2019 Audi Q5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, vehicle speed control, brake and structure issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Luxury SUVs belong to a competitive market. To get ahead, models must be made to exceed expectations, which is what the 2019 Audi Q5 claims to do. In fact, the automaker boasts that the newer lineup is the “the lap – and mind – of technology,” but owners can’t find room for anything but a disappointment. From a defective structure to a vehicle speed control issue and a faulty electrical system, this SUV isn’t going to make the cut.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Audi Q5

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Steering
7
Electrical System
4
Service Brakes
3
Seat Belts
3
Structure:body
3
Power Train
2
Seats
2
Vehicle Speed Control
2
Engine
1
Tires
1

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

For a premium price, owners expect to receive a luxury model that will stand the test of time. However, this Audi Q5 faces some serious structure-related concerns.

One such complaint is found on the NHTSA website. “During a rear end collision, the vehicle, a 2019 Audi Q5, was stopped, stationary, on a city street at a red light. The vehicle was struck in the rear by another vehicle going approx. 30-40 mph. Both rear seat passengers in the Audi sustained significant injuries. Of the major complaints, the lower back injury has been ongoing (6 months+) of significant back pain worsened and significantly increased due to the design of the rear seats and specifically the built-in ‘lumbar support’ in the rear passenger seats. This stiff and extruding lumbar protrusion built into the rear passenger seats was forced into the lower lumbar region of both rear seat passengers during the motor vehicle collision. Both rear seat passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident. This MVA was documented by a police report, insurance claims and ongoing litigation.”

This structure concern brings forth a serious problem, but it’s not the only issue to be aware of. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V737000 showcases a recall affecting 174,000 vehicles that have a wheel arch cover trim that could detach on its own. If this happens, the debris is a significant road hazard, possibly even causing an accident. To show how poorly this vehicle is made, take a look at another recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V473000 states that some vehicles have an incorrectly welded instrument panel carrier that can break during impact, causing damage to the front passenger air bag. With this vital safety system not working the way it should, occupants are at risk of injury. That seems to be what the Q5 is known for at this point – leading to larger injuries. Maybe the cabin is filled with technology, but the manufacturer missed the basics, like air bag operation and holding the parts in place.

Problems with the Brakes and Adaptive Cruise Control

There are just as many concerns with the vehicle speed control on the 2019 Audi Q5.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “I have a new 2019 Audi Q5 Technik. While using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) set at 75 mph in the passing lane on Saturday, August 31, 2019, the Audi’s Traffic Sign Recognition System responded to a 55 mph sign somewhere off to the side of the highway. It changed the ACC setting from 75 to 55 mph and applied the brakes hard. I had to tap the brake pedal to regain control and accelerate to avoid a rear-end collision. The Audi manual states on page 95 that ‘Traffic Sign Recognition does not adapt your vehicle’s speed to match the speed limit’! However, on page 101, the manual describes a Predictive Efficiency Assist System which when switched on will behave as I have described. This setting is found within the infotainment system. It was not pointed out to me by the selling dealer and had been apparently switched on when I took possession of the new vehicle. This feature is dangerous and should be set to off by default. I will never turn it on! There were a number of occasions on my drive that day when other vehicles were following me dangerously closely and this sudden deceleration would have caused a rear-end collision at highway speed.”

One way to maintain the speed in a vehicle is to use the braking system, but that seems to be defective as well. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V277000 states that there is a short brake master cylinder casting in the brake system that could create a sudden loss in braking power. As a reassurance, it’s noted that the parking brake and emergency brake will continue to work as intended, in case that’s at all comforting. Again, in the focus to create the “technology” that sets this model apart, the automaker failed once again with a basic system. But, who needs to stop anyway? Especially when the car will do it for you.

Problems with the Electrical System

Some of the problems already discussed have a lot to do with the electrical system, but the complaints continue to pile up.

Here’s one from an Edmunds review. “$7000 for NAV and other accessories.Unfortunately, the voice command is absurd on this beautiful SUV.  Out of 30+ commands, it only got 1 right – to go to a popular bank. Cannot input my home address. Cannot go shopping, cannot manually input. The Q5 handles well. But I am left wondering what else I may discover. Bose speakers sound average, a waste of $900.”

In the midst of everything else, it turns out that the technology isn’t really all that’s it’s cracked up to be from Audi. Even Service Bulletin #A9619422055256_1 talks about the need for a software update to correct Wrong Way Traffic Sign messages from appearing in the instrument panel unnecessarily. It might be time for Audi to consider a new tagline for this model, but what does it have to boast about?

