An ad for the Nissan Leaf electric car has been banned for misleading consumers about the time needed to charge the vehicle.
Nissan’s UK website for the Leaf said: “Quick charge on the move … up to 80% in 40 to 60 minutes**”, with a link to a footnote stating that the time was dependent on charging conditions including the charger type and condition, battery temperature and size as well as ambient temperature.
Three complainants, who understood that the car sometimes took longer than 60 minutes to charge and was designed to accept only one fast charge per day, said the time claim in the ad was misleading.
Nissan said the ad did not specifically state that the battery would be charged to 80% in 60 minutes, and it was clearly qualified with a visible footnote explaining that timings could be dependent on other factors and conditions.
The carmaker said that, following feedback from consumers, it had updated the website with the wording: “Plug your New Leaf into a CHAdeMO rapid charger and get from 20% to 80% charge in around 60 minutes.”
Nissan said the car could take more than one rapid charge per day but the time needed to complete these charges could increase if several were done in a day due to increases in the temperature of the battery after successive long periods of driving.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand that they could usually increase the car’s battery charge by 80%, or close to 80%, within 40 to 60 minutes when using a CHAdeMO charger.
It acknowledged that charge times were dependent on a number of factors and welcomed Nissan updating its website but said the ad still did not convey the potential degree of variability in achieving a certain amount of charge.
The ASA said: “Therefore, because the ad did not clearly convey the degree of variability in the time that may be required to deliver a certain amount of charge, we concluded that the claims had not been substantiated and were likely to mislead.”
Nissan said: “We were very disappointed with the ruling made by the ASA, although of course we will respect their decision.
“We constantly review and react to customer feedback to ensure that we are giving the very best possible service and information. “