2022 Subaru BRZ & Toyota GR86 Blinker Problem

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Lemberg Law is investigating complaints that the blinkers of the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 malfunction. Vehicle owners say they often get a very fast blink when the sun level is low, and sometimes their blinkers don’t produce any light at all. Some say that cold weather exacerbates the problem. Owners also state that it is a safety issue that the manufacturers are refusing to address. 

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Is There a Problem with the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 Blinkers?

There certainly is a problem with the blinkers in the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 models. Owners have video evidence of what happens – and what doesn’t happen. Typically, the light hyperflashes or blinks very fast on the dash indicator and at the front of the car when the turn signal is on. The back blinkers don’t work at all unless there is some shade over the lights.

Owners of both these vehicles have lodged official complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There is also an ongoing discussion in the GR85 forum about the issue. Those concerned believe it is potentially a cause for a safety recall. It is also a legal issue that affects drivers because they run the risk of getting pulled over for not signaling. But the manufacturers aren’t responding.

What Problems are Owners Experiencing with the BRZ and GR86 Blinkers?

Complaints about the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 are exactly the same despite the fact that they are manufactured by different Japanese automakers, Subaru Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation respectively.

Subaru BRZ Blinker NHTSA Complaints

An owner from Washington lodged a complaint with the NHTSA and linked to a video he had uploaded on YouTube. This shows clearly how on a sunny morning, with the sun at the rear of the vehicle, when selecting the turn signal, the dash display flashes rapidly (hyperflashes). It also shows that the rear signal light doesn’t operate. The forward turn signal functions but flashes at a rapid rate. His complaint states that once the sun is high in the sky, the turn signals operate normally.

“I have communicated this concern to Subaru of America and shared the video links with them. Their last communication was (for me) to contact a dealer. I understand that the dealer would need to confirm my concern. However, it would need to be a sunny day at the time of (the) appointment, plus the duty hours for the technicians are outside the window of the sun elevation when this problem occurs. Other owners of the 2022 BRZ and Toyota GR86 have reported similar experiences on the web forums with turn signals behaving as I have detailed.”

An owner from Oregon confirms in another NHTSA complaint that this is exactly what happens. “This is a danger because my car will not properly signal when I change lanes or take a turn. Subaru will not look at the vehicle.” He quotes a post in “a community of owners for this vehicle” where an owner states that the dealer ignored the issue, and Subaru of America sent a generic, irrelevant response. “This behavior by the dealer and the manufacturer is irresponsible and dangerous. This issue needs to be resolved at the federal level to ensure the safety of myself and others on the road.”

Toyota GR86 Blinker NHTSA Complaints

A Toyota GR86 owner from Washington states in an NHTSA complaint that multiple incidents have been confirmed by many different owners across the nation. Specifically, when strong sunlight is directed toward the taillights, the rear turn signals won’t operate and they hyperflash at the front signal lights. “This is a safety hazard, and (a) couple (of) owners have been ticketed because of the lights being defective.”

This owner’s belief is that the network of dealerships is ignoring this because they won’t be able to “replicate the sun in the taillight situation.”

Discussion on the GR86 Forum

Launched on December 3, 2022, the discussion on the GR86 was still very much alive in late-February, 2023, when this post was written. The discussion starter reports that fast blinking happens when the sun level is very low and behind the car. There are no issues when the sun is to the left or in front. “As soon as I get the sun behind me, I get the fast blinker. As soon as I turn and have the sun to my side again, it goes away.” When the road is a bit wet and reflective and bright, this can also trigger the issue. He says that cold weather doesn’t seem to cause the issue.

At least one other member disagrees stating, “The one and only time my 2022 BRZ hyperflashed was on a very cold day, but the entire car was in a garage, rear end first, so (the) sun had nothing to do with it.” But the discussion starter maintains it’s just because the sun is lower in winter.

Another member states categorically, after considerable research, that sunlight is the cause of signal hyperflashing. It happens when the sun is “relatively low on the horizon as at sunrise and sunset.” This results in the lighting shining on the tail-light assembly. He points out that if the turn signal hyperflashes on the dash display, you can safely assume that the rear side blinker isn’t working. “We are going to be living with this anomaly for some time. First Subaru has to be convinced there is a problem, design a fix, and then probably a TSB.”

A Temporary Solution from an Owner

A solution suggested by the Subaru owner mentioned above is to block the sunlight using a tinted film to prevent the sun’s reflection from affecting the blinkers. Please be aware that Lemberg Law does not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for the use of the suggested materials. We mention it only as a matter of interest rather than to promote the idea.

After lots of testing, the Subaru owner maintains that a vinyl tint film designed as an overlay for tail lights, exterior lights, and so on is an inexpensive, if temporary, fix. He opted for the “dark smoke carbon fiber” choice, and advises that a light or normal smoke tint color won’t work. He had previously used “the stock 20% window tint,” which didn’t work at all. Ultimately, his educated guess is that Subaru and Toyota need to update software in the body integrated unit (BIU) that controls the signal LED assemblies.

He states that he approached Subaru with his suggestion. Their response was to thank him for the feedback and assure him the information would be passed on “to Product Development to consider when developing future models.”

Clearly, he says, they didn’t bother to read the attachments provided. “This is a SAFETY issue not feedback for product development.” As a result, he goes on to say to forum members that “posting about this amongst the forum is great but will NOT get Subaru/Toyota to address this issue. Either go to (a) dealer, (or) post concerns online to Subaru of America and Subaru Canada.”

As an alternative, another member suggests that “until Subaru/Toyota take care of this, we need to go back to our local licensing course and learn the hand signals especially when you are followed by a patrol.”

What Should You Do if Your 2022 BRZ or GR86 Has Blinker Problems?

Not all 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86s have blinkers that malfunction. But if yours do malfunction, you might have bought a lemon. And, if you have, the law says that any legal fees must be paid by Subaru and Toyota respectively.

If you are experiencing problems, you might qualify for compensation. All you need to do is call us at 844-928-4443 or complete our contact form. We will evaluate your case and see if you qualify.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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