2018 Audi A5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

When it comes to owning a luxury vehicle that stands out, owners couldn’t have been happier to get their hands on the 2018 Audi A5. It features unique styling, high-tech features and the company claims that “nothing stands out like distinction,” but research shows this model stands out for all of the wrong reasons. The air bags don’t seem to work, it features a poorly-built structure and there are issues with the suspension.

 

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Audi A5

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
6
Visibility/wiper
3
Service Brakes
3
Engine
2
Structure:body
2
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
1
Exterior Lighting
1
Air Bags
1
Steering
1

Problems with the Air Bags

While there aren’t overwhelming reviews about the troubles that the air bags are causing on the 2018 Audi A5, make no mistake about it. This system is exceptionally flawed and has even undergone three separate recalls.

Recall Number 19V547000 expresses how there is oxidation on the Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) that causes the software to recognize a malfunction and fails to notice a passenger, thereby disabling the system. Recall Number 17V822000 says that the head curtain air bag might not unfold as it should, leading to an increased chance of injury. Finally, Recall Number 18V836000 illustrates how the passenger air bag module mounting screw might not be tightened completely and could prevent the deployment of the air bag once again. If someone didn’t know better, it could be argued that the company has it out for the passengers. Either that or those specific engineers have no clue how to build cars. In reality, nothing stands out like failure.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Audi and Volkswagen are part of the same family of vehicles, but it’s expected that the Audi will be made with higher quality materials, yet, many people are struggling with the structure of this luxury car.

One user at Audi World stated, “Many people are having problems with the door buzz or rattle which sounds like a jar of pennies trapped in the door. For me, it happens with the stereo off and I hit a certain frequency of road texture. To mimic this frequency of road without driving around all day, I noticed that the song ‘Pylonesque’ by .christ elicits the door buzz in an extreme way for troubleshooting purposes.At this stage, they are trying a new door panel on one side to see if this will be a fix. However the door panel will take 4-6 weeks. Haven’t enjoyed my new car yet but at some point all the problems may be fixed.”

Again, Audi has issued a recall related to the poorly built structure. Recall Number 17V675000 states that the aluminum trim of all of the doors can come loose around the door speakers. If this happens, occupants can cut themselves on the sharp, knife-like edges. Imagine someone getting cut on the trim and then getting into an accident as a result, where the air bags don’t deploy. What a disaster waiting to happen, and a great way to “stand out.”

Problems with the Suspension

The suspension of a vehicle consists of many parts and works in conjunction with the steering. In a luxury vehicle from Audi, one would expect that the ride and steering would all come together to create a harmonious ride, but that’s not the case.

Just look at this statement left on Car Complaints. “Clicking and vibration in steering column, especially at low speeds”

This isn’t an isolated occurrence. In fact, the internet is riddled with similar complaints. There’s even a suspension-related recall that owners should know about. Recall Number 18V893000 says that the front suspension fasteners might not have been correctly tightened. Is there a theme here? Are the techs afraid of tightening components? Anyway, this results in the front wheel breaking loose. Obviously, if the front wheel comes loose, occupants could be in danger of an accident. Don’t forget that the airbags might also fail to deploy on top of it. As we come to the end of this, it’s clear that the Audi A5 does stand out, but only because it is a massive lemon.

