BigIslandMiEV
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:22 am

MiEV newbie needs advice please

Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:45 am

Aloha All,
I am new to the forum and also looking to buy an I-MiEV; saw this awesome forum and was hoping I could hop in and ask some advice. Ive been doing some research and think its time to ask the pros.

It happens that I have the opportunity to purchase a 2012 i-MiEV with 17,850 miles on it for $4500. Car has open recall for the airbag(s). Its the base model and a build date in Japan of Oct 2011 (LEV50); and the owner has received the extended 10 year warranty letter. I am still concerned about the battery not being the newer LEV50N; should I be with such low mileage? I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and the closest dealership is about a $500 barge trip away to Oahu and the Mitsu dealer says I have to be there in person ($200 plane ticket) the first time any work is done because I am not original registered owner; sounds like bull-honky but whatever maybe its a purchase price negotiation point?
My main question is rather or not I should be concerned with the LEV50 battery? I have read some posts that say don't buy at all unless new LEV50N can be confirmed. To my knowledge, the current owner has been a responsible charger and is only getting rid of car because limited range wont get him to other side of island. Such range anxiety will not likely be an issue for me as this would be my daily commuter with a daily roundtrip well under 40 miles and I have a second petrol car.

So what do you think? What questions am I not asking that I should be?
What might you do in my shoes?
Any advice from the pros is greatly appreciated!

phb10186
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: MiEV newbie needs advice please

Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:16 am

I think that a pack failure is a rare enough occurrence for it not to play any real consideration in your decision. Ive heard of about 10 pack failures over several years many 1000's of cars, and probably many millions of miles.

The larger consideration for you is the proximity to a franchise dealership. Do you have to have the car serviced by Mitsubishi for the 10 year warranty to stand? if so you'll be island hopping every year.

Most markets have tested this in court and determined that actually anyone can service a car and the warranty be valid, however in practice - in the event of a claim the manufacturer can be difficult and question the quality of a non-franchised service, which they will likely find some reason not to pay out due to some technicality, where if you use Mitsubishi, services would likely mean the warranty de facto stands. Thats the same for the IMIEV or any other car, and that's the real decision for you I believe. Only Mitsubishi have the full diagnostics available, nobody else does.

It might be worth buying a Mitsubishi supplied break-down policy from that dealer, if it would get around the picking-up, fixing and return of your car by Mitsubishi - if indeed they do it, and it gets around those issues.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 16K
2010 Insight ES-T 43K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

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

Re: MiEV newbie needs advice please

Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:44 pm

phb10186 wrote:The larger consideration for you is the proximity to a franchise dealership. Do you have to have the car serviced by Mitsubishi for the 10 year warranty to stand? if so you'll be island hopping every year..
I don't think that's any consideration at all - What would the dealer be doing to the car every year? Neither of our cars have ever been to a dealership for anything other than the factory recalls. To my knowledge, there are no required services of any kind which must be done to keep the warranty valid

As to the LEV50 cells - I think just about every 2012 model sold in the USA or Canada came with them and they have a very good longevity record. I would not hesitate to buy a car with them (I do have two) and the odds of a failure seem to be less than %

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
Site Moderator
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: MiEV newbie needs advice please

Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:12 pm

Aloha BigIslandMiev, and welcome to the forum.

Agree with Don's comments, as issues with the i-MiEV are few and far-between. Routine maintenance items are trivial and you can do them yourself, and the battery needs nothing more than a full recharge once every couple of years. I also have two 2012 i-MiEVs with LEV50 cells and, after 50,000 miles each, can barely tell the range difference from when they were brand new.

Funny that you should mention Island, as yesterday my wife and I were touring Prince Edward Island in the Tesla and we both commented that small and medium-sized islands are perfect for an i-MiEV! That said, Puerto Rico and its absence of power at the moment might be a problem - a situation where a solar/battery backup scheme would be nice.

40-mile round trip commute sounds ideal for an i-MiEV. The price is right - go for it, you won't be sorry!

Edit: Um, looking at the Big Island charging stations on PlugShare, you're fully covered to go just about anywhere except through the middle, although Pahala to Holualoa would probably entail stopping and begging, uh, some creative negotiations, to plug into any old outlet for a couple of hours.
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
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

phb10186
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 am
Location: North London suburbs, UK

Re: MiEV newbie needs advice please

Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:29 am

Don wrote:
phb10186 wrote:The larger consideration for you is the proximity to a franchise dealership. Do you have to have the car serviced by Mitsubishi for the 10 year warranty to stand? if so you'll be island hopping every year..
I don't think that's any consideration at all - What would the dealer be doing to the car every year? Neither of our cars have ever been to a dealership for anything other than the factory recalls. To my knowledge, there are no required services of any kind which must be done to keep the warranty valid

Don


This appears to be a different situation than is the case in the UK (and Europe???). So, for the warranty to be valid, the car need full service history, which up until a court case about 5 years ago was deemed to have to be done at the franchise dealership, but has since been interpreted to be any dealership, as long as the service is done by the manufacturer's standards. Unless the traction warranty Ts and Cs are specific and exclude that.

It would be highly unlikely here, that a warranty claim would be honored of the car hadn't been serviced appropriately, at its scheduled intervals. But the US is different, in a better way for the consumer - and in fact the US has very good and better than our consumer protection laws in many areas.
2012 I-MIEV Keiko Silver 16K
2010 Insight ES-T 43K
2001 Accord Type-V (F23 manual)
2009 Hornet CB600F
2008 SH300

rnlcarlov
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:30 am

Re: MiEV newbie needs advice please

Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:54 am

I don't think you should be worried about being LEV50 cells at such low mileage. That's about the same milage I have on my car and it's in tippy top shape.
I have seem some heavily degraded LEV50 cells on an imiev with 62000 miles, but I believe even that is an exception to the rule, especially if you don't abuse them too much (meaning get them really hot frequently).

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