If you walk into a Toyota dealership today, you might be lucky enough to find a GR86 in the showroom. If you buy Lightweight, rear-wheel drive, affordable sports caryou will receive a one year NASA membership and free tracking day. You’ll even get a discount on a helmet. But in one GT86 owner’s experience, if your engine fails – even if it could be due to a factory defect – Toyota can ditch your social media for your license. proof that you drove your sports car at the events of the day and refused to insure a new engine under warranty, leaving you with a five-figure repair bill.
Just ask Blake Alvarado, whose 14,000-mile 2022 GR86 recently suffered a complete engine failure. A tear at Alvarado’s local Toyota dealer indicated a lack of oil, but the service department’s paperwork said the bearing failure was “considered by Toyota to be a non-warranty issue.” Today, Jalopnik learned that Toyota has changed course. Alvarado tells us the automaker contacted him asking to have his engine rebuilt “with the highest quality technology available and as soon as possible.”
But the question remains: Will Toyota continue to void warranties when sports car owners use their vehicles in the way that Toyota encourages? And what happens when the next owner of the GR86 starts up, but doesn’t get the warranty issues written by Jalopnik, Sugar & Sugar and CD driver?
Alvarado’s claim was initially denied thanks to a Toyota field technician digging through social media. The photo you see at the top of this article, showing Alvarado’s black GR86 flipping its tail at a performance driving event, is all that Toyota initially denied its warranty claim for – which No field technician inspects the vehicle in person. (The field technician also cited a YouTube video, with footage of Blake’s car running an automated driveway, as evidence that the car was subjected to abuse outside of the warranty, but as you would See below, the video doesn’t show Blake’s car – the car in the video is painted white.)
Sadly, this type of engine failure is no stranger to Toyobaru coupe fans. The first generation Toyota 86 / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZs are known for oil starvation problems at high RPM, resulting in many owners having to install oil coolers and experiment with different oil weights to try and keep their engines properly lubricated. But that problem is only present at consistently high revs, meaning any car with this type of engine failure is likely to have a hard time driving.
Alvarado’s problem is different – and can happen at any engine load, any RPM, any time.
Alvarado explained in one Facebook post details his ordeal with the car. “I checked the engine and took pictures of the truck with excess oil and glue that I showed to the Service Manager and Toyota Corporate. I explained to Toyota Corporate that according to the Service Manager, [field technician] still haven’t been to the dealer for a physical check of the engine even though the sealant problem has been raised. ”
Alvarado stood beside the dealer’s technician, who had written the initial breakdown report, and could clearly see a build-up of RTV sealant in and around the oil intake.
Excess RTV sealant clogging oil lines is nothing new in the 86 world. In fact, the problem dates back to the earliest days of the FR-S, when Toyota dealers applied too much sticky waste while doing the valve spring recall. However, new cars seem to exhibit this problem right from the factory – excess sealant used in engine assembly can break off with use, collect in the oil pump and obstruct the flow of oil to the engine. If forums are anything to go by, Alvarado’s is far from the only car that starved to death caused by RTV.
When a factory assembly problem causes an engine to fail over and over again, automakers will often issue a recall to fix the problem. In the case of Alvarado, however, Toyota and the dealer appeared to have taken a different approach at first, costing Alvarado up to $11,000 to have the dealer install a brand new engine.
“I spoke to the Service Manager at the Dealer and requested further reporting or consideration of the good faith request,” Alvarado’s Facebook post explains. “He does not entertain this nor any other compromise on repairs (50/50, parts only, labor only, etc.) and claims that he values the dealer’s reputation with Toyota and don’t want to compromise that by approving something [field technician] and Toyota Corporate have determined to be void of warranty. “
Alvarado ordered a used engine from a wrecked 86 and took the car to a Subaru dealer for installation. Fortunately, Toyota intervened and offered to cover the entire cost of rebuilding the engine before Subaru dealers started selling Alvarado cars.
“They are rebuilding [engine], replace all rotating assemblies and reassemble using sealant according to factory specifications,” Alvarado told Jalopnik via Facebook. “They assured me it would be handled with the most qualified technology available and as soon as possible.” It seems the media attention has convinced Toyota to change course and take an interest in the Alvarado. Still, he worries about what his experience means for future GR86 owners who decide to visit the track.
“What I am pushing for is that Toyota has to admit that they already have a solution in Europe: Yaris GR track warranty,” Alvarado told me. “Just bring it to the US and give it to all GR vehicles that offer a free run date…. Problem solved.”
He has a point. GR Yaris To be clear description as one machine ready to track. In the UK, Toyota clearly stated that “use of the vehicle during tracking dates or similar events does not void the vehicle’s warranty.” The automaker even specifies that coverage covers defects arising directly from race events, especially if they arise from manufacturing defects.
Alvarado’s GR86 will be up and running soon, with an engine rebuilt by trained Toyota technicians at the new company. But his ordeal has rocked the GR86 fan base, and Toyota’s initial response has left a sour taste in the mouths of many enthusiasts. Comments on Alvarado’s Facebook post show that many people have cursed the brand as a result of this debacle.
The Toyobaru twins aim to spur enthusiasm among young car buyers and serve as a logical entry point for the two brands. However, after Alvarado’s story, they may be doing the opposite.
Jalopnik has reached out to Toyota for comment on this article and has not received a response at press time. This section will be updated if we receive a response.