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Common Problems With Nissan Leaf Automatic Emergency Braking Systems

Nissan’s Forward Emergency Braking and Automatic Emergency Braking systems have become well known for their malfunctions. The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is supposed to detect obstacles in front of the vehicle and warn drivers of a potential collision. If the driver does not respond soon enough, the AEB system is supposed to trigger the brakes. This way, the AEB system should prevent a collision, or at least lessen its impact.

However, Nissan Leafs and other Nissan models have had recurring problems with their AEB systems. Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against Nissan for its faulty AEB systems, and multiple owners of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles have submitted complaints to federal regulators.

To highlight issues with Nissan Leaf Automatic Emergency Braking, we have compiled some complaints submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Please note that the complaints on Nissan Leaf AEB systems have been edited for grammar and clarity.

2018 Nissan Leaf

Was driving at approx. 30 mph alone on a local highway with no traffic around, no pedestrians or obstructions in the road, when the accelerator disengaged and the brakes came on. The braking only lasted about one to two seconds and did not stop the car. A triangular warning sign appeared on the dash during the braking, and went off when the brakes released. I believe the problem is a malfunction of the forward collision warning system.

2018 Nissan Leaf

This Nissan car is equipped with features named pro-pilot assist (PPA), intelligent cruise control (ICC) and emergency brake assist (EBA). When engaged, it is supposed to keep lanes and follow distance if there is a car in front. When the car in front is stopped, this car is supposed to stop as well. PPA when engaged, if there are good road markings, will show a green steering on the dashboard, to show that car can steer itself. However if there is a car stopped in front on the same lane (ex. Stopped for a red light), this car does not detect that there is a car stopped, and [it will] keep going forward until crash into the stopped car. [The] driver has to intervene to stop at this time to stop. I took the car to dealer and they said this is normal. That is not what Nissan advertised. This behavior is quite dangerous of these cars, and my expectation is the car need to stop if there is an obstruction in the road, when the green steering wheel on dash is showing that car is doing auto-steer.

2018 Nissan Leaf

While driving forward, the vehicle suddenly, unexpectedly and violently applies the brakes without any driver input whatsoever! There are no other vehicles or pedestrians in the vicinity at the time. This sudden braking problem began on or about 5/15/18 and happened on several occasions after that. [This happened] twice while entering the underground parking garage at an office building and twice while driving on a city street. [The] vehicle has been at the local Nissan dealer for over a week, but neither the dealership nor the manufacturer apparently has any idea how to fix the problem. They think that there is a fault in the automatic emergency braking system. The service manager told me that other instances of the same issue have been reported to Nissan. The salesperson indicated that there were four other similar cases at their dealership alone. They also will not let us take the vehicle home without signing a release of liability document. The obvious concern is that the emergency braking system will again randomly activate while traveling at a higher speed and cause an accident resulting in serious property damage and injuries!

2019 Nissan Leaf

I was driving down the freeway going roughly 70mph with Pro Pilot Cruise Control enabled. The car sensed a car ahead and slammed on the brakes, but there were no cars in front of me and was almost rear ended by a car going 70+ mph on I-5.

2020 Nissan Leaf

“Automatic braking system failed to engage” on an off-ramp lane […]. While traveling approximately 25mph, I rear-ended a vehicle that was at dead stop and that vehicle rear-ended a second vehicle. California Highway Patrol was called and report was. […] It was on the straight freeway lane leading to the off-ramp with other lanes on the freeway moving freely. Upon discussion with Nissan investigation, they summarized a 10-page disclaimer from owner’s manual stating that braking system is not 100%. It’s understandable if the vehicle was old, but this is a new vehicle with what is advertised as an automatic braking system and that system did not work. I manually braked to a crash.

If you have recurring problems with your Nissan Leaf’s Forward or Automatic Emergency Braking system, your vehicle may be a lemon. However, Nissan Leafs are not the only Nissan vehicle model experiencing these recurring problems. Read more about common Nissan AEB system problems and your California lemon law rights. If you would like more information, complete the form below to request a free consultation.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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