Toyota Refuses GR86 Owner’s Engine Warranty Claim After Allegedly Discovering Drifting Photos At Autocross Event


Engine problems relating to gasket material in the 2022 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are leading some owners to complain of engine problems. In one extreme example, owner Blake Alvarado’s GR86 failed after just 13,770 miles (22,160 km) and now he’s on the hook for a replacement engine.

Speaking to The Drive and in posts on social media, Alvarado explained how RTV, a sealant used as a gasket in the FA24D engine, dislodged and mixed with oil. That, then, clogged the oil pickup and led to oil starvation that ruined a bearing in his engine.

The issue is particularly galling because it happened when the engine was so young. Others in the U.S. and Japan have reported similar issues, which may even affect the previous-generation model.

Read Also: 2023 Toyota GR86 Goes Drifting With Its Two Predecessors In Latest Commercial

Even more upsetting, though, is that Alvarado claims that his Toyota dealer has refused to replace his engine because of some photos that ended up on social media showed his car at an autocross event. He reports that the dealer told him this meant the vehicle had been “abused” and voided his warranty.

Alvarado is open about the fact that he took his car to a “Test & Tune” event and to a handful of performance driving events, but refutes the claim that he abused his car. He claims that it remains unmodified and that he rarely exceeded highway speeds at the events he attended.

More to the point, Toyota advertises the car as a track toy, even giving owners a free track day through the National Auto Sport Association called the “Toyota Saturday GR86 Track Experience.” It also offers owners a discount on a racing helmet.

Despite that, Toyota North America’s warranty program does say that “racing” and “abuse” will void an owner’s warranty. The region lacks a codicil in the program that can be found in Toyota U.K.’s warranty stating that track days do not invalidate a warranty.

That meant that Alvarado was quoted $11,000 for an engine replacement in his brand-new car. The GR86 being his only vehicle, he was forced to find a solution and decided to buy a used engine instead.

As to the issue regarding the RTV fowling the oil pickup, Toyota told Road&Track that it is looking into the issue and referred other owners to the Brand Engagement Center if they face a similar problem.

“Toyota is currently looking into the case you referenced,” said the company in a statement. “A customer’s satisfaction with our vehicles is important to Toyota. As always, we encourage customers who experience any issues with their vehicle to contact their authorized Toyota dealer or call the Toyota Brand Engagement Center (1-800-331-4331). Of course, in cases where a dealer is not able to resolve the matter, customers are encouraged to contact our Brand Engagement Center.”

Neither Toyota nor Subaru, though, have a technical service bulletin or recall addressing the issue.


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