2018 Audi A4 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbags, structure, brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Many customers pay a premium price to get behind the wheel of a 2018 Audi A4 expecting it to be the luxury vehicle of their dreams. After all, the automaker claims that the newer models put “progress at the forefront,” but recent reviews suggest otherwise. This high-end model suffers from defective air bags, a poorly built structure, malfunctioning powertrain and spotty brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2021

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Problems with the Air Bags

If anyone would expect to be safe, it should be in the cabin of an expensive luxury car, but the Audi A4 has suffered from multiple air bag issues.

One recent review on Cars.com highlights how unreliable Audi is with this statement. “I paid high $ for the prestige and the traffic jam assistance quit working in month 10. The dealership repaired it twice, each taking a full week. At the first repair, they re-calibrated the camera. It worked for a couple days. At the second, they replaced the knee airbag with the faulty circuits. The explanation was traffic jam assistance shares circuits with that airbags.”

If that’s not enough, it’s helpful to look at the two recalls related to the air bag systems. The first, Recall Number 19V547000, states that the Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) connecting cable could make the vehicle software misdiagnose a malfunction, which leads to a disabled passenger air bag. The second, Recall Number 18V836000, highlights how the passenger air bag module mounting screw might not have been tightened correctly, thereby preventing the deployment of this bag once again. If someone didn’t know better, they could assume that Audi is trying to get rid of the front-seat passenger.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

If someone wanted a sub-par car, they would buy a Volkswagen instead of Audi. While they are made from the same company, Volkswagen keeps the prices lower and uses materials that aren’t as upscale. No one expects to get into an Audi and get cheap quality, yet that is what’s happening.

One Cars.com review states, “Great car for driving on snowy winter roads! Excellent traction with the tires that came with the car. Now that Spring is here and I am doing more driving on the interstate I am not so impressed. This is a noisy car! Not so much tire or engine noise, but wind noise! At 40 mph I can hear the wind blowing by but at interstate speeds of 70 mph it sounds like a hurricane (o.k. I have never been in a hurricane but I hope you get my meaning). I paid more than $50,000 for this car and I expected better. I should have gone for the Lexus that I was looking at!”

Aside from this structural issue, there has been a more significant recall that proves Audi didn’t do a good job constructing the A4. Recall Number 17V675000 says that the aluminum trim on the doors can become loose around the speakers and expose occupants to sharp edges. Between malfunctioning airbags and sharp knife-like surfaces in the vehicle, it seems that Audi doesn’t value its clientele much. There certainly isn’t much progress, as someone might be safer in a vehicle from forty years ago.

Problems with the Transmission

The transmission is an integral part of any vehicle’s powertrain. When this vital component fails to operate as it should, every drive becomes a nightmare. That’s just what is shown by an Edmunds review. “TRANSMISSION: HORRIBLE, super annoying huge lag when switching between D-N-R, will make you hear lots of honking in the busy NY streets. Odd gating (gate sensors) of the gear lever will make you miss the gears (D-N-R) quite often.”

Of course, the automaker has remained relatively quiet on the transmission concerns. After all, what would it look like if this luxury brand couldn’t get something as simple as the transmission right? At this point, many customers are wishing they had gone with a different high-end automaker, or saved money and gone with the VW instead.

Problems with the Brakes

Brakes have been around since the early 1900s. Since then, most automakers have perfected the design, and even work to create new innovative technologies. On the other hand, Audi seems to be failing – and not making progress, as promised.

One Cars.com review talks about brake problems with the A4. It states, “My brand new Audi A4 was in the shop 5 times for brake problems with no answers or results. They insisted on performing the same “fix” each time, and each time my brakes ended up worse. I have never had so many problems with any vehicle. The service team was not interested in finding an actual solution. As a result, I got rid of my car after less than a year of ownership. Had I not gotten rid of my vehicle, I would have had to schedule yet another visit as the brake problem was still not fixed. Very disappointed with the purchase and customer care. I will not buy another Audi.”

Audi doesn’t seem to be hiding issues. Looking at TSB ID #A461775 we see that the engineers even talk about how the brakes can make a troublesome clicking noise. Is this what someone buying an Audi A4 is hoping for when dropping a wad of cash? Between the structural noises, malfunctioning brakes, airbags that won’t deploy and powertrain with a mind of its own, it seems that Audi needs to go back to the drawing board.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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  • Frank A

    This is the worst write up of a car I have ever read. You act like Audi is the only manufacturer to experience recalls of this nature. You want to rip into engineers that designed a car with speaker finishing flaws? Yet you have unapologetically posted a piss poor money grab of a review of a car to benefit your law offices. Wanna talk about cars 40 years ago? Okay, have fun spontaneously combusting in a Ford Pinto or getting impaled by a steering column. This is a lazy representation of a car review. I don’t even like Audis. But I hate this lack luster attempt at a cash grab even more. What useless drivel.

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