The Nissan Leaf features an ‘electrically-driven intelligent brake control module’. Simply put, this is an electrically-assisted brake master cylinder rather than a vacuum-assisted brake master cylinder as found on a traditional car with an internal combustion engine.
The Leaf’s brake ‘booster’ features it’s own integral control unit which interacts with other control units in the vehicle. It has the ability to command light braking requirements to be performed through regenerative braking using the traction motor only or by a combination of this and the hydraulic brakes.
Nissan has released many firmware updates for the electrically-driven intelligent brake control module in different models of the Nissan Leaf. Some of these updates relate to improved performance and others to safety. Unfortunately, in New Zealand the majority of these updates have not been made available by Nissan New Zealand to their franchised dealers.
With ZE0 (2011/2012MY) models, a firmware update is available which is reported by Nissan to improve the overall brake sensitivity at low speed. The graphic below shows the firmware versions to check if a car requires an update or not. This information is available on many diagnostics tools including the Pro version of LeafSpy.
Because the 2011/2012MY Leaf was actually sold new in New Zealand (until 2015 as we recall), any Nissan dealers in NZ who are ‘Leaf-certified’ should be able to perform this firmware update. That being said, we have been told that some Leaf-certified Nissan dealers are not aware of this. Currently we only offer this firmware upgrade through our Christchurch service centre or during trips organised by one of our partners when there is sufficient demand in another region and where Leaf owners or dealers cannot have this update performed by their local Nissan franchise.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss this further.