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Old 07-11-2019, 02:49 AM   #1
Ohh_Ouch
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Battling dealership/Toyota for warranty replacement.

I have a '15 FRS with 42,000 miles. Bought it used at 28,000 oil change at 34,500. I heard a slight ticking sound on my way to work, a coworker who is more knowledgeable looked at it with me, oil level was good, no gunk, a little dark as expected but I was wanting to get it in for an oil change anyway. He said it sounded like a timing issue and to take it slow. Drove home the next morning after work and called the dealership for service. On my way to the dealership the knocking grew louder and about 3 blocks away a horrible grinding noise started and immediately the oil light came on followed by the engine light, then the entire hud lit up like a Christmas tree and the car died. From the time the metal grinding sound started to the time the lights went crazy to the car dying was about 3-5 seconds. Now the dealership is saying the main bearing is destroyed and it was oil starvation, the head mechanic looked me in the face and said that, then proceeded to tell me that the oil levels were fine. "It suffered oil starvation at some point." Was the answer I got. "Metal shavings in the oil." Really? I could have told you that from the sound it made 3 blocks ago.

I talked with a service rep who told me to wait it out and someone from Toyota would be in to look at it. Got the news today that they looked at, said there was metal in the oil and it was due to oil starvation. You dont say.

I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall and have no idea what to do. And right now I'm looking at over $8,000 for a used engine swap with 47,000 miles if I want to get my car on the road again. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 07-11-2019, 04:08 AM   #2
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Slow and steady wins the race. Don't jump the gun on anything yet , be cool /calm and collective. You don't have a functioning car, but you have time to get things on the straight and narrow. Ask questions, lots of questions…. you must become a detective so to speak.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:24 AM   #3
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Slow and steady wins the race. Don't jump the gun on anything yet , be cool /calm and collective. You don't have a functioning car, but you have time to get things on the straight and narrow. Ask questions, lots of questions…. you must become a detective so to speak.
That's what I'm trying to do, but it seems like every question I ask they just stone wall me and say it was "oil starvation". Its become the end all be all to any conversation I try to start with anyone. I've seen online most recommended oil changes for the FA20 is 5,000 miles, and a few places say 5-10,000. I know the oil needed changed, but it wasnt low, not by any means. But even if 5000 miles is recommended, I cant imagine instant catastrophic engine failure for going 2,000 miles over that. From the time the ticking started on my way to work to the time the car died goin to the dealership was maybe 15 miles. That's just absolutely insane to me.

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:12 AM   #4
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That's what I'm trying to do, but it seems like every question I ask they just stone wall me and say it was "oil starvation". Its become the end all be all to any conversation I try to start with anyone. I've seen online most recommended oil changes for the FA20 is 5,000 miles, and a few places say 5-10,000. I know the oil needed changed, but it wasnt low, not by any means. But even if 5000 miles is recommended, I cant imagine instant catastrophic engine failure for going 2,000 miles over that. From the time the ticking started on my way to work to the time the car died goin to the dealership was maybe 15 miles. That's just absolutely insane to me.

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Look, if the oil was between the lines, even if it was a little dark, oil was in the engine. If it had oil starvation, then something inside the engine (i.e., oil pump, etc.) stopped doing it's job. If so, then if it was still under warranty, Toyota should fix it. If not under warranty, it gets more complicated. Good luck, I have a '13 with similar mileage, so I'll be paying much more attention.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #5
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Oil starvation issues on post 13 models are very, very rarely reported on here. I think I remember reading about maybe 3 others in total.
It may be a bit of a fight especially since it is a used car. Who knows what the previous owner put it through. The dealer should pull the engine apart and look for passages blocked by sealant but they may want to charge for that. They should also check the oil pump as there is at least one recorded case of it failing. My bet is you will find that the #4 crank bearing has spun. If they won't cooperate then it may pay to take it to another shop and have them check. Of course if they find nothing then there would be no case but if they do it may be the proof that would sway a warranty claim. Overall expect a fight though.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:49 AM   #6
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The dealer should pull the engine apart and look for passages blocked by sealant but they may want to charge for that. They should also check the oil pump as there is at least one recorded case of it failing. My bet is you will find that the #4 crank bearing has spun. If they won't cooperate then it may pay to take it to another shop and have them check. Of course if they find nothing then there would be no case but if they do it may be the proof that would sway a warranty claim. Overall expect a fight though.

