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Nissan's LEAF holds the distinction of being the first widely available and affordable all-electric car. Overall, it's a civilized vehicle with very low running costs. It's very quiet, rides comfortably and is easy to enter and exit. The main drawbacks are its limited driving range of only about 75 miles per charge and long recharge times. This makes it best used as a commuter car or an urban runabout.
Alerts
There are 4 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 2013 Nissan Leaf has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
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 for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2013 Nissan Leaf owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

“Heater system is electric and some component failed. Repaired under warranty. My nearest dealer had no technician certified to work on this system so I had to go to the nearest big city dealer - fortunately within driving range on full charge. Of course fully charge by dealer at no cost to me for trip home”

Peter G., AL (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Heater system stopped working. Recalled. Replaced without charge. BUT had to reschedule the time for repair multiple times because of Nissan's difficulties getting the part(s)”

R B., MO (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Stopped working”

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Heater first worked poorly and then stopped blowing hot air”

Barry W., NJ (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Heater unit stopped working; replaced under warranty”

John T., IL (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“heater unit failed, replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CO (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Heater anemic and hot air stops before car gets very warm. Two attempts to fix it by dealer failed; we gave up”

Thomas N., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“The heater element went out during the (literally) coldest week of the year. I was without heat for 2 days. Fortunately Nissan provided a gas powered loaner car which could provide copious heat!”

Han R., WA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Heater did not function. Only blew cold air. Dealership repaired at no charge but kept car for 2 and 1/2 days”

R B., MO (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“The heater coil failed.It took over 3 weeks to be repaired due to lack of parts”

Anonymous, MI (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
Refrigerant leaks

“Design of climate control system apparently was faulty. Refrigerant line connection would not accommodate normal movement of components and cracking occurred resulting in loss of refrigerant. Repaired under warranty”

Peter G., AL (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Refrigerant leaks twice in first three years of lease”

Anonymous, HI (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“One day I noticed the air conditioner would not turn on the compressor. I took it to the dealer, they claim to have replaced a hose, which was last October. Has worked since, so they successfully repaired it”

B D., HI (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“One of the hoses has been replaced twice for the same problem”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“hose leak”

Anonymous, HI (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Car was about 6 months old, a/c blew hot air. High pressure hose leaked, cracked at the condenser connection, a/c oil was empty”

Libby B., TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“A cracked pipe meant that refrigerant was leaking out, so the cooling system didn't work during warm summer weather, and the dehumidifying system didn't work to clear windows during a wet fall and winter”

Anonymous, WA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“A/C quit blowing cold air. Nissan replace some lines under warranty. Seems OK now”

Michael S., TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“AC stopped working, dealer repaired under warranty, believed they said a hose or hoses were leaking, replaced freon, works fine now”

H M., VA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“All of the AC refrigerant leaked out due to a design flaw that I was told has been addressed on newer models. Was covered under warranty but took a day to get fixed with an update part to prevent it from happening again”

Anonymous, GA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Metal high pressure freon tubing has a weak connection that causes the refrigerant to leak out. Nissan is aware of the problem, has an after market conversion kit to fix the problem, and does the repair for free. The repair 3 months ago is working”

Robert T., TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)
A/C compressor

“A/C comperssor died”

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Broke 3 times in just over 2 years”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“No a/c”

Anonymous, MA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“A/C weakened and then stopped working. Needed a part replaced by dealer. Covered by warranty”

Leslie H., OR (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)
Blower (fan) motor

“It quit working. Took it in to be serviced, completely covered by warranty, no problems since”

Anonymous, WA (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Ironically, leaves got into the area between the windshield and hood, and they clogged up the fan blower causing it to need replacements”

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Stopped working and Nissan replaced it without charge and lent me a car while mine was in the shop”

Anonymous, TN (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“It un-pairs but I don't know whether it's he car or the phone”

Joe B., FL (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

“Had system replaced under warranty. No problem since”

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Leaf Unsure Electric)
Voice control commands

“Like my wife, the car just doesn't understand me. If I change to a falsetto voce, it catches more of my commands”

Joe B., FL (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Blue tooth and wired links to Iphone are quirky. Phone voice commands in the car system are: poorly designed, too many steps, work poorly. The iphone voice commands are much better, but that sort of defeats the purpose of being "hands free."”

