psyflyjohn
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:47 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:38 pm

Hi,

I have a 2012 Miev that now has 42K miles. The battery capacity was down to 34 miles per charge, and the car was becoming unusable. Talk about mileage anxiety. So that spurred me to return to the dealer for a 5 month battle for a replacement battery under warranty. Our dealer has a "specially trained" tech for electrics. The dealer ran several tests, including a "draw down" test which is supposed the be the last word in battery testing. It indicated that the battery was still functioning with 95% capacity intact. That test is either wildly inaccurate or bogus. By this time I was dealing with the regional manager and we were trading insults about who was lying. We agreed to have their mechanic fully charge the car overnight and then take it out and drive it to almost no charge. The results spoke for themselves - 33 miles.

So after 5 or 6 dealer visits I had the dealership on my side. Next, they had to convince the manufacturer of the need for a replacement battery. They made the same series of tests again, and were still dragging their feet on approving a replacement. The dealership owner intervened and finally convinced the manufacturer to replace it. (The mechanic confided to me that Mitsubishi didn't want to go to the expense - which he estimated their cost to be about $10K)


Lessons learned:

Expect a good deal of resistance when you return the car for battery replacement.
They will try to blame the low capacity on your driving habits, tendency to drive up hills, and other factors not under their control.
They will wave the draw down test in your face and claim you are lying. The test is bogus
They will do endless "adjustments" to the battery computer which result in nothing, but encourage you to give up.
A scathing review on Yelp actually turned the tide. The dealer and manufacturer realized that I was tenacious in dealing with them and wouldn't be b.s.'d.

I now also have a new Chevy Bolt, which is 10X the car that the Miev is. They make a nice complementary pair - one for local chores like going to the store, and the other for long trips. All supplied by my large solar system. Life is good again....

Phximiev
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:57 pm

Can you ask the dealer what kind of cells were originally installed? LEV50 or LEV50N?

We were just in San Diego with our Volt, enjoyed the beaches immensely. ;)
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

kiev
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 7:15 am
Location: The Heart o' Dixie
Contact: Website

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:21 am

Phximiev wrote:Can you ask the dealer what kind of cells were originally installed? LEV50 or LEV50N?


How would the dealer know what cells were used in the battery pack?
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

PV1
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:41 am

Most dealers, at least of the experiences I've either had or read/heard about, wouldn't know this detailed of a question. I'd almost guarantee you'll be met with a :| .

Mitsubishi changed to LEV50n cells sometime in the summer of 2012, after most of our cars were manufactured. If you look in the door jamb of the driver's door, one of the stickers should list a month/year of manufacture. My cars are January and February of 2012, and both shipped with LEV50 cells. Since Bear got a new pack in 2015, it now has LEV50n cells. The difference is rather apparent as they take a charge better, which makes for slightly shorter DCQC sessions and allows level 2 to go almost to 100% before ramping down.
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

JoeS
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Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:05 am

psyflyjohn, thank you for the update. So far, when the battery pack has demonstrated a problem such as a defective cell, Mitsubishi has been outstanding in immediately replacing the pack. Yours is the first one that has had a serious range loss with no individual cell problem, but I'm surprised at the resistance from Mitsu that you experienced. I'm happy that your dealer stuck up for you, and with a new pack you're good for many years to come, especially as you'll probably get the LEV50N cells.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
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Don
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:23 am

JoeS wrote:I'm happy that your dealer stuck up for you, and with a new pack you're good for many years to come, especially as you'll probably get the LEV50N cells.
I wouldn't bank on that

I know if I was running the circus, I would be taking in all the defective packs replaced under warranty and analyzing what problems they had and replacing any defective cells (with good used cells from other failed packs) and thoroughly testing the pack. Those 'refurbished' old packs would be what *I* would be using for new warranty claims - Why put a brand new $10K pack in a 5 year old car which has a value of about half that?