This has been almost a 2 month battle. The dealer offered to tear down the engine to "find a reason to cover it under warranty" but said it would cost $2400. Knowing that the oil levels were fine and that I wasnt driving the car like a maniac I knew it wasn't anything I had done to the car so I told them to go ahead, since I really had no other option. That's when they hit me a second time with the whole "oil starvation"/"metal in the oil" thing.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #7
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This has been almost a 2 month battle. The dealer offered to tear down the engine to "find a reason to cover it under warranty" but said it would cost $2400. Knowing that the oil levels were fine and that I wasnt driving the car like a maniac I knew it wasn't anything I had done to the car so I told them to go ahead, since I really had no other option. That's when they hit me a second time with the whole "oil starvation"/"metal in the oil" thing.
Metal in the oil is a symptom not a cause. If they did indeed tear down the engine then they should be able to tell where the metal came from.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:16 AM   #8
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This reminds me of the 2007 VW GTI I financed back in 2011 with CarMax. I got it used with 41,400 miles and after the 60,000 mile mark it was a new problem every month. CEL always there, misfires, front CV joints were bad then replaced, pcv was replaced, humming brakes replaced, a/c compressor went out and replaced. All this was covered under warranty but I had to pay a $100 deductible for every repair.
Is there a way you can just trade in the car for another one?
I would use those $2,400 for a down payment on another car. Maybe a 2019 Toyota Corolla...
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:29 AM   #9
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If you're located within one of the two privately owned Toyota distributorships (GST, SET), you won't have much recourse, they tend to wag the dog (arbitration hearings).

Otherwise, if your car has a clean title, is still under the drivetrain warranty and you have the complete service history including repair orders showing compliance with the recommended scheduled maintenance intervals using OEM parts (Magnuson-Moss won't help), you could demand arbitration. That process is outlined in one of the original manuals and Toyota site. Arbitration rules and outcomes vary by state and Toyota distributorship.

To see if your car is still under warranty and what if any service history was recorded in the Toyota system, join this site and search your VIN.

https://www.toyota.com/owners/my-veh...ervice-history
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:52 PM   #10
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Metal in the oil is a symptom not a cause. If they did indeed tear down the engine then they should be able to tell where the metal came from.
They said the metal was from the bearings which were destroyed due to oil starvation. Yet my oil levels were perfect.

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Old 07-11-2019, 12:55 PM   #11
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They said the metal was from the bearings which were destroyed due to oil starvation. Yet my oil levels were perfect.

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The bearings can be starved of oil even in a full system. This is usually the result of a blocked oil pickup or bearing gallery. This was a "common" issue on the 13s but is very rare in the later versions.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:57 PM   #12
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Otherwise, if your car has a clean title, is still under the drivetrain warranty and you have the complete service history including repair orders showing compliance with the recommended scheduled maintenance intervals using OEM parts (Magnuson-Moss won't help), you could demand arbitration. That process is outlined in one of the original manuals and Toyota site. Arbitration rules and outcomes vary by state and Toyota distributorship.
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Could you elaborate on why Magnusson-Moss won't help?
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:00 PM   #13
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They said the metal was from the bearings which were destroyed due to oil starvation. Yet my oil levels were perfect.

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What is the reason given why it isn't covered by warranty? A spun bearing and metal in the engine were caused by something, keep asking what it was.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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Could you elaborate on why Magnusson-Moss won't help?
El Presidente, I'm not an attorney but from reviewing Magnuson-Moss claims progress on several auto forums, a claim invoking M-M becomes a vicious cycle that almost always wears down the claimant financially and worse.

All manufacturers including Toyota use about the same verbiage in the owner's manuals saying that non-OEM parts of equivalent quality may be used.

Then it's up to the claimant to prove the non-OEM part was equivalent meaning documenting to the arbitrator's satisfaction that the part was designed, manufactured, tested and certified to perform at least equal to the OEM part.

Then if it is proven, the manufacturer's expert witness could blame the non-OEM and demand the claimant pursue the non-OEM manufacturer as co-warrantor and the process repeats.

This assumes the claimant can first prove no abuse occurred, an almost impossible task.

Most will fold the tent and move on with nothing to show but attorney's fees exceeding what would've been the cost of repair.
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