Toyota unveiled its 2023 Toyota GR Corolla at a track in Park City, Utah last week. The brand has repeatedly praised the hot hatch as a track-ready toy, and I have no doubt plenty of folks will flog it at track days. But if you blow your engine, are you still covered by warranty?
The great Kristen Lee over at the Drive asked this very question of Toyota and I’ve been thinking about the answer ever since:
When I asked if the GR Corolla’s warranty will cover track days, a Toyota spokesperson didn’t respond with an outright yes or no, but instead said that the company “covers responsible driving at track days.” They elaborated to say that it’s not about voiding a warranty, but “about individual responsibility.”
For context, the GR Corolla’s warranty seems like a pretty standard one. It’s a three-year or 36,000-mile basic new-vehicle policy that “applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items,” according to the press release. There’s also a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty for the powertrain “and corrosion with no mileage limitation.” And like the GR86, Toyota will offer GR Corolla buyers a one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association that includes a free, coached track day session.
Lee was concerned because Toyota initially denied a GR86 owner’s warranty repair claim after dealership service manager reported abusive driving of the sports car based on the owner’s social media page to corporate. Toyota later approved the repair after the story went viral and caused an outcry among enthusiasts.
The Drive post points out that Toyota’s warranty response likely means that, despite seemingly encouraging owners to take their cars to the track, the company will be reviewing warranty claims on a case-by-case basis.
Who would be qualified to do such a job? It would take an uncanny knack for recognizing the difference between a good ol’ time and being an ass on a track. You’d have to know the car of course, and engines, but more importantly, you’d need to also be a great judge of what counts as having fun and what counts as being an ass.
It’s a very specific sweet spot. To that end, I’ve worked up some additional requirements Toyota should consider when looking for the right judge of track day character:
- Willing to deny warranty coverage for anyone with Hoosiers as a preexisting condition.
- Has never uttered the words”winning the track day” or “track day, bro!”
- No use of the word “bro” unless referring to a familial relation. “Hell yeah, brothers” are acceptable.
- “Send its!” shouted at between 70 and 90 decibels.
- Understands passive aggressively driving vs. aggressively passive driving
- Maintains a strict no-overtaking-in-corners policy
- Has never paid more than $100 for a hair cut
- Tells no one unprompted how much they paid for their car/aftermarket parts
- Must present sunglasses at interview for inspection