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4 Dangerous Nissan LEAF Braking Problems

4 Dangerous Nissan LEAF Braking Problems

Nissan LEAF are typically quite reliable cars. However, they did have their fair share of problems throughout the years. In this article, we wrote extensively about all the common problems you´ll run into with a Nissan LEAF. Today, we´ll look specifically at the (emergency) brake problems. Here is a quick summary:

Nissan LEAF have had problems with erratic brake pedal response at speed below 15 mph, causing skidding or slipping of the vehicle. The intelligent brake control unit needed reprogramming numerous times to fix warning lights, and the automatic emergency brake system would brake unexpectedly, causing hazardous situations.

However, that certainly doesn´t tell us everything about the brake problems on a Nissan LEAF. Below, we´ll give you a detailed look at the potential issues, what caused them and how you can fix them. Read on!

1. Intermittent Brake Pedal Response

In 2012, Nissan issued a technical service bulletin for the braking of the 2011 model year of the Nissan LEAF. According to Nissan, owners felt that the brake pedal would feel more sensitive at speeds below 15 mph. However, digging into complaints a bit more, we found that owners also experienced sudden ´grabbing´ of the brakes as well as complete unresponsiveness at these speeds.

At low speeds, the brakes will sporadically engage and disengage with regenerative braking enabled. They will sometimes catch, which causes sudden stopping or skidding in hazardous conditions. They will also not engage until they are pressed extremely hard, which will cause sudden braking.


What´s more, 2012 owners also experienced these issues but didn´t get a service bulletin.

According to the service bulletin, this issue was caused by a programming fault in the Intelligent Brake Control Unit, and reprogramming this unit did fix the issues.

2. Electronic Brake Booster Freezes

2013 – 2015 models of the LEAF had a service campaign because owners were experiencing a brake warning lamp. Also, the brake system would operate in a special assist mode, and more pedal effort was required to make sure the brakes would function as expected.

It turned out that when the vehicle was parked in cold temperatures, the relay inside the electronic brake booster would freeze. Once again, the solution was to reprogram the Intelligent Brake Control Unit.

Interesting to note is also the fact that Nissan issued another service bulletin before this one that also required the reprogramming of the IBCU; however, Nissan provided very little guidance as to why this was issued.

3. AEB Warning Light Or Complete Malfunction

AEB stands for Automatic Emergency Braking, and it´s been a troublesome part of many Nissans. First off, owners have complained repeatedly that the AEB would kick in by itself, meaning it would perform emergency braking in situations where this wasn´t necessary at all.

As you can imagine, this did cause hazardous situations. What´s more, this is a problem that has occurred sporadically in the 2011 – 2019 model years and doesn´t necessarily relate to one production fault.

Besides this, there have also been some technical service bulletins. The first one was due to an AEB warning light blinking. If no diagnostic trouble codes were stored in the vehicle´s internal computer, one of the windshield’s sensors would be contaminated or fogged up. Oftentimes, the lane camera needed to be cleaned (see image below).

lane camera on nissan leaf

Nissan also issued another service bulletin that also included the flashing of the AEB warning light. However, this time diagnostic trouble codes were stored (C1B84-00 and C1A17-49). In this case, a new distance sensor needed to be installed to eliminate the problems.

Did you know the Nissan Leaf also had problems with its battery and the battery range? Click that link to read more about that!

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