, to November 20, 2013, and 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vehicles manufactured October 28, 2011, to September 7, 2012. Due to an increased resistance in the impact sensor for the air bag system, in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the frontal, side and/or curtain air bags when the SRS warning is illuminated, the frontal air bag may have a delayed deployment and/or the side and curtian air bag may not deploy at all.
What should you do:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected impact sensors, free of charge. The recall began on November 5, 2015. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi's number for this recall is SR-15-011.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V594000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 13558
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Sep 02 2014
If the brake vacuum pump stops functioning, the distance needed to stop the vehicle may be lengthened, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2010-2014 i-MiEV electric vehicles manufactured September 15, 2009, to March 25, 2014. Due to either software programming or corrosion caused by road salt, the brake vacuum pump may stop functioning.
What should you do:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and depending on the affected vehicle, dealers will either reprogram the brake vacuum pump controller, replace the brake vacuum pump or do both, free of charge. The recall began on October 24, 2014. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi's number for this recall is SR-14-007.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V522000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1810
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST
Jan 25 2013
If the vaccum pump system fails, it will reduce available brake power which would result in lengthened stopping distances, which may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America is recalling certain model year 2012 i-MiEV electric vehicles manufactured December 2, 2011, through September 7, 2012. The brake system vacuum pump may fail, causing the vacuum pump to be inoperable.
What should you do:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected vacuum pumps free of charge. The recall began on February 28, 2013. Owners may contact Mitsubishi at 1-888-648-7820.
For more information:
Mitsubisihi's campaign recall number is SR-13-001. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V031000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1402
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Aug 01 2012
The side and curtain air bags may not deploy in a crash for which those air bags were intended to deploy, increasing the risk of personal injury to the vehicle occupants.
Summary:
Mitsubishi is recalling certain model year 2012 i-MiEV vehicles manufactured between November 4, 2011, and December 22, 2011. Incompatibility between the air bag sensors and the self-diagnostic software may deactivate the frontal and side airbag system. Should this occur, the SRS warning lamp would illuminate to alert the driver.
What should you do:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the incompatible air bag sensors with new, compatible units, free of charge. The safety recall began on during August 2012. Owners may contact Mitsubishi at 1-800-222-0037.
For more information:
This is Mitsubishi recall number SR-12-003.Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V372000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 261
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