It took a stir on social media, but Toyota changed its mind. Back on July 10, the unmodified engine in Blake Alvarado’s 2022 Toyota GR 86 was confiscated after a sweeping left turn in an autocross event. Fast forward to July 25, and the Toyota dealer denied his warranty claim that he took to get it fixed. The dealership service manager said the car was abused, and showed pictures of it taken at driving events. Although Alvarado denied the matter was overstepped and pleaded with Toyota on multiple levels, it was left to dry. Toyota has changed their minds.
According to Alvarado, his warranty claim will be approved after speaking with the automaker’s executive office. His GR86 engine will be rebuilt on a Toyota dime. For now, Alvarado is feeling fine. Based on his conversation with a Toyota representative, Alvarado expects to be able to use the car in autocross in the future and keep track of today’s events without jeopardizing his warranty. In addition, Alvarado told me he “believes it based on [attention]… It would be natural to think that some changes to [warranty] The process may take place in the near future, particularly with regard to cars under the GR brand.”
We’ve reached out to Toyota in an effort to clarify if there are changes to warranties for performance-focused vehicles. We have not received any response. As we mentioned in our previous article, Toyota handles warranties for vehicle performance abroad differently. For example, the warranty on a GR Yaris sold overseas expressly states that damage caused by defects in an autocross or track day event will be covered. Toyota in North America does not offer the same.
Regarding alleged problems with RTV – the gasket material used in the GR86’s FA24 engine – entering the car’s lubrication system, Alvarado was told that sealant in his engine would be applied specifically to specification this time around. We asked Toyota if they would issue a service flyer to their dealers about excessive RTV, and whether checking the engine lubrication system for material would void the owner’s warranty but no response.
The Alvarado won’t be back together for a few weeks while his car is taken to another dealership for parts and service. He said he was happy that Toyota honored his warranty and that he would not be penalized for using his vehicle as it is marketed. Still worried about other enthusiasts. I asked them: What does this mean for other owners? In response, a representative of the automaker told him that “it’s being looked at at a fairly high level.” Alvarado said it was, “fairly obvious marketing and the vehicle’s intent appears to conflict with the actual warranty terms.”
All Alvarado has said is that he hopes everything will be figured out by the time the GR Corolla arrives, as will likely be the case for a slew of other enthusiasts. If Toyota sells a sports car and customers are uncomfortable going to track day, they may look elsewhere for a new game at the weekend.
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