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Complaint Data

CategoryPower Train
DateJul 26, 2022
StateGA
Description
The contact owns a 2019 audi q5. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle and with the engine idling, she exit the vehicle, and moments later the vehicle erroneously began to drive forward and crashed into an office building. During the crash, no injuries were reported. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer and local dealer were not yet contacted. The failure mileage was 35,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 24, 2022
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2019 audi q5. The contact stated that while driving at an undisclosed speed, the catastrophic transmission failure message was displayed and the vehicle inadvertently shifted into manual third gear. The vehicle was waiting to be towed. The dealer was made aware of the failure; however, the vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact to exit the vehicle immediately and to have it towed to the dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 31,000.
CategorySteering
DateApr 20, 2022
StateOH
Description
Power steering rack failed on 4/12/2022 as I drove on I-75 south between gainesville and tampa. Lost power steering on the interstate, putting safety of my passengers (and other vehicles) at risk on the interstate. Audi sent tow and transported vehicle to wesley chapel audi. Failure was confirmed and rack was replaced under warranty.
CategorySteering
DateMar 07, 2022
StateCA
Description
2019 q5 - 19457 miles. Power steering failed while traveling on an internal curved road at 10mph. Fortunately, the road was not busy and I was able to pull besides a curb. The car flashed a 'steering: malfunction! Please stop vehicle' warning and it was really hard to maneuver the car. Towed the car to nearest audi dealership and dealer is looking at it. But if this had happened on a freeway, it would've resulted in a catastrophic accident.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Service Brakes
DateFeb 19, 2022
StateGA
Description
I received a safety recall from audi of america for my 2019 audi q5, I am pleased that the recall is being done. However, the description of what could happen, in the safety recall letter, should water enter the gateway module does not describe what happen to me when the gateway control module got wet from liquid spilled in the backseat of my car. The 2nd paragraph under “ what is the issue “ states in part, “ the vehicle remains steerable and the brake system is fully operable. The engine goes into emergency mode and remains in operation with reduced power. “ I was driving my 2019 audi q5 on december 12, 2021 on a heavy traveled avenue with many traffic lights. As I went thru the second light before entering 1- 20 west the car just shut down and I mean totally stopped. No warning, nothing. The vehicle was not steerable, the brake system did not work the engine did not start, did not go into an emergency mode and did not remain in operation with reduced power. The car was totally un-operable we called 911 for the police and a tow truck. We sat in horrible traffic for more than 2 hours even with the police. And the car could not be towed with a regular truck because the wheels were locked. Thus another tow truck had to be called so the car could be put on a flatbed truck to be taken to the audi dealer. I believe the safety notice from audi needs to be corrected to give notice that the gateway control module when exposed to water can and has shut the entire system down and the car can become entirely inoperable as I described above. This is a very dangerous situation which may not only cause serious accidents but permanent injuries and death. I shiver now when I think of what else could have happened to us, but for the grace of god, because we were seconds from getting on I- 20 west when the car just stopped. I appreciate this opportunity to share this information with you. I hope it will make a positive difference for the safety of others.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Steering
DateJan 11, 2022
StateOR
Description
After driving on deep wet icy slush, the vehicle was on a straight section of road and suddenly vehicle inexplicably veered hard to the left causing it to run off the road and into a tree. Electrical component failure lights were illuminated on dash afterwards. What component or system failed or malfunctioned, and is it available for inspection upon request? I believe that the stability control systems and or drive train suddenly changed. I believe this might be due to water ingress and failure of gateway module. This is available upon request. Car is in shop how was your safety or the safety of others put at risk? Sudden loss of steering control in icy conditions has the problem been reproduced or confirmed by a dealer or independent service center? Not yet. Current recall has the vehicle or component been inspected by the manufacturer, police, insurance representatives or others? Body shop is looking at vehicle were there any warning lamps, messages or other symptoms of the problem prior to the failure, and when did they first appear? I was unaware of warning lamps until after loss of control.
CategoryTires
DateJun 12, 2021
StateTX
Description
