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40 posts

Geek


  #2062026 25-Jul-2018 08:47
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Elliemay:

 

Linuxluver:

 



Newer 2017 LEAFs - made roughly after mid-July 2017 - already have this update from  the factory. My car was made in late 2015 or very early 2016....so needed it. 

 

 

 

 

Hi Linuxluver,

 

my JDM November 2016 battery LEAF (first registered Japan mid December 2016) has the latest version of the firmware. Confirmed by GVI and Walter Larason.

 

 

 

 

So tech-savvy Japanese owners "in the know", via factory friends and the grapevine, could have been aware their near-new cars were possibly defective, and in need of remedial work, as early as January 2017. This might explain why last year so many bargains were available in the auction houses for export to conveniently distant New Zealand.


4647 posts

Uber Geek


  #2062033 25-Jul-2018 09:13
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leaflearner:

 

So tech-savvy Japanese owners "in the know", via factory friends and the grapevine, could have been aware their near-new cars were possibly defective, and in need of remedial work, as early as January 2017. This might explain why last year so many bargains were available in the auction houses for export to conveniently distant New Zealand.

 

 

But wouldn't a budding Japanese dealer "in the know" buy these cars, apply the patch and then resell them for a profit, (assuming there was an arbitrage to be made)


 
 
 
 


40 posts

Geek


  #2062044 25-Jul-2018 09:29
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frednz:

 

leaflearner:

 

It was taking bigger chances driving a car that had severely reduced its predicted range in the eight months I had owned it!

 

 

If the original software was "severely reducing its predicted range", isn't this better than having software that overstates the SOH of the battery and predicted range? I'm very surprised at the major improvements reported by some owners in SOH predictions etc after installing the new software and hope they are in fact correct. If not, perhaps the AA etc might be doing quite a few more rescue jobs for vehicles that have run out of charge in the middle of nowhere?

 

Thanks for the interesting information you have given about "Flip the Fleet" and your correspondence with MIA. I would think that the MIA is taking a cautious approach and warning people to be very careful before applying "unofficial" software updates to their 30 kWh Leafs. It's then over to owners to decide whether to take the risk of using this software. Because the original software seems to be very deficient, I think Nissan should make an official upgrade available to all 30 kWh Leaf owners free of charge (it's the least they can do)! Owners shouldn't have to pay $250 to correct a major error on Nissan's part.

 

 

 

 

I have now received the following response from David Crawford, the MIA's CEO:

 

I work for the new vehicle manufacturers so have a detailed understanding of the new vehicle sector.

 

The advice I released over the weekend was not quite reported in the way I released it which was:

 

Readers need to be aware that the software fix for the battery is specific to the market they sourced the vehicle from. My advice for owners of these vehicles is:

 

  • It is my understanding that the issue is not battery degradation but software malfunction
  • Nissan Japan is progressing rolling out software fixes, having done this in the USA and UK/Europe.
  • It is my understanding the software fix for Japanese domestic vehicles is about to be rolled out but this has not yet been undertaken (it is eminent [sic ... imminent?] and may have just been done but I have not been able to confirm this today), and
  • I expect Nissan NZ will make an announcement around the software fix when they are in a position to do so.

The critical point is that the software fix is specific to the market the vehicle was produced for. A software fix designed for the US or UK market will not work for vehicles made for and sourced from Japan. Worse, it could seriously damage the vehicle’s controller that manages charge flows.

 

The advice around the potential for damage came from the manufacturer. The software fix proposed by the used car importer is hacked software derived, as I understand it, from the UK software fix (advice from the used car sector). While it may work because they have reverse engineered the solution it will not, in my view, be as reliable as the fix soon to be released by Nissan Japan for vehicles produced for the Japanese market. In other words, while they have tried to ensure it works, it is not guaranteed. What I am interested in is ensuring consumers understand the risk they are taking and can then decide for themselves if they want to wait for the manufacturer’s fix, which will come soon, or press ahead with a fix based on hacked software.

 

So yes, I am a credible source.

