Published July 16, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
Last week after documenting at least 11 complaints by Nissan Leaf owners about G.E. Energy’s WattStation level II charger, G.E. Energy issued a statement that it was working with Nissan to figure out what the potential problem is.
According to plugincars.com, a San Francisco Bay Area Nissan dealership representative sent an email to Leaf owners on Thursday warning them to cease from using the WattStation charger because it had documented cases of it damaging the Leaf’s charging system.
The warning was made out of caution until engineers can determine an actual problem, and thus far, only Nissan Leafs are known to be affected by this charger.
Nissan told the New York Times, furthermore, “there’s no official Nissan policy instructing customers not to use G.E. WattStations.”
A spokesman for G.E. Energy also said “thousands of units have been shipped and it has received positive reviews from EV drivers” but nonetheless, the word is out, so it is a case of caveat emptor, particularly for Leaf owners.
One of the worse cases described was by a poster on the MyNissanLeaf.com forum who said after using the G.E. WattStation six or seven times, he plugged it in like normal and “everything went off.”
This Leaf owner's dealer said the problem had been seen before with Leafs using the WattStation, and diagnosed it as the car’s on-board charger malfunctioning.
The problems at this point appear therefore to be random, as 11 or so out of “thousands” of users indicates a potential bug, and not necessarily an inherent and pervasive flaw – just the same, ceasing from using it until further notice would be erring on the safe side.
plugincars via NY Times Wheels Blog