Toyota GR86 Blew Engine During Track Day and Was Denied a Warranty Replacement

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

When you buy a new car, the warranty is one of those things that is just a given, but a Toyota GR86 owner recently found the limits of his coverage, despite appearing to use his car in a way sanctioned by Toyota.

The owner, a person named Luke, posted a video to YouTube of the incident, which happened during a high-performance driving day at Palmer Motorsports Park west of Boston. His engine failed during warmup laps at the track, and his run ended with some violent noises and plenty of smoke. The lap didn’t look like anything special on Luke’s in-car camera, so it’s unclear what caused the failure at that time.

It turns out that the failure was just the beginning of Luke’s trouble. He dropped the car at a local dealership using the weekend key drop, and a call to the store on Monday revealed that the dealer would not fix the car under warranty because of the track use. Luke reached out to Toyota and heard the same thing, despite the fact that the automaker holds track driving events for the GR86. 

Luke said he got a $13,000 quote to replace the engine but hasn’t decided whether or not to pursue legal action against Toyota. Despite the “video evidence,” we don’t know how the car was cared for before the event or if it had any issues before being taken on track. We’ve contacted Toyota for comment and will update this story when we hear back. 

[Image: LUNK via YouTube]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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5 of 38 comments
  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on May 25, 2023

    Interesting to speculate, if it had been a Toyota sponsored track day and this was his first run could they have wriggled out of a full replacement?

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on May 25, 2023

    Toyota has realized that they cannot compete with Ford Motor Company, and they are exiting the automotive business. March 2023 U.S. sales are down 30.6% from March 2021. (At this rate they have just a few years left.)

    • 95_SC 95_SC on May 26, 2023

      When Ford denied warranty claims on Raptors because people “used them like they did in the ads” you and EBFlex were all over it. But I get it, as a former GM employee you are a Toyota man now so hey…look at that Ford. He should have powered it with that electric leaf blower.

  • Simon Simon on May 26, 2023

    he was lugging the heck out of that poor engine ! watch the video, he never gets below 3rd gear, even in VERY slow corners. we all know that lugging an engine is just as bad as over-revving it. you can actually hear the engine straining as he's probably flooring it (again in 3rd gear ) with the rpm's very low, sometimes he's going up a hill. i give him props for track-daying his car (and buying a stick shift too) , but throughout the entire video I kept saying to myself..."ok, now he's gonna down-shift to 2nd", but no, watch the vid!

  • DenverMike DenverMike on May 26, 2023

    Never mind the brochure. Take a TRD 4wd off-road and whatever breaks is on you! Toyota is famous for this crap. But I’m sure they’re not alone. There was a big stink when Rubicon Wranglers we’re denied popped engine claims for going through knee-deep water. It sounds crazy but you have to apply some common sense.