 

Kind regards

 

David Crawford

 

So there you have the MIA's full opinion, based on its expectations of what Nissan NZ is going to do (but no specific timeline) and the charge that Walter Larason is a hacker, coupled with a view that his work is not as reliable as Nissan's who were capable of making the problem in the first place and possibly do not yet have tech staff at NZ dealerships who can fix it up. 


40 posts

Geek


  #2062047 25-Jul-2018 09:39
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wellygary:

 

leaflearner:

 

So tech-savvy Japanese owners "in the know", via factory friends and the grapevine, could have been aware their near-new cars were possibly defective, and in need of remedial work, as early as January 2017. This might explain why last year so many bargains were available in the auction houses for export to conveniently distant New Zealand.

 

 

But wouldn't a budding Japanese dealer "in the know" buy these cars, apply the patch and then resell them for a profit, (assuming there was an arbitrage to be made)

 

 

 

 

Why would the budding Japanese dealer bother when he could immediately sell the cars (also at profit) to distant, overseas buyers who would be unable to make claims against him if his "patch" didn't work out?


282 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2062140 25-Jul-2018 11:03
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I think something important has been left out of the conversation here.  The patch doesn't just fix the perception of range, it also results in more of the battery being used between charges, and thus the battery being at a lower state of charge on average.

 

If I can charge my car every 3 days instead of every 2 days, my average state of charge will be lower and my (real) battery degradation should be lower over time.

 

So not applying the patch could cause it to decline in capacity sooner than if you had the patch installed.

 

Some of the rapid degradation we have seen, even after the patch is applied is thus very real, and caused by people keeping their batteries at a higher state of charge than they knew.

 

This is probably a small effect, but noteworthy for those of us who have a choice around charging and want to keep the battery in top shape.

 

 


40 posts

Geek


  #2062208 25-Jul-2018 12:07
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An update on the conversation with David Crawford of the Motor Industry Association.

 

I replied to David:

 

Thank you for your prompt and full reply.

 

I am sure more 30kWh LEAF owners will also read your complete statement with interest and make their own independent decisions on whether they should wait for Nissan's "reliable" fix. Whether this will eventuate, and on what terms, remains a matter (for me) of conjecture. They have known about the problem for a long while, it seems, and even after it became common knowledge in NZ after publication of The Listener dated March 31, Nissan NZ have done next to nothing to reassure the public.

It also worries me to see the term "hacker" associated with the work of Mr Walter Larason. I do not know the man personally, but he apparently has a sound business (EVs Enhanced) and a good reputation in Christchurch. "Hacking" immediately suggests illegality to most people and is regarded as a derogatory, perhaps defamatory term.

 

David replied:

 

The term hacked software was used by the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (David Vinsen).

 

Under NZ law, responsibility for warranties rests with the supplier of the vehicles, which is not Nissan NZ, it is the importer and dealer who bought the used imports to NZ.  Nissan will make a statement when they can. They don’t have to, as they did not supply the vehicles to NZ. Technically, Nissan Japan is the manufacturer and the used importer who imported the vehicles to NZ is considered to be the NZ manufacturer. Nissan NZ is considered the NZ manufacturer for vehicles they import and distribute.

 

David's reply confirms what we already know: Although Nissan manufactured the 30kWh vehicles they did not import them and therefore do not have to make any statement. The importer of a used vehicle is considered to be the NZ manufacturer. [!!!]

 

Would-be NZ adopters of EVs waited and waited to see if Nissan here would import the 30kWh. They never did, so many of us went ahead and worked through the used importers, thus establishing a purchaser relationship with them. At that point, whether we knew it or not, we also apparently established that it was up to the importer (manufacturer?!) to see that our car remained "fit for purpose" for a reasonable period.

 

Should we now wait to see if Nissan NZ will offer the firmware update "officially", regardless of the fact they "don't have to", just as they never had to import the 30kWh model and never did?

 

My own feeling is that it is best to work through our own importer/manufacturer, upon whom it must surely be a requirement that the fix they now offer is reliable.

