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Old 06-20-2018, 04:23 PM   #1
displacedTexan
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Rocker arm failed

I had a rocker arm fail in my late '13 FR-S this past Saturday. The car had been running fine right up until the failure. I was just shy of 50,000 miles. Maintenance has been kept up with, and I don't beat on the car.

When I accelerated out of a stoplight something in the engine bay audibly broke between 2500-3500rpm and sounded like metal spinning around hitting metal. The car lost power, but I was able to pull off the road. By the time I was off the road, the metal on metal noise had gone away, but I still didn't have power and the engine sounded like garbage. So, I shut the car off and had it towed to a Toyota dealership.

After a couple days, the service department called and told me a rocker arm failed. Then they tell me they don't want to cover it on the power train warranty because there are hot spots on the flywheel, so the car was over revved. I told them "no way". I've taken care of the car. It's never been tracked or autocrossed, and I rarely go above 5000rpm. We went back and forth a bit, and I went in today to look at the damage. A rocker arm failed and shot through the valve cover after causing a mess inside the head. After the rocker arm failed, valves bent on both sides of the engine. One of the valves broke off inside a cylinder. The pistons were chewed up from hitting the valves. One of the pistons had been damaged enough that it seized in the cylinder and they can't even get it out of the block. Needless to say, I need a new engine. The dealership backtracked today and said they're submitting a warranty claim for the engine. Hopefully, Toyota will stand behind their warranty.

I'm not a mechanic, and I don't know enough to say what could have caused this failure. Just figured I'd put this out there. Everything has a failure rate, but it's a real bummer having a catastrophic failure on a stock car with only 50,000 miles.

Update 6/27/2018
The dealership claimed to have submitted a warranty claim to Toyota Corporate last Wednesday. I was told yesterday that the regional rep denied the claim because I have done the maintenance myself, and even though I have receipts for oil and filters "just because you bought the oil doesn't mean you changed it."

Last night I called the Toyota Customer Relations line to start a case for review. I should hear back from them today. Earlier today, I spoke to the Asst. Service Manager at the dealership to request all documents outlining the inspection by the service tech, warranty claim, and a letter of denial from Toyota. I was told there was no documentation for the denial because the decision was made in coversation between a rep from the dealership and the Toyota regional rep. I have cited the Marguson-Moss Warranty Act in demanding written denial from Toyota for the warranty claim. I have also kindly asked the Asst. Service Manager to advocate on my behalf to the regional rep.

I asked for pictures of the engine. The block has not been disassembled. The heads were disassembled, and there is no indication of excessive wear or neglect. The oil in all the pictures looks good, and I was even told by the Asst. Service Manager that the oil looked good when it was drained.

At this point I am hoping Toyota Corporate will realize how this is being handled by their local rep and push for this to be handled and documented properly. I plan to file a consumer complaint with the FTC and Texas Attorney General before pursuing litigation. I also plan to file a claim with my insurance in order to have the engine inspected by a third party.

Below are pictures of the engine taken by a technician at the dealership.





















Update 6/28/2018
Toyota Corporate got back to me today. The dealership is either lying to me or the Asst. Service Manager doesn't have his information correct. I was told by the dealership that the regional rep denied the claim because I didn't have sufficient maintenance records. Toyota Corporate confirmed today that the dealership told the regional rep that I over revved the engine based on hot spots on the flywheel and wear on the clutch plate. The dealership has given me the run around on documentation. When I ask for paperwork I'm told "we'll get that together and get back to you." Toyota Corporate told me they couldn't give me any documentation of the warranty claim denial, all of that would come from the dealership. More than anything, I can't believe a reputable dealer would do business like this.

An insurance adjustor is scheduled to inspect the vehicle and engine. Once I get a report from them, I'll figure out what to do going forward.

Correspondence with dealership rep:




My requests for documentation of the vehicle inspection, warranty claim submission, and warranty claim denial have been ignored. I have filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General, FTC, and the BBB.

7/8/2018
Service Manager at the dealership finally sent me some paperwork. They're citing lack of maintenance records as the main reason for denying the warranty. That seems ridiculous. I asked Carvana for something documenting the oil change they performed after they purchased the car. They sent a document in less than 20 minutes stating they had changed the oil at 32,105 miles. The receipts and CC transaction details I provided the dealership for oil and filters from my own maintenance show I changed the oil roughly every 6 months. I went ahead and gave them a copy of the receipt for oil and filter I purchased 6 days before the breakdown, even though I hadn't changed the oil yet. Not only have I changed the oil, I've changed it at shorter intervals than recommended in the service manual. I've changed the oil at intervals between 5,000-7,000 miles.
The Service Manager said he'd go back to the regional rep to see if the letter from Carvana and receipts/CC transactions would suffice for maintenance records. I've put together all the documents to send in to the NCDS for dispute settlement if the Service Manager doesn't get the go ahead for the warranty work.

