Ok, I need to take a few hours and put my thoughts and a plan together. Since my first post, I went back and forth with the service person at the dealer to help lead him to reading and understanding the issue the TSB covers, that it applies completely to my vehicle, and the correct way to address the problem. If I didn't go back and forth with him on three phone calls about that, he would have had his techs replace just the axle seals (one of them for the second time - the first was at 40K miles, which was a mistake because they apparently never considered checking for a TSB on the issue). In fact, when I finally got him to understand the issue, only then did he get that the fix is to replace both axle assemblies. And as such, the new estimate went up to $1365.
Ok, now that we have an accurate estimate, it then took me at least 5 phone calls over the course of almost two weeks to re-establish contact with the Nissan Consumer Affairs representitive who had contacted me on November 26th, in response to an email I submitted on their web site seeking information/coverage of the cost of this repair, based on what I had already learned about the TSB. The representitive didn't return any of my calls or voice mails until I had the case escalated to her supervisor. She had never once even picked up her phone. Then I suddenly heard back from her the next day, in the middle of at least the 3rd phone call, to one of three other representitives that I had gotten on the phone in the process of trying to get through to the rep already handling my case.
Today I got the phone call back that I wasn't surprised to get, given the experience I'd already been having. Nissan has decided (at this point) they're not going to cover any of the repair cost because of the mileage on the vehicle, number of miles out of warranty, and it's 'limited' service history. That last part, when I asked about it, refers to the fact that I have not had the dealer perform 30K and 60K maintenance procedures. I responded that I've been bringing the vehicle in regularly every 3-4K miles for oil changes and the dealer never suggested to me I should be having them to the 30/60K procedures. They responded, not incorrectly, that those are mentioned in the owners manual. Sure, I know what. But what I should have been faster on thinking of was telling her in response that my dealer is very vigilent about asking me to reply favorably on the Nissan satisfaction surveys that follow every visit to the dealer. They've gone so far to let me know that they need numeric responses of at least a 9 out of 10 on every question in order for Nissan corporate to not come back at them with sanctions of some sort.
I'm not ready to give up. Not for at least $1365 when the problem is so obviously a manufacturing issue of some kind, and in no way attributable to lack of proper servicing, and when if the dealer had been doing their job properly, the issue would have been addressed as per the TSB at 40K miles, 10 months after the TSB had been issued.
The Nissan Consumer Affairs rep said I could send my further request for consideration to them in writing as there was no one else I could talk to on the phone who could help me further. I had to restrain myself from trying to address the passive aggressive dismissal of that suggestion because I don't think I would have been able to help my cause any further. I just wish they would stop making this a game of escalation, obviously with the intent of limiting their exposure to their own defect through anticipating that significant numbers of people will just roll over and accept the financial burden of that rather than put the time and effort required into jumping through arbitrary hoops they've setup just for that reason.