The Porsche 991.1 GT3, built from model year 2014 to 2016, got off to a rough start—engine fire risks sidelined the first 785 cars delivered, forcing Porsche to replace all of their engines. Then, some GT3 owners began noticing misfires at high RPMs, leading a US group of “concerned owners” to send a letter to Porsche executives to talk about the problems they were experiencing.
Porsche thoroughly investigated the issue, then invited delegates from the group to a meeting at its North American headquarters last week, where the company promised a new 10-year, 120,000-mile engine warranty.
This is the longest-mileage engine warranty we’ve ever heard of, especially impressive in that it’s being offered on Porsche’s track-attacking GT3. It’s even better than Porsche’s certified pre-owned warranty, which covers the car for 50,000 miles after purchase or until 100,000 miles on the odometer, whichever occurs first.
Per its founder Rob Carr, the concerned owners group didn’t make any requests of Porsche other than to talk about what they had seen. “We never once demanded anything,” Carr told Road & Track on the phone. Despite that, Porsche went above and beyond in rectifying things.
The company flew Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, head of Porsche Motorsport, out to the concerned owners group meeting to address reported GT3 engine durability issue and a planned fix.
Dr. Walliser told the group that the high-RPM misfire issue could be traced to a metallurgical defect in certain batches of “finger followers,” a pivoting rocker arm in the valvetrain. Depending on driving style, finger followers with these defects are prone to increased wear, which, combined with many other factors, can lead to the high-rpm misfires experienced by certain owners. Very few GT3s have these defective finger followers, but Dr. Walliser and team developed revised camshafts and finger followers for replacement engines.
Carr told Road & Track that, interestingly, the few cars affected by this issue were ones that weren’t being driven hard enough. You were more likely to have issues with the finger followers if you only drove your car around town, never taking it to the track. Walliser also told the concerned owners that Porsche tested the engine in the 991.1 GT3 RS and 991 R and didn’t find any similar issues.
The warranty is transferrable to all subsequent GT3 owners, and covers the entire cost of an engine replacement if failure is a direct result of the finger-follower issue. And despite the fact that the concerned owners are US-based, Porsche is offering this warranty to customers around the world. Previously, Porsche did top-end rebuilds for affected engines, but now, owners will get a new, upgraded motor instead.
After the previous fire-risk recall—and the subsequent bad press surrounding it—Porsche undoubtedly wants to rectify this engine’s reputation. Plus, you have to imagine that the notorious IMS bearing failures that plagued the 986 and 996’s water-cooled flat-six are still on the minds of Porsche employees.
In any case, Porsche did the right thing for this valuable group of customers, and now, you can enjoy your 991.1 GT3 without worrying about worn finger-followers. Better get looking on eBay for one of your own.
For more about their meeting, check out Carr’s retelling over at the Rennlist forums.