If you’ve seen any marketing material for the new GR86 in America, you’ll know that Toyota is promoting it as a car you can take to the track. The company even offers every new owner a free NASA membership and a track day voucher with their purchase. Next, Anyone would think that if a mechanical failure occurred as a result of hard driving, Toyota would cover it under warranty, right? Well, that was not the case for a landlord. And his claims set the internet on fire.
Blake Alvarado posted a detailed Facebook post explaining what happened to his GR86, which suffered a serious crankshaft bearing problem at just 13,770 miles (22,160 kilometers). According to the post, the engine was low on oil due to excess sealant that fell into the crankcase and eventually blocked the fluid pickup tube. This, according to Alvarado, is a common and documented occurrence on these engines. Forum posts and videos seem to support this claim. Here’s what happened next, according to Alvarado:
A specialized technician was assigned to the file, but instead of inspecting it in person as is usually done, he did not inspect the engine. Instead, he or someone from the dealership searched for me on social media. They showed me a picture of me [drifting] Taken at a local Test & Tune (showcase) event in late March (I was trying out different setups and playing around with the tire pressures. This was the only time the car was driven as seen in the photo). I was also shown a video of me driving in someone else’s white GR86 (mine is black).
This “evidence”, along with the comment from the technicians that the problem is common when daggerboarding (this is a well-known local dinghy in the community), led to the brand denying the warranty claim and the responsible for the service to comply with the decision. They gave me an estimate of $11,000 for the repair.
Original Subaru engine
Alvarado tried to fight Toyota over the decision, or at least make it pay part of the bill for the replacement engine. But your dealership’s after-sales service manager accepted the technician’s call. Instead of paying for a new replacement engine, Alvarado did towing his car to a nearby Subaru dealership to install a low-mileage engine, which cost him around $7,000 out of pocket.
As expected, Alvarado’s story spread like wildfire. Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ forums, groups and channels on the Internet shared their story and wondering if your engines are next and if the repairs would be covered by the car’s warranty. The BRZ+86 binoculars are sporty and many buyers want to use them as such. This could put a damper on people’s enjoyment.
More breakdowns on the way?
Showing Toyota the Facebook post, the company released the following statement to our colleagues Road & Track.
Toyota is investigating the matter you speak of. Customer satisfaction with our vehicles is important to Toyota. As always, we encourage customers who experience a problem 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 reseller is unable to resolve the issue, customers are encouraged to contact our Brand Engagement Center.
“Most of these people [tienen la intención] use their car for drifting and other similar activities, but now people are afraid that the same thing will happen to them as to me. I worry not only about my problem, but about anyone who intends to use the car in the way Toyota encourages.. My current goal is to solve this problem, at least partially. Because the whole enthusiast community and the customer base they’re looking for aren’t convinced that Toyota is with them,” Alvarado told R&T.
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