• New battery warranty covers charge loss.
  • Warranty good for five years or 60,000 miles.
  • Adds to existing warranty that covers defects.

The 2013 Nissan Leaf is gaining a new battery warranty that covers a gradual loss of charge. The latest warranty is meant to address complaints from Leaf owners in hot-weather states that battery life is lacking.

Under the new warranty, Nissan will repair or replace a Leaf's battery within five years or 60,000 miles if it loses more than 30 percent of its charge capacity. For Leaf owners, that means the warranty kicks in if the 12-bar battery gauge falls under nine bars. The new warranty is the second for the Leaf's batteries; the first covers defects and flaws for up to eight years or 100,000 miles.

But even with the new warranty, Nissan says the fix may only restore a diminished battery's capacity to nine bars. That's because batteries aren't designed to last forever, and some loss of capacity is to be expected.

"The intent of this warranty is to provide consumers with confidence that despite this normal battery capacity loss, they will be assured of a minimum level of capacity throughout the warranty period," said Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president.

While the new warranty is good news for shoppers considering the 2013 Nissan Leaf, it also benefits today's Leaf owners. That's because Nissan says it will extend the warranty to 2011 and 2012 Leaf models, helping those with batteries that are already losing charge.

That's certainly the case for some southwestern Leaf owners who have noticed a loss of battery capacity. Several have filed a class-action lawsuit against Nissan. They allege hot weather causes the Leaf to suffer "widespread, severe and premature loss of driving range, battery capacity and battery life." The lawsuit also says Nissan should've disclosed issues with hot weather and the Leaf's batteries.

On sale since December 2010, the Leaf is among the first fully-electric cars in the U.S. That means batteries take the place of a traditional gas engine. Nissan says the 2013 Leaf goes on sale shortly, with prices starting around $29,000 for a new base model variant.

What it means to you: The Leaf's latest battery warranty is good news whether you're looking new or used, and even if you already have one.

What do you think of the Warranty Nissan is offering? Let us know in the comments below. 

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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