Nissan set to begin Leaf bug cleanup

Nissan is to begin contacting owners of its new Leaf electric vehicle this week, as it attempts to fix a software bug which has rendered some of the zero-emissions vehicles inoperable.

The automaker confirmed in a statement Friday that a campaign to update the software on over 5,000 of the vehicles, which went on sale in the US and Europe in recent months, will get underway this week.

Nissan admitted last week that some drivers had reported problems restarting the car after it had stopped, following postings by several users on unofficial Leaf fan forums.

It will now begin contacting Leaf owners, asking them to contact dealers for a free repair, which will fix programming in the vehicle's control module, according to reports.

The campaign will cover vehicles in Japan, North America and Europe, although Nissan says that the fault "is not a safety issue as the vehicle will not stop running while being driven."

It's an embarrassing incident in the critical first months of public usage of the Leaf, which was regarded by many as the first true, mass-market electric vehicle, especially as high-profile competitors are now appearing thick and fast.

Peugeot is now stepping up its European publicity drive for the iOn, an all-electric vehicle based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, also coming to market in the coming months in Europe.

In the US, Ford is gearing up for the long-awaited release of its Ford Focus Electric, set to hit the roads later this year.

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