 

I also continue to deplore the application of "hacking" to the work of Walter Larason. The Leaf community is probably indebted to him and "hacking" is associated in the public mind with criminality. The very origins of the word "hack" imply rough and heavy blows without authority. And if we accept David Crawford's explanations, doesn't Walter have the authority of the NZ importers/"manufacturers"?       

 

 


1431 posts

Uber Geek


  #2062320 25-Jul-2018 14:26
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@Leaflearner: I have read with interest your correspondence with David Crawford about the 30 kWh Nissan Leaf firmware update. I'm sure that Leaf owners will find the information that you have provided to be very valuable. Good luck to everyone who has to make the decision about whether to use the unofficial firmware update or wait for an official version from Nissan NZ. I hope it all works out well for you and it would be good if you could post the results of your update to this forum.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


40 posts

Geek


  #2062336 25-Jul-2018 14:54
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frednz:

 

@Leaflearner: I have read with interest your correspondence with David Crawford about the 30 kWh Nissan Leaf firmware update. I'm sure that Leaf owners will find the information that you have provided to be very valuable. Good luck to everyone who has to make the decision about whether to use the unofficial firmware update or wait for an official version from Nissan NZ. I hope it all works out well for you and it would be good if you could post the results of your update to this forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your kind words. So far the results from my update (and other owners' updates) have remained encouraging. I'm sure everyone will hear if anything goes wrong again!

 

I also found David Crawford's info encouraging, although probably not in any way he intended. If my importer, and not Nissan, is legally the "manufacturer" of my car, responsible for it being fit for purpose, I am glad I accepted my importer's offer of the Walter Larason update and I'm not still waiting (after many months) for an "official" fix from Nissan, who have no responsibility ... and probably never will accept any.

 

It's also pleasing that the firmware update, however it was acquired, has been past another pair of experiened, independent eyes, and tested in another workshop, before being installed in my car. We must not forget that the company that initiated the original fix was also the company that created the problem (a dodgy BMS) by failing to test the product thoroughly before putting it on the market in the Leading Environment-friendly Affordable Family-car.


2050 posts

Uber Geek


  #2062489 25-Jul-2018 18:02
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happyfunball:

 

I think something important has been left out of the conversation here.  The patch doesn't just fix the perception of range, it also results in more of the battery being used between charges, and thus the battery being at a lower state of charge on average.

 

If I can charge my car every 3 days instead of every 2 days, my average state of charge will be lower and my (real) battery degradation should be lower over time.

 

So not applying the patch could cause it to decline in capacity sooner than if you had the patch installed.

 

Some of the rapid degradation we have seen, even after the patch is applied is thus very real, and caused by people keeping their batteries at a higher state of charge than they knew.

 

This is probably a small effect, but noteworthy for those of us who have a choice around charging and want to keep the battery in top shape.

 

 

This is a very good point; it's worth keeping in mind that it's magnified by there being no active TMS. If you've been trying to play it safe by charging to 80% and actually hitting a different number then you've been really hard done by. 




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  #2062509 25-Jul-2018 18:49
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Elliemay:

Linuxluver:




Newer 2017 LEAFs - made roughly after mid-July 2017 - already have this update from  the factory. My car was made in late 2015 or very early 2016....so needed it. 



 


Hi Linuxluver,


my JDM November 2016 battery LEAF (first registered Japan mid December 2016) has the latest version of the firmware out of the factory. Confirmed by GVI and Walter Larason.



So maybe that date was in NZ format instead of US format....so would be 7th December '16. Maybe?




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dwl

366 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2062709 25-Jul-2018 23:23
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A commentary on the firmware update for the 30 kWh Leafs has been published on the Flip The Fleet website: 30 kWh Nissan Leaf firmware update to correct capacity reporting


1431 posts

Uber Geek


  #2062781 26-Jul-2018 09:34
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dwl:

 

A commentary on the firmware update for the 30 kWh Leafs has been published on the Flip The Fleet website: 30 kWh Nissan Leaf firmware update to correct capacity reporting

 

 

30 kWh Nissan Leaf owners will be very pleased to read the above report! In light of this new report from Flop the Fleet, I think Consumer Magazine needs to urgently change its web page which mentions that:

 

30kWh Nissan Leaf owners are being short-changed as their batteries lose capacity significantly faster than expected, according to a report by Flip The Fleet, a New Zealand-based “citizen science” project.

