Engine Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,150 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2013 Scion FR-S engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Scion FR-S:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Scion FR-S Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 122019

FR-S FR-S 4cly

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


The JO2 (valve springs) recall was done in April, 2019. Engine failure happened in Sept. 2019 due to rod bearing failure from oil starvation. Apparently, Toyota improperly applied sealant in the recall. The sealant seeped in to the oil, causing a blockage. Most 2013 Scion FR-S’s had engine failure after the recall. Toyota is not taking responsibility and covering this. Some of the Scion motors caught on fire. My Scion was only service at Toyota dealers.

- Dave J., Smithtown, US

problem #3

Aug 102020


  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have a 2013 FRS that was included in the the J02 safety recall campaign to fix faulty valve springs. Before I even received my notice I had already read stories in publications about issues with the recall fix. I held off getting the work done as long as I could so that Toyota could have more time to work out the issue before I bring in my car. However, once my registration was due, the DMV would not allow me to re register my vehicle without proof of correction. I scheduled my appointment, but had a few questions for the service advisor. "Have you guys performed the recall fix on other vehicles?" "Have you had any return for the known issues that some owners are reporting after the fix?"... etc. All of these questions were answered with assurance. I scheduled my appointment, the work was done and there were no apparent issues at the time that I picked up the vehicle.

On 8/10 while driving home to San Ramon from work on 680, I felt power loss. I was in 6th gear, driving approximately 65 mph and felt nothing as I pressed on the accelerator to increase my speed to 70 mph. Sensing something was off, I downshifted to see if the increased RPM/torque would give me that power..it did not. I was just near my exit, and as the car decelerated, A loud knocking became audible, and as I pushed in the clutch to brake at the end of the offramp, the engine died. Temp was fine, oil level was fine, no dummy lights came on, the car started up for me and it limped the 1/2 mile home.

This is exactly the same scenario that many other FRS owners reported having sometime after the valve spring recall work done. Numerous online publications, FRS/BRZ message boards, and of course the current class action lawsuit, all point to this being a known issue. As well as, before calling Dublin Toyota, I spoke with service advisors of other Toyota dealerships, they concur that it is a known issue. They all assured me over the phone that they would do the right thing. I did not get this assurance from Dublin Toyota, which worried me a bit from the outset.

I dropped my car off at Dublin Toyota on the morning of 8/10 explaining what happened and giving a brief description of the events, and my suspicions about what had occurred. The next day, I received a call from Scott letting me know that metal shavings had been found in the oil. Again, this is totally consistent with other owners who experienced the same issue with their 2013 FRS that had the J02 recall work done. Scott then said "You know, these cars are driven hard", to which I responded "I'm a 46 year old man, and I hardly have the same driving habits as a 21 to 25 year old kid" whom I realize is the demographic this vehicle attracts. I was a little put off by this exchange, as I don't think it was necessary, relevant, constructive to the conversation and not at all correct to throw assumptions into our conversation which had been pleasant up to that point. Scott proceeded to tell me how much a very used engine would cost as well as give me numbers on how much it would cost to tear down. I opted to see what the problem was.

Scott calls me the next day to tell me there's a spun bearing and quotes me $8600 to fix. When I asked Scott if there was any RTV found in the oil pickup he says "no". When I ask him what was found to be the cause he says "Oil starvation". My response was "There was plenty of oil in that engine". After a few more questions and dialogue he reiterates "Oil Starvation". This puts us at odds. He didn't report any low levels, as well as I didn't notice any low levels. Oil level, and coolant level were exactly where they were supposed to be, as they always are, and have been during my ownership of this vehicle, which up until this issue, was totally and completely problem free. ALSO, their own inspection at the time of drop off makes no mention of low or dirty oil. So either the problem was grossly misdiagnosed, or Scott is again making assumptions, maybe both. If he sticks with his statement of oil starvation, then there is RTV somewhere else in that engine that caused oilflow to be restricted, because as of that phone conversation he has no answers as to why that was the diagnosis.

As of 11/10/20, the dealership is refusing responsibility. I have complained to the B.A.R. and after trying to get a resolution the dealership stonewalled the B.A.R. as well and I still have yet to have a return email or phone call from the service manager at Dublin Toyota. I called Toyota corporate today and have a case # assigned. I will update as this moves along.

- David C., San Ramon, CA, US

problem #2

Jul 122019


  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Took car to dealer for inspection & oil change on 7/08/19.on my way home from work on 7/12/19,I heard a loud knocking and immediately had the car towed to Conicelli Toyota.They said it was a blown bearing and would cost 5,000+ to replace engine! Upon researching this,I found that many of these cars that were recalled for valve spring replacement (2013 only}recently, experienced the same failure (coincidentally after 5 year warranty was over). So far, both Conicelli & Toyota (case#1907180774) have denied any responsibility.

- Brad R., Havertown, US

problem #1

Mar 072019


  • Manual transmission
  • 85,560 miles

2 months ago I took my car in to get my clutch replaced and decided to go ahead and complete the valve spring recall (mandatory in CA) while my car was there. My car was gone for over a month getting these repairs completed with little explanation as to why. 2 days after finally getting my car back, the engine began to knock and vibrate wildly, eventually stalling out and becoming inoperable. Car was towed back to dealership in San Juan Capistrano where is sat for another 2 weeks being "investigated."

Dealership eventually called me and informed me that engine block was cracked on lower end and that they were NOT responsible. I opened a case with the "Customer Experience Center" and spoke with "Michael M." (case# 1903211098). I'm not sure what they did from this point, but several days later Michael M called me back and stated that Toyota is finding itself not responsible.

Besides my clutch needing replacement, never had any issues with my car/engine prior to this and 48 hours after getting it back from a recall my engine is totaled and will cost me 8 to 10k to replace. This alone seems obviously Toyota's responsibility... but when you factor in all the other FRS owners online who have had similar issues, its crazy that Toyota is choosing to ignore this problem.

Only option left is either to pay for new engine in a car that is worth slightly more than what it will cost to put engine in.... or, to get a lawyer and hope that somewhere down the line Toyota will reimburse me for both my car and lawyer fees. Help!!!!

- David J., San Juan Capistrano, CA, US

Not what you are looking for?