Regulatory body Transport Canada has opened a probe into reported cold weather-related braking issues observed in Nissan Leaf, the world's best-selling highway-capable all-electric car. While Transport Canada hasn't offered many details on its investigation, The Detroit News reports that authorities are focusing on model years 2013–2015. Nissan Leaf sales surpassed 1,000 units in Canada last year for the first time.
The brake malfunctions have been linked to severe cold weather, of which both Canada and the United States have seen plenty this winter. In this country, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has registered a few complaints related to Leaf braking problems, although they haven't been directly linked to the cold. In one instance, the braking system appeared to shut off entirely for about two seconds after the pedal was applied, before kicking in and slowing the car.
"Nissan is aware that a small number of Nissan Leaf drivers in Canada have recently observed that the brake warning light in their car is illuminated on start-up or they are experiencing a soft feel to their brake pedal," said the company in a statement following the report of the probe. "We take this matter seriously and an engineering team is currently investigating. Nissan is not aware of any accidents related to this issue and is committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction."
As electric vehicles become more common on North American and European roadways, it is paramount that they maintain the same level of safety as other cars. Greening provides brake testing equipment to many of the world's leading automakers to ensure that their systems always meet the required standards.