 

Through data taken from 82 New Zealand owners, Flip The Fleet has found the average battery in a 2-year-old 30kWh Nissan Leaf loses 10% of its capacity every year. This is more than 3 times the loss measured in the similar, but smaller capacity, 24kWh Leaf. The capacity of the 30kWh battery reduces to 85% in cars just 2.1 years old, compared to 4.6 years for cars with the smaller battery.

 

It was always possible that the battery itself wasn't actually degrading significantly faster than expected and that it was just the software management system that was at fault. This is because it is very difficult to calculate consistently the distance the car  actually  travels from full battery charge to completely empty (turtle). For that reason, I referred to the research at the time as "incomplete" or "partial".

 

As to getting the firmware update installed, I think Leaf owners should wait for the "official" fix from the dealer who sold them the car. The dealer should only supply official software released either by Nissan NZ or Nissan Japan. I wouldn't buy a 30 kWh Leaf which has been updated by third party firmware. Neither would I buy a camera or anything else that has been updated by "unofficial" firmware because all manufacturers strongly warn against doing this.


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  #2062805 26-Jul-2018 09:54
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frednz:

 

The dealer should only supply official software released either by Nissan NZ or Nissan Japan.

 

 

 

 

Well, the chances of that seem to be zero.

 

If your dealer installs it, they also have to warrant it as fit for purpose so for the dealers to be rolling this out to all their customers speaks highly of their confidence in it. They wouldn't be doing so if they saw a realistic chance of having to pay $20K each to replace the batteries in a hundred customer's cars because they bricked them.





iPad Pro 11" + iPhone XS + 2degrees 4tw!

 

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


1431 posts

Uber Geek


  #2062812 26-Jul-2018 10:08
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SaltyNZ:

 

frednz:

 

The dealer should only supply official software released either by Nissan NZ or Nissan Japan.

 

 

 

 

Well, the chances of that seem to be zero.

 

If your dealer installs it, they also have to warrant it as fit for purpose so for the dealers to be rolling this out to all their customers speaks highly of their confidence in it. They wouldn't be doing so if they saw a realistic chance of having to pay $20K each to replace the batteries in a hundred customer's cars because they bricked them.

 

 

It was mentioned in a recent post that David Crawford, the CEO of the Motor Industry Assn (MIA) said that:

 

"It is my understanding the software fix for Japanese domestic vehicles is about to be rolled out but this has not yet been undertaken (it is eminent [sic ... imminent?] and may have just been done but I have not been able to confirm this today), and

 

  • I expect Nissan NZ will make an announcement around the software fix when they are in a position to do so.

I can't see any reason why Nissan Japan or NZ won't release firmware that's suitable for Leafs purchased in New Zealand. I would rather keep the original firmware than install third party firmware against the advice of the manufacturer, the MIA and the latest "Flip the Fleet" report.

 

However, I guess third party firmware could later be overwritten by official Nissan firmware, but I wouldn't recommend doing this.

 

 


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  #2062820 26-Jul-2018 10:22
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frednz:

 

 

 

"It is my understanding the software fix for Japanese domestic vehicles is about to be rolled out but this has not yet been undertaken (it is eminent [sic ... imminent?] and may have just been done but I have not been able to confirm this today), and

 

  • I expect Nissan NZ will make an announcement around the software fix when they are in a position to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, so far anecdotally Nissan NZ's attitude to Leaf owners has been to politely tell them to f*** off because they didn't sell them the cars in the first place so it would be nice, but I won't hold my breath. In the meantime, that same guy also said that for legal purposes the dealer who imported the car was the local manufacturer so again, if the dealers are confident enough in the fix that they are putting themselves at risk by installing it, then that's a good sign.

 

As my car is not causing me any real issues at the moment I'm happy not to rush into it immediately but equally as such, how long is long enough? Nissan NZ don't have to roll out the fix next week or even next month, but if they have decided that they will roll it out then there's no reason why they can't just say so now and put the issue to bed.





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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


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