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ASA censures Nissan over highly charged battery claims

Carmaker Nissan has fallen foul of the ASA after boasting that its Leaf electric car range could recharge their batteries in as little as an hour, boasts which have now been described as misleading.

The advertising watchdog intervened when the claims were made promoting the petrol-free models, despite the fact that real-world charging times could exceed the stated time interval under some circumstances.

At issue were so-called on-street ‘rapid chargers’ which can top up a vehicle up to seven times faster than a typical wall socket at home, leading Nissan to proudly proclaim that prospective drivers could recharge their onboard battery by as much as 80% within 40 to 60 minutes from such a charger.

Only in the small print did it concede that these optimistic timings were beholden upon factors such as the battery type and condition, temperature, size and even the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

When this was pointed out Nissan subsequently altered its wording to read: “…get from 20-80% charge in around 60 minutes,” but this was not enough to assuage the ASA.

In a statement the ASA wrote: “We considered that even with those amendments the ad was still likely to mislead, because the claim and accompanying footnote still did not clearly convey the degree of variability in the time that may be required to deliver a certain amount of charge.”

The advert cannot now be re-shown in its current form.

Nissan's top marketer has previously voiced concern about Google resolving ad fraud and ad safety issues.

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