I decided to start a new thread, since it was really hard to find any information on Nissan's "Out-of-Warranty" support on this forum. This mostly applies to 2011 and 2012 model Leaf owners, at least for now. Also, the discussion on all the existing threads implies that warranty battery replacement is an "all-or-nothing" affair: if your battery drops below 9 bars in 5 years and 60,000 miles, you get a free replacement, and if it drops a month or two later, you get nothing but the 90-day charging card (worth $25?). This is no longer true for many owners I know, as I will explain.
I first heard about Nissan's "out-of-warranty" program in the comments of another EV news site. My Leaf dropped the 4th bar at 48.4k miles and 66 months, so it seemed worth filing a claim. I called the toll-free EV number (1-877-NO GAS EV, or 1-877-664-2738), and requested the "out-of-warranty" assistance. You need your VIN number, current mileage, how old the car is (they can look that up), and answer a number of other questions. It takes about 10 minutes to open a case. They then pull your service records, and look at the car history - something that takes about 3 business days. If you lost the 4th bar just after the warranty expired, and took good care of the car, including having regular service performed, got the battery tests done, and got favorable scores on them, you have a reasonable chance of getting pro-rated support from Nissan. In my case, they picked up 75% of the cost, and I paid the other 25% of the cost, which was $1,564 plus tax. My friend lost his 4th bar at 61 months and 51.1k miles, and didn't miss any service appointments for the regular service. Nissan picked up 90% of the replacement cost of his battery, so he'll only have to pay 10%. The pro-rated settlements are not rare, and they've done a number of them at dealerships all over our area for owners of 2011 cars that have just passed the 5-year warranty limit. I would encourage anyone who has lost the 4th bar shortly after the warranty limit, and has kept up on the service, to consider filing a claim, and seeing if they can get partial support.
This has really improved my impression of Nissan. Like many other forum members, I felt like they had walked away from the brand (after investing $6.4B in the product launch), and were failing to support their product. Like others, I was planning on never buying another Nissan product again if all I got was the charging card, and had to buy a replacement battery in half the time it should have lasted. But after this pro-rated post-warranty support, I feel like it's a fair settlement. Hopefully in time, Nissan will be able to rebuild the reputation of the Leaf, and match the lower battery degradation numbers most other car manufacturers are obtaining. I'm glad the newer Leafs also have a better battery warranty on them.