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Issues | Warranty | Recalls / TSB Problems, issues, recalls, TSBs

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Old 02-21-2019, 10:58 PM   #1
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Results of the Valve Spring Recall Work

Saturday, 2nd February, I drop off the car at Toyota of Santa Cruz for the Valve Spring Recall.

The car is finished about a week later, I pick it up and drive it for another week with no issues. I mainly use the car to commute to Milpitas.

Today, 21st February, on my way to work on HWY17, just past the last Scotts Valley exit, the car starts knocking and losing a bit of power. There was no "Check Engine" or warning lights at all. I downshift from 6th to 5th and the car dies. I coast off the highway, onto Vine Hill Rd. and call AAA, my Boss, and then call Toyota of Santa Cruz to give them a heads-up that I'm bringing the car in.

When I arrive with the car on a flatbed, about five or six techs pop their heads out from the service garage and start looking at each other. I look at them, they look at me point to my car and shake my head. They disappear.

The shop foreman and the service manager say that they will fix the car for free if they can prove it was their fault, even though the car has approx. 1k miles on it since the service.

I told them I have hours of mind-numbing dashcam video of my commute to prove I didn't abuse the car.

So, in the meantime, I'm rockin' a green Sienna to work, and I'm pulling in all the ladies! No, that last part isn't true at all, sorry.

Here are the videos, sorry for the language but breaking down on HWY17 is stressful as it is.

************************************************** *****************************************

Toyota called today and stated they believe the problem is internal, and the engine is coming out and will be taken apart to find the issue.

In the meantime, I'll put up with the minivan and the smells of carpet shampoo.
************************************************** *****************************************



Service called and said they pulled the oil pan and found the #4 cylinder rod bearing spun.

Options are:

Dealer will obtain used, low-mileage engine, from LKQ Motors, from a VIN that's not associated with the recall, with a one-year warranty and put that in.


Start sourcing parts to put a new short block together.

He said he will contact me by the end of day with a plan for each.
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Toyota Mgr called back with prices for a used, low- mileage engine for $7.5k, or a new short block for $8.5k.

ME:. "Are you telling me I'm paying? You said..."

HIM: "Oh, you must have misunderstood what I said..."

ME: "Why would you think that? What's my options? How do I escalate this? And how am I supposed to get to work?"

HIM: "We can rent you a..."

So... I'm on the phone with Toyota Corporate. They tried calling Toyota of Santa Cruz but everyone was "unavailable at the moment".

I'm really bummed because, up until today, Toyota of Santa Cruz has been really good to me. I feel... cheated.

Somebody hold me because I have the feels.
************************************************** *****************************************


Just got off the phone with Beth, from Toyota Corporate.

She told me that she talked to the dealership, got their input about the recall work, and asked me if I would like to "participate in getting my car fixed", which means that I "pay the majority of the cost".

I told her that I don't feel like I do, since I was stranded on HWY17 and could have been killed due to the results of this recall service.

She said that there is nothing else that Toyota is going to do and that they were handing my case over to Toyota of Santa Cruz, where I could work out a price to fix my car.

I'm so frustrated right now.
************************************************** *****************************************



Dropping off the rental tomorrow and then going to have the FR-S towed to a Subaru Repair shop. I'll have them look into it and tell me what they think happened. Then, I'll get the car back on the road.

I just talked to the Manager at the dealership, and nothing is being done to solve this.
************************************************** *****************************************



After going round-and-round, the guy at the dealer says that he spoke to his tech and they found the codes on the ECU were recently cleared before they looked at it. They looked into it and found that it should meet certain criteria with what they have at Toyota and in their database and say that there must have been something going on before the car broke. For example: Running a custom tune then re-flashing the stock tune back before handing the car over.

There's no way for me to prove this didn't happen.

I'm now waiting for Toyota Corp. to call me back (at the advice of the dealer) and see what can be done next, which is going to cost me a lot of money.

This SUCKS. My stomach is doing flips.

EDIT: I said if I take the car to another shop and they find a problem that can be attributed to the dealership's work, will they pay for it? I got a *maybe*.
************************************************** *****************************************



I have my car back. I took it from Toyota of Santa Cruz to Garage One in Campbell. The car runs great, the engine bay is shiny, and I have a 3-Year Warranty. It ended up costing less than what Toyota wanted, so fuck them.

They found the oil pickup tube in the old engine was ~25% blocked with black silicone bits, and I am paying them to tear-down the old block and document what they find. I will hold on to the affected bits for... I don't know... "evidence"? For whatever comes next.

Anyone using a lawyer for this type of thing? I hope there's going to be a class-action suit.
************************************************** *****************************************



California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) contacted me today, told to gather all my paperwork and photos to send to him.
He will visit Toyota of Santa Cruz and get their side of the story and any paperwork they want to give.
This will end up as a Civil Matter, i.e.: we might go to court over this if mediation between TofSC and myself breaks down.