I might be completely wrong . . . . but if I was in charge of the Mitsu warranty program, that's how I would be running it. The warranty is just to make the car serviceable again - Nobody is guaranteed a 'new' battery. Refurbishing old packs would save 75 or 80% of the cost of warranty claims and I'm sure they know that

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Phximiev
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:21 pm

Don wrote:
JoeS wrote:I'm happy that your dealer stuck up for you, and with a new pack you're good for many years to come, especially as you'll probably get the LEV50N cells.
I wouldn't bank on that

I know if I was running the circus, I would be taking in all the defective packs replaced under warranty and analyzing what problems they had and replacing any defective cells (with good used cells from other failed packs) and thoroughly testing the pack. Those 'refurbished' old packs would be what *I* would be using for new warranty claims - Why put a brand new $10K pack in a 5 year old car which has a value of about half that?

I might be completely wrong . . . . but if I was in charge of the Mitsu warranty program, that's how I would be running it. The warranty is just to make the car serviceable again - Nobody is guaranteed a 'new' battery. Refurbishing old packs would save 75 or 80% of the cost of warranty claims and I'm sure they know that

Don


I couldn't agree more. Given the openly dishonest conduct by Mitsubishi and their admissions concerning falsifying their mileage representations, which includes by the way, the mileage representation for the iMiev, IMO they may do anything to reduce the cost of their warranty claims or reject them as long as possible. See the forum topics here for a discussion of the Mitsubishi admissions.

The question remains as to what cell is in your replacement pack? It wouldn't surprise me at all that Mitsubishi used older LEV50 cells rather than the newer LEV50N cells. It also wouldn't surprise me if the specifications for the LEV50N cell were falsified either.

If there is an effort on the part of iMiev owners, first it should be to formulate a way to identify the cells used in the packs. My initial thoughts are to stick a small camera of some kind through the AC duct to see if the cells can be photographed (taking all safety precautions also). After that, to formulate a replacement cell of some kind.

I have posted this before, but it is worth repeating here, to wit, every purchaser of an iMiev should know what cell is in the vehicle and should know the condition of those cells before purchasing the car.

Given their admissions, caution should be exercised.
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

phb10186
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:40 pm

I'm not so sure sending the pack back to japan, analysis, rebuilding and recomissioning would actually be cheaper... Though I may be wrong.

The cost of recomissioning stuff is pretty high, and would have to be offset against the substantial volume discounts they get... meaning that the pack wouldn't cost them nearly as much as 10k.

Saying that, I could well be wrong. I would have thought that they would scrap the old packs to a recycler somewhere, and swallow the cost of the packs that fail...

Do Teala repair old packs? I'm pretty sure Nissan do not.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 11K
2010 Insight ES-T 43K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

Don
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:04 pm

Tesla packs are arranged in replaceable modules, either 13 or 15 of them in the complete pack IIRC. I would bet if they have a failure, it's as simple as changing out the defective module. In addition, they use thousands of small cells, each fused separately so that if a single cell shorts out, the fuse blows and you've lost maybe 1/10th of 1% of the total capacity of the pack which would not even be noticed. One bad cell means the end of the entire pack on our cars

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Phximiev
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Battery Replacement - Lessons Learned

Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:59 pm

phb10186 wrote:I'm not so sure sending the pack back to japan, analysis, rebuilding and recomissioning would actually be cheaper... Though I may be wrong.

The cost of recomissioning stuff is pretty high, and would have to be offset against the substantial volume discounts they get... meaning that the pack wouldn't cost them nearly as much as 10k.

Saying that, I could well be wrong. I would have thought that they would scrap the old packs to a recycler somewhere, and swallow the cost of the packs that fail...

Do Teala repair old packs? I'm pretty sure Nissan do not.


I discussed replacing cells and packs with Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix with respect to our Volt if needed. The service manage said that they have a machine that holds the old pack, removes the bolts holding it together, allows them to insert a new cell and then put it back together. His comment, "no big deal". Probably works the same for the Bolt.
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

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