Toyota Quiet About Potential Engine Problems With GR86

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey


According to a new report, at least some Toyota GR86s are suffering from lubrication issues.

One driver even claims Toyota refused to pay for a new engine, accusing him of abusing it on track.


Blake Alvarado is the owner of a 2022 GR86 and according to The Drive, he found a sealant called RTV in his engine's oil pickup after it failed, which occurred on July 10. This sealant is used as a gasket for the Subaru FA24D engine that Toyota uses in the GR86, which shares its platform and powertrain with the Subaru BRZ. The report alleges it's applied a bit liberally at the factory.

When this sealant gets into the oil, it can clog the oil pickup. That can lead to engine-oil starvation, and perhaps a failed bearing. That's what happened to Alvarado. He posted on social media about his dealer's refusal to replace the engine under warranty, and others chimed in with their own complaints about finding RTV in the oil. The Drive points out that it's not clear how many vehicles have been affected, and neither Toyota nor Subaru has issued either a recall or technical service bulletin.

Alvarado claims the dealer cited abuse at an autocross event as its reasoning for refusing to do the work under warranty. Alvardo admits he took the car to a test and tune event and some other local performance-driving events, but he claims that he mostly drove at highway speeds during the event and that his engine hasn't been modified. He also says he's never abused his engine and the car had less than 14,000 miles on it at the time. He further notes that performance driving is part of the GR86's marketing and Toyota even offers a free track day to buyers.

Further reporting from The Drive turns up complaints of RTV buildup from owners of previous-gen and current-gen cars, as well as complaints from customers that Toyota dealers wanted to charge them $2,000 to take a look at the oil pan to check for the presence of RTV. Apparently, Subaru is more willing to perform the work under warranty on the BRZ.

For those curious, here's what Toyota says about it  on its U.K. website: "Using your GR Yaris for Track Days or similar events does not invalidate your vehicle's Warranty. Any potential failure to your GR Yaris during a Track Day or similar event are not specifically excluded and manufacturing defects within the Warranty period will be supported."

Meanwhile, Toyota North America's warranty documentation says "racing" and "abuse" will void an owner's warranty.

As for Alvardo, he couldn't afford the more than $11,000 estimate for a new engine, so he had a used one shipped from California to his home in Arkansas. He's also upset that Toyota didn't even bother to send a Field Technical Specialist out to see the vehicle in person -- according to him, the determination to refuse the warranty work was done over the phone.

We'll be keeping an eye on this one.

[Image: Toyota]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Comments
Join the conversation
3 of 18 comments
  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Aug 05, 2022

    Buying a Toyota with a Subaru engine is like buying a steak made out of ground up cockroaches.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Aug 05, 2022

    If I were Alvarado, I would sue. The stuff that Toyota has used for applications like this is called "FIPG", or Form In Place Gasket. Are the engines used in these all built in a Subaru plant, a Toyota plant, or both?

  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
Next