7/16/2018
Toyota finally sent out an FTS to look at the car. I had to push hard just to get someone from corporate to look at the car. I called the customer relations line twice, repeatedly asking for someone to pull over rev data from the ECU. I also let the Service Manager know that Subaru confirmed they could pull the over rev data to pressure them to have the car looked at.

FTS does not believe the engine was over revved. I feel vindicated in that regard. FTS noted sludge on the pistons and thinks the engine was low on oil at some point or the car had bad gas or an additive. I know the oil hasn't been low since I owned the car. And a Toyota dealership in New York serviced the car while it was a lease vehicle, so Toyota should have notes on whether or not the oil was ever low in their system. I don't think they did, because they haven't tried to throw that at me to deny the claim. I always fill up with premium at the pump, and I avoid shady gas stations. Though I suppose there's a chance I got bad gas somehow. Toyota wants to send off a sample of the fuel. That's the next step.

7/19/2018
Received an email from the Service Manager this morning that Toyota will honor the warranty and cover the repairs. Signed the paperwork earlier today. Doesn't sound like they're sure on the cause.

8/22/2018
Finally picked the car up from the dealership last Monday, the 20th. Haven't heard anything definitive on what caused the failure.

Last edited by displacedTexan; 08-22-2018 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:30 PM   #2
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Major Bummer!


You still have warranty on a '13? Hope it works out.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:34 PM   #3
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Major Bummer!


You still have warranty on a '13? Hope it works out.
Just barely. The 60 month/60,000 mile power train warranty is almost up. As long as Toyota honors the warranty, I got lucky in that regard.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:39 PM   #4
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had this happen to a friend. the motor was replaced under his insurance, he had a repair shop tell the adjuster that this was a common issue with the 2013 engine.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:56 PM   #5
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depending on build date, reliability of MY13s have appeared to be hit or miss with the rocker arms being one of more common causes of failure. my '13 was built after July 2012 and never missed a beat for 60 K miles even though I was beating that thing and banging it off the redline as soon as I got it..
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:09 PM   #6
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I had an issue with the my rocker arms as well. Luckily I caught it before it did any significant damage. It basically sounded like a tapping nose. I was out of a car for like 3 weeks while they rebuilt the engine (Heads only). They replaced the rocker arms on both sides. Good luck in your case, but I'm sure Toyota would good will it at the very least.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:41 AM   #7
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Well, that's a shame

What month and year was your car built?

I hope you get er back on the road soon.


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Old 06-21-2018, 03:55 PM   #8
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Rocker Blockers

Custom machined rocker blockers are available that solve the problem for built engines.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:56 PM   #9
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Well, that's a shame

What month and year was your car built?

I hope you get er back on the road soon.


humfrz
Production date is 05/2013.

I'm preparing myself for several weeks without the car. But, one way or another the car is getting a new engine.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:53 PM   #10
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Production date is 05/2013.

I'm preparing myself for several weeks without the car. But, one way or another the car is getting a new engine.
UGH! Mine was built in 04/2013

I hope they get you a new engine soon.


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Old 06-21-2018, 07:38 PM   #11
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My 13 lost a rocker too at 20k or so. Dealer tech was instructed to check main bearings and ended up doing a short block. Motor then blew from improper cam timing. Toyota ended up putting entirely new engine, injectors, lines, ecu etc. This was in 2014. Cars been running fine since.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:59 PM   #12
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UGH! Mine was built in 04/2013 …

I hope they get you a new engine soon.


humfrz
Hey humfr how many mile is yours now?
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:20 PM   #13
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Hey humfr how many mile is yours now?
A tad over 20,000.


It's getting real hard to get grandma away from her granddaughters for long trips . like we did with the Miata.

Or, maybe pa-pa is just slowing down


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Old 06-21-2018, 09:27 PM   #14
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A tad over 20,000.


It's getting real hard to get grandma away from her granddaughters for long trips . like we did with the Miata.

Or, maybe pa-pa is just slowing down


humfrz
Damn that's like brand new still.

I have 62k......on a 2015.......
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