Toyota Has a Change of Heart, Covers Warranty Repair for Blown GR86 Engine

·2 min read
Photo credit: Cory Stuart
Photo credit: Cory Stuart

The saga of the 2022 Toyota GR86 blown engine may be coming to an end.

If you've been on the internet this week you probably saw the story of Blake Alvarado's GR86, which spun a bearing during an autocross in mid-July. According to Alvarado, his dealership decided against covering the engine rebuild under warranty after finding a picture online of the car getting sideways, leaving him with an $11,000 repair estimate.

The story's popularity seems to have caught the attention of higher-ups at Toyota, because the automaker has changed course on the decision. Alvarado told The Drive his warranty claim will now be approved after speaking with a representative from Toyota. That representative also told Alvarado he should be able to use the car at future autocross and track day events without putting his warranty in jeopardy.

Alvarado confirmed the news to Road & Track via Facebook Messenger. A Toyota spokesperson gave us the following statement on the matter:

The Toyota Gazoo Racing brand is driven by enthusiasts and focused on delivering incredible experiences wherever the driver may take their vehicles, including the closed-course settings for which their vehicles are designed, so long as they are driven in a manner that falls within the terms of the warranty.

While the vehicle’s warranty excludes damage that results from activities such as misuse and racing, simply participating in National Auto Sport Association (NASA) High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) or similar NASA instructional events provided complimentary to GR owners would not, in and of itself, void the warranty. Warranty claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Based on further review, we’ve determined the repair of Mr. Alvarado’s vehicle in this case is covered under warranty.

And what of the real reason for the engine failure? RTV, a gasket-making material used in the GR86's engine, was allegedly to blame for Alvarado's spun bearing. According to Alvarado's original Facebook post, excess material got into the lubrication system and clogged the oil pickup tube. Toyota has yet to issue any sort of service bulletin or recall regarding the issue.

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