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Complaint Data

CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateOct 03, 2022
StateKY
Description
Malfunctioning sunroof: I was the only vehicle on a flat paved road, partly cloudy skies and 65°. I had issues last summer, where when the sunroof was in the tilted position, it would not close securely. When I exited the vehicle to see what the issue was, I noticed the driver side corner was still in the tilted position, whereas the passenger side corner of the panoramic sunroof, was latched and secured. Causing the glass to warp. After messing with the switch a few times, it finally “popped* alarmingly loud, but closed completely. I informed audi of this issue the next day, and had them add it to my upcoming service. The sunroof functioned normally up until the appointment. Audi could not get it to reproduce the issue, and during other maintenance like fluid top offs, they greased the track of the sliding roof. Few months later it done it once again then was fine for a few more months, until yesterday 10/02/2022. I got in my car to drive to meet family for my birthday dinner, tilted my sunroof as I do. When I pushed the tilt, it popped loud like it did the first time but opened. I never touched it again. About 12 minutes into driving, I'm on the interstate going 65-70mph when all the sudden I hear what sounds like a gunshot, followed the downward force of glass shards. The sunroof exploded. Glass projectiles all in my hair, eyes, shirt, and all over the vehicle and my face. Had it not been for having the “autopilot” engaged, I would have unavoidably wrecked. I called audi this morning and got it into service asap so they could begin repairs. However they don't want to admit fault to this, and say it should be insurance claim. I can not put into words how terrible that experience was, nor would I ever wish for it to happen to others, as it unfortunately does. Just googling “a5 sunroof exploding” opens cans of worms regarding this issue. Unless audi will accept fault, this expense is expected to be a ,000 repair bill. I'm still digging glass out of my skin.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 15, 2022
StateFL
Description
I have a 2018 audi a5 premium plus cabriolet 2d. At 13000 miles all tires were determined to be worn to the point of being unsafe by the audi dealer. They were at 2/32, 3/32. My complaint is against audi for putting a failed type of tire on this new car. This has caused a dangerous condition for this car. This can be verified at the audi in sarasota florida.
CategoryEngine
DateJun 07, 2022
StateCA
Description
Large coolant leak due to faulty plastic thermostat and water pump which can cause overheating, catastrophic engine failure, and fire, putting consumers at risk. The thermostat housing has been replaced by the dealership, but not the water pump, just the water pump seal. There were no warnings prior to the failure, and was only diagnosed after a visual inspection under the vehicle.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateJun 06, 2021
StateOH
Description
On the dark evening of 23 january 2021 a deer from the side of the ohio turnpike came onto the edge of my lane of roadway, did a uturn and kicked the front fascia of my car. I slowed but couldn't avoid the collision because of nhtsa rule federal motor vehicle safety standard (fmvss) no. 108. I did not see the deer in time to slow further, which would have allowed emergency maneuvers. If I was driving this same car in europe, or canada or japan, I would have adaptive driving beams on my vehicle. There is often only seconds to act at night, at speed and the glare from oncoming drivers contributes to this lack of safety on american roads. Nhtsa has allowed tesla to experiment with unproven technologies such as ‘autopilot' on american retail vehicles, with lidar/radar, cameras, software and now the removal by tesla of the lidar/radar functionality, which, allegedly, has resulted in deaths of drivers on us roads. However, nhtsa has been negligent by delaying passage of revisions to fmvss 108 to allow adbs on us roads, a proven safety technology in the eu and around the world, requested by toyota and mb and other manufacturers in 2013 and since. This is inexcusable on nhtsa part. This either represents incompetence or negligence on nhtsa part, since there has been insufficient regulatory revision in eight years! As a former emergency medicine physician and now radiologist who has traveled to canada and the eu, and having cared for patients injured at night in vehicle crashes, as well as being involved in my own that could have been prevented, I can not understand the delay by nhtsa of eight years to complete this approval when the overwhelming evidence proves the technology of adb not only safe and effective but enhancing safety of all concerned, including pedestrians. Here is a link to the most recent article supporting this proven technology: https://www. Msn. Com/en-us/autos/news/we-need-to-legalize-adaptive-driving-beams-already-for-safety-s-sake/ar-bb1guahr
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateApr 19, 2021
StateCA
Description
Driving straight, about 60 mph on a two lane road, far removed from any other vehicles, my sunroof/moonroof glass exploded. There was no previous visible damage that I was aware of. No other vehicles around to have 'kicked up' a rock or stone. Exploded without warning.
CategoryAir Bags
DateJan 26, 2021
StateVA
Description
With the front passanger seat occupied by an adult, display on the dash randamly diplays "passanger airbag off" then displays "passanger airbag on". Display switches between the two. This happens when the car is in motion on a highway or city road driving.
CategoryStructure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateSep 28, 2020
StateAZ
Description
The electronic trunk of my audi a5 failed to stop closing once it hit me on the head. The hatch kept closing in until I was able to move my body out of the way however at this point the hatch already caused a laceration to my skull which resulted in a visit to the emergency room. Vehicle was parked and the engine was on.
CategoryStructure:body, Unknown Or Other, Visibility/wiper
DateMar 31, 2020
StateFL
Description
While driving on a straight, flat section of I-95 in florida at 70mph, my 2 year old 2018 audi a5 cabrio's driver's side sun visor suddenly broke off at its base and landed with force on my steering wheel. I'd moved the visor into the up position, flush with the frame, and in doing so, the visor broke off at the base. I had not, nor had I ever, moved the visor with a lot of force. Even when the car was new, the visor had always been too tight, too short, and difficult to move. The resultant distraction of a heavy visor dropping onto my steering wheel caused me to swerve at 70mph. Fortunately traffic was light that day and no accident occurred. Due to a design flaw, the visor can't swing on its support bar as it should. After it broke off, I had to use vise grips to make it swing at all. I then tried lubricating the support bar inside the visor with wd-40, which did not help. Had I tried to reattach the visor with glue, the torque on the support bar caused by the visor's inability to swing freely on its axis suggests that it would instantly break off at the base again. The passenger side visor has not fallen off yet, but the same design will cause that to happen eventually. This vehicle had a 4 year/50k mile warranty, but I had just exceeded the mileage limit so it was no longer warranted. I notified both my audi dealer and audi usa about this safety issue. Audi usa says that they will not issue a service advisory or recall, and will not cover the present and future damage to both visors. Despite the sun visors being necessary safety equipment - especially in florida - audi denies any culpability for this problem. There are many anecdotes online of this same problem from other drivers of this same year/make/model/interior color, and it is not unique to my vehicle. More specifically all the other incidents are happening to audis with dark gray visors like mine.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 13, 2019