A vehicle service center noticed that the rubber on the surface of the tire tread appeared to be failing /deteriorating on all four tires in a way that was not normal. Cracks at least . 25 inches deep are forming and some small chunks are separating. Given that the same condition exists on all four tires, this appears to be a manufacturing defect. The dealership examined the tires and agreed that the condition was not normal but not currently part of the continental tire recall. We highly recommend that this line of tires be included in the recall to protect the safety of drivers and passengers.
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System, Seat Belts
DateJan 29, 2021
StateFL
Description
Vehicle keeps stating safety system malfunction. The passenger airbag continues to turn on and off while driving. Even when manually shut off through glove box, the alert continues to occur while driving.
CategorySteering
DateDec 13, 2020
StateNJ
Description
2019 q5 - less than 8,000 miles. Power steering failed. Thankfully was not on the main road, but this is a life threatening fault and possess serious risks. I was reversing the vehicle in my parking and the steering failed. Thereafter, got it towed to bell audi at edison.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateSep 14, 2020
StateCA
Description
2017 and newer audi vehicles with rear cross traffic alert and possibly those with just audi pre-sense are extremely frequently generating false positives when reversing. The system is incorrectly sensing an object and activating the parking brake to avoid a collision. This results in a sudden vehicle jerk, brakes scraping, and immediate confusion for the driver. I have personally experienced this on numerous occasions when reversing and have attached dozens of complaints showing this is a widespread fault in the design of the system. It is falsely activating because it is not accurately tuned to detect an incoming object. Https://www. Audizine. Com/forum/showthread. Php/784663-grinding-in-reverse https://www. Reddit. Com/r/audi/comments/7wkjup/false_presense_warnings_scaring_the_living_[xxx]/ https://www. Audiworld. Com/forums/q5-sq5-mkii-discussion-218/sq5-auto-brake-reverse-2959805/ https://www. Audiworld. Com/forums/audi-a5-s5-rs5-coupe-cabrio-b9-220/weird-grinding-noise-stopping-while-reverse-2937261/ https://www. Reddit. Com/r/audi/comments/6g3m0p/2018_s5_sportback_reverse_grinding_sound_parking/ parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategorySteering
DateApr 28, 2020
StateMA
Description
While driving approximately 35 mph in the rain the power steering malfunction error message appeared on the virtual cockpit. I pulled over into an empty parking lot, turned the car off and restarted. The error message was still there when I turned the car on. It was very difficult to turn the steering wheel, especially when moving at very low speeds. It was the same feeling as driving a car without power steering, which if the driver is not expecting it or physically strong enough to turn the wheel, would definitely present a safety issue. Given this is a new car (only 11k miles) I am very disappointed and concerned this could happen. This type of malfunction/defect should not be happening on any new car, whether it is a base brand or luxury brand car.
CategoryEquipment:electrical
DateFeb 11, 2020
StateCA
Description
2019 audi quattro sq 5. Consumer writes in regards to obstruction sensors on vehicle. *ld the consumer stated the sensors were overly sensitive and activate unnecessarily. The sensor could deactivated, but that would deactivate the back up camera. The dealer was notified, but did not offer any assistance. *js
CategorySeat Belts, Seats, Structure:body
DateJan 21, 2020
StateCO
Description
During a rear end collision, the vehicle, a 2019 audi q5, was stopped, stationary, on a city street at a red light. The vehicle was struck in the rear by another vehicle going approx. 30-40 mph. Both rear seat passengers in the audi sustained significant injuries. Of the major complaints, the lower back injury has been ongoing (6 months+) of significant back pain worsened and significantly increased due to the design of the rear seats and specifically the built in "lumbar support" in the rear passenger seats. This stiff and extruding lumbar protrusion built into the rear passenger seats was forced into the lower lumbar region of both rear seat passengers during the motor vehicle collision. Both rear seat passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident. This mva was documented by a police report, insurance claims, and ongoing litigation.
CategorySeat Belts, Seats, Structure:body
DateDec 18, 2019
StateCO
Description
During a rear end collision, the vehicle, a 2019 audi q5, was stopped, stationary, on a city street at a signal and struck in the rear by another vehicle going approx. 30-40 mph. Both rear seat passengers in the audi sustained significant lower back injury and ongoing back pain possibly worsened and significantly increased due to the design of the rear seats and specifically the built in lumbar "bump" or support in the rear passenger seats. This stiff and extruding lumbar protrusion built into the rear passenger seats was forced into the lower lumbar region of both rear seat passengers during the motor vehicle collision. Both rear seat passengers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident. This mva was documented by a police report as well as insurance claims and ongoing litigation.
CategoryