Abstractn the present study, the feasibility of the friction spot joining technique on magnesium AZ31–O/glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforced poly(phenylene sulfide) joints is addressed. The thermo-mechanical phenomena associated with the friction spot joining process promoted metallurgical and polymer physical–chemical transformations. These effects resulted in grain refinement by dynamic recrystallization and changes in local (microhardness) and global strength (lap shear). Friction spot lap joints with elevated mechanical performance (20–28 MPa) were produced without surface pre-treatment. This preliminary investigation has successfully shown that friction spot joining is an alternative technology for producing hybrid polymer–metal structures.