Robert T., TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Very clunky. So bad compared to android phone for selecting destination we didn't use it except to drive home since home was easy to select”

Daniel C., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Radio

“The SD card for the entire system did not work. The dealer bought a new card from Nissan and that still doesn't fix the problem. It is at the dealer today...hopefully it can be fixed”

Juli P., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)
Speakers

“Phase in and out”

W C., HI (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“The wind noise from the area of the driver's window is often annoying when on the highway. The dealer changed the weather strip for the door, which seemed to help for a while. Otherwise the car is great”

B D., HI (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)
Squeaks or rattles

“Caused by the front bearings in the wheels. Always made a squeal when making a turn. The dealership fixed the problem by repacking the bearings”

David F., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)
Wind noise

“Drivers window. Dealership can't figure out how to fix it”

Anonymous, NE (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“Same as other complaint”

Bill L., UT (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“warning light went on, did not charge, unknown cause (could have been a defective charger)”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“12 volt battery died within first month. This kills the car. Techs unable to diagnose this the first time. Found the problem on Internet myself. Battery should have been charged by drive system batteries but wasn't”

Bill L., UT (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

“Intermittent sudden loss of charge from full charge to empty. Required replacing several battery connections and several cells, which took several weeks to get the parts”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“brake stopped working”

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Leaf S Electric)

“Brakes are super grabby! Had them serviced and dealership acknowledged and fixed but issue returned. Our Leaf was one of the first 400 purchased in the US so the issue might not be evident in later models”

Carole G., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Tire wear is uneven

“Noticed driver's side tires wearing excessively on the outer edge when I rotated at 20k miles. Took to original dealer and was realigned. They were 3 degrees out. The dealership made me pay $59 due to being outside "adjustment parameters" of 12k”

Tim S., AL (2013 Nissan Leaf SL Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Door Trim came off. Replaced by dealership”

Neil S., CA (2013 Nissan Leaf SV Electric)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2013 Models

Similar Cars
Chevrolet Volt
Ford C-MAX
Nissan Leaf
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS: OCCUPANT CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM - OCS (FRONT PASSENGER)
Apr 26 2016
If the passenger frontal air bag does not deploy as intended in the event of a crash, the passenger is at an increased risk of injury.
Summary:
Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima, 2013-2016 Nissan Altima, NV200, LEAF, Sentra, and Pathfinder, 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Taxi, Infiniti QX60, QX60 Hybrid, and Q50 Hybrid, 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue and Infiniti Q50, 2015-2016 Nissan Murano, Murano Hybrid, and Chevrolet City Express, 2014-2015 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, and 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles. In these vehicles, the front seat passenger Occupant Classification System (OCS) may incorrectly classify an adult passenger as a child or classify the seat as empty despite it being occupied. As a result, the passenger frontal air bag may be turned off and not deploy in the event of a crash.
What should you do:
Nissan will notify their owners. Chevrolet City Express owners will be notified by General Motors. Dealers will reprogram the Air Bag Control Unit (ACU) and OCS Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in Altima, Maxima, Murano, Rogue, and Sentra vehicles, and replace the OCS ECU in LEAF, NV200, NV200 Taxi, Pathfinder, Infiniti Q50, JX35, and QX60 and Chevrolet City Express vehicles, free of charge. Interim notices were sent to owners on May 31, 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-867-7669, Infiniti customer service at 1-888-833-3216 or Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020.
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: 16V244000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3296947
SERVICE BRAKES
Feb 29 2016
If the brake relay fails, longer distances or additional brake effort would be required to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 LEAF vehicles manufactured November 19, 2012, to July 31, 2015. During very cold temperatures, the relay inside the electronic brake booster may freeze, requiring the driver to exert more effort to slow the vehicle down.
What should you do:
Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the Intelligent Brake Control Unit software, free of charge. The recall began on March 28, 2016. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-647-7261.
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: 16V119000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 46859
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: SOFTWARE
Mar 25 2014
If the OCS does not detect an adult occupant in the passenger seat, the passenger airbag would be deactivated. Failure of the passenger airbag to deploy during a crash (where deployment is warranted) could increase the risk of injury to the passenger.
Summary:
Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Altima, LEAF, Pathfinder, and Sentra, model year 2013 NV200 (aka Taxi) and Infiniti JX35 and model year 2014 Infiniti Q50 and QX60 vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the occupant classification system (OCS) software may incorrectly classify the passenger seat as empty, when it is occupied by an adult.
What should you do:
Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will update the OCS software, free of charge. The recall began on April 14, 2014. Owners may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.
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: 14V138000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 989701
AIR BAGS
Mar 01 2013
If the vehicle is involved in a crash necessitating airbag deployment and the passenger airbag is suppressed, there may be an increased risk of personal injury.
Summary:
Nissan is recalling certain model year 2013 Altima, LEAF, Pathfinder, Sentra, and Infiniti JX35 vehicles. Sensors within the passenger Occupant Detection System (ODS) may have been manufactured out of specification. This may cause the system to malfunction and permanently suppress the passenger airbag.
What should you do:
Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the ODS sensors and replace them as neccessary, free of charge. The recall began on May 6, 2013. Owners may contact Nissan Customer Service at 1-800-647-7261.
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: 13V069000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 82038
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