StateWA
Description
Audi pre sense, the new technology audi uses for predictive safety. I have experienced several audi pre sense braking malfunctions. The audi pre sense in my vehicle will abruptly & violently come to a full stop, with no obstructions or hazards anywhere near the vicinity of the car. First occurrence happened on 405 highway heading north on october 27, 2018 at approximately 11:30 pm, driving approximately 60 mph. The roads were clear no drivers anywhere in my vicinity. The road were wet from heavy rainfall earlier in the evening. The car comes to a violent sudden stop, red hazard triangle appears on the dashboard, these two things happen simultaneously, the seatbelt engages & I'm slammed forward. The brakes emit a loud grinding & crunching sound. It takes several seconds before I can begin to drive again as the car is locked up. There were no observable obstructions in the road for it to make the car emergency brake. When this happened it felt like I had hit someone/something, that was how violent the stop was. It is terrifying and dangerous. Once I was able to drive again, my car did not go over any hazards or obstructions as the vehicle thinks there was, there were no other vehicles or persons in my vicinity, the road was smooth and clear. The pre sense has a malfunction resulting in a braking response failure. I took the car to audi services and they kept the car for 2 weeks, recalibrate & reset things. I drove the car for 8 months without incident only to have the same thing repeat. This same issue has happened 3 other occasions while reversing. Audi maintains that pre sense is working as it was designed & there is no flaw. They will not work on the car any further. If this happened during a time where other vehicles were around, it would have been a grave danger to me & other passengers. Audi is knowingly & willingly sending unsafe vehicles on the road.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 13, 2019
StateWA
Description
Audi pre sense, is the technology audi uses for predictive safety. I have experienced several audi pre sense braking malfunctions. The audi pre sense in my vehicle will abruptly & violently come to a full stop, with no obstructions or hazards anywhere near the vicinity of the car. First occurrence happened on 405 highway heading north on second occurrence happened on 24th st in redmond, heading north on november 27th at approximately 10:30 pm, driving approximately at 33 mph.. The roads were clear no drivers anywhere in my vicinity. The road was dry. The car comes to a violent sudden stop, red hazard triangle appears on the dashboard, these two things happen simultaneously, the seatbelt engages & I'm slammed forward. The brakes emit a loud grinding & crunching sound. It takes several seconds before I can begin to drive again as the car is locked up. There were no observable obstructions in the road for it to make the car emergency brake. When this happened it felt like I had hit someone/something, that was how violent the stop was. It is terrifying and dangerous. Once I was able to drive again, my car did not go over any hazards or obstructions as the vehicle thinks there was, there were no other vehicles or persons in my vicinity, the road was smooth and clear. The pre sense has a malfunction resulting in a braking response failure. I took the car back to audi services and they kept the car for 1 week, they ran diagnostics & said they could nothing wrong. This occurrence has happened 4x before, 1st claim nhtsa #11288922 audi insists pre sense is working as it was designed & there is no flaw. They will not work on the car any further. If this occurred during a time when traffic was heavy it would have been a grave danger to me & other passengers. Audi is knowingly & willingly sending unsafe vehicles on the road.
CategorySteering
DateSep 17, 2018
StateMD
Description
Clicking and vibration in steering column, especially at low speeds
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 17, 2018
StateTX
Description
Top view camera changing to graphic mode on its own. (1) this is a safety-related defect due to the distracting nature of the unpredictability of the state of the backup camera, the cognitively complex and distracting steps needed to change to camera view while backing up, and the safety issue caused by not having the cameras work properly; (2) this affects nearly every audi with this option sold in the 2018 model year; and (3) audi has acknowledged this safety issue but has refused to offer any solution for over a year -- and more importantly, has continued to knowingly sell thousands of vehicles with this defect, and has misrepresented the safety features of these cars.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateMar 11, 2018
StatePA
Description
I was driving my new 2018 audi a5 cabriolet (approx. 4500 miles) on a local road. The driver side sun visor was in the 'down' position when driving this morning headed into the rising sun. As the sun shifted from in front of me to my left side, I released the sun visor from the clip and moved it to the left side to block the sun. The arm of the sun visor, attached to the car just above the windshield, broke away from that attachment and fell into my lap (see attached photo p3110021). This left me with no protection from the intense sunlight, blinding me as the car turned to the left with the sun now in my eyes. This is the second time this has happened, the first time at about 1500 miles on a new vehicle (which was eventually repaired by the dealer, under warranty ' see attached 'scan_001'). Both times, the sun visor broke away from the vehicle (see attached photo p3110020) while turning it to protect from sunlight on the left side of the vehicle. The passenger side sun visor also broke in the same manner (while moving it to protect from sun light on the right side) at about 2000 miles, and was repaired under warranty at the same time as the first driver side sun visor (same attachment referred to above). I consider this a safety issue because a) if headed into the sun, this immediately removes the sun blocking protection and could result in sudden blindness on the road ahead, and b) not having use of the sun visor could also impair vision while driving in a sunny environment, even if using sunglasses.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateOct 09, 2017
StateID
Description
Vehical speeds forward when turning when stepping on brakes.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 20, 2017
StateCA
Description
Car was in park with emergency brake light on. Wheels turned to the right and tight to the curb. Somehow the car rolled down hill and struck a tree. The vehicle was totaled. The police took pictures of the interior showing both the in park light and the emergency brake light on. There is no logical explanation.

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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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