Nissan calls back 5300 Leaf electric cars to fix start-up problems

Nissan is calling 5,300 Leaf electric cars back to dealerships to fix a software glitch that can keep it from starting. The company said in a statement that a small number of Leafs worldwide have experienced the problem, so it will reprogram the engine control computer free of charge. The fix, which includes about 500 Leafs in the U.S., takes about an hour. Nissan has sold the Leaf in Japan, Europe, the United States and other markets. It sold 452 Leafs in the U.S. through March. Nissan will also fix cars that are in ports or sitting on dealer lots awaiting sale.

Leaf owners will get a message on their car’s dashboard telling them to contact their dealer, and they’ll also get mail. Dealers may send someone to the owners’ homes or workplaces to fix the problem. Nissan said the repairs are not a recall because the problem is not a safety issue. The battery-powered Leaf can go up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single charge. It takes eight hours to recharge a Leaf with a special 240-volt circuit, and double that time if it’s recharged from a standard 120-volt outlet.