Shitty, but it is progress.

************************************************** *****************************************



The personnel at the BAR collected all the info I wrote on this post and some pretty damning info from other posts, receipts, pictures from the engine tear-down. They talked to Toyota of Santa Cruz and got their side of the story, and after some mediation I got a refund.

It is over and I'm glad. I put the money back into savings and I'm putting this behind me.

Thanks for the support and thanks for shedding a light on how dealerships and corporations deal with each other and their customers.

Say all the negative crap about California all that you want, but I'm glad we have this resource available to us.

I have a new block, rebuilt heads, new components installed by a qualified SUBARU mechanic at Garage One in Campbell, and they guarantee their work for 3 years. The car runs perfectly and I have no issues with putting another 130k miles on it again.


Last edited by Magoo; 07-24-2019 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Consolidating my posts due to the signal-to-noise ratio.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:25 PM   #2
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Well, that's a shame -

Please let us know what was wrong with your car and what they plan on doing about it.

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Old 02-22-2019, 01:22 AM   #3
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Pretty much this exact thing happened to mine today too, right down to backup Sienna I'm also driving to work for now.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:53 AM   #4
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Best of luck bro and I'm praying it was due to the recall and taken of you . Please keep us updated .

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Old 02-22-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
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I drove 17 lots of times and it was always in the back of my mind if I broke down what a rotten situation it would be. Good luck with getting the car fixed on their dime.

Last edited by gravitylover; 02-23-2019 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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My car is also at my local dealer ship, same thing, 400 miles after the work was done. Maybe we should create a recall failure thread if one hasn't been made

EDIT:: please leave an entry here if you have time and had engine failure shortly after the recall work was performed.

Last edited by DarkPira7e; 02-22-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:38 PM   #7
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Toyota called today and stated they believe the problem is internal, and the engine is coming out and will be taken apart to find the issue.

In the meantime, I'll put up with the minivan and the smells of carpet shampoo.

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Old 02-22-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
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Engines are good until a tech touch it?
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:14 PM   #9
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The dangers of buying an FRS (or 86) instead of a BRZ - you get a Sienna loaner.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Magoo View Post
Toyota called today and stated they believe the problem is internal, and the engine is coming out and will be taken apart to find the issue.

In the meantime, I'll put up with the minivan and the smells of carpet shampoo.

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I'll love their obvious updates, no shit it's internal
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:09 PM   #11
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Sounds like you have a spun bearing. Same noise I had. You will need a new short block.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brink View Post
The dangers of buying an FRS (or 86) instead of a BRZ - you get a Sienna loaner.
The sienna comes with better valve springs
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:04 AM   #13
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I had a similar issue with mine...

I got it home and an hour later it would crank, fire, then immediately die. I quit after about 10 tries and resetting the ECU. About an hour later, I went to make a video to send to a friend (who works at the dealership) and it started right up.

The next morning I drove it 2.5mi into town. Car ran fine. On the way home, with the cruise set at 80 (3500rpm in 6th), it hiccuped/bogged/hesitated a couple of times, then started to almost non stop. I pulled into the breakdown lane and was coasting, cruise control disengaged and I tried to give it some gas since it was slowing and it didnt respond at all. As I was coasting down the next exit, the car died. I restarted it at the end of the ramp, it died. I eventually limped it into a parking lot and had my laptop with me, so I pulled the codes (CEL came on when car stalled, but didn't at any time before). The code was P1235, High Pressure Fuel Pump Circuit. I limped it home. Next day I took it out and was datalogging. Around 3500rpm it seemed to be hitting fuel cut, independent of gear or engine load. The CEL had reset from the car running "ok" for a few startups. I made an appointment to take it back to the dealer.

Being that the tech broke the connector on the passenger side exhaust oil control valve/variable valve timing solenoid, I figured I would check some connections. Being that the car was intermittently having issues I was thinking it was a short. I disconnected and blew air on all of the connectors for the high pressure/direct injector control unit (small box mounted to the passenger side engine bracket), looking for a bent pin or damaged wire. Then I checked the 3 mounting bolts, they were snug, but not tight. I tightened them. Sounds trivial, but the DICU (idk its proper abbreviated name) grounds to the bracket with the bolts. Then I reset the ECU (disconnect negative terminal from battery. Drain electricity with brakes/dome light etc), and reset the trouble codes.

I have driven the car for 2 days now, numerous WOT pulls through multiple gears, cruise at 80mph just like before etc... and it has been running perfectly.
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:29 AM   #14
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So, should I ignore the recall and risk the chance of a crash. Or, take it in and risk the chance of a perfectly running car that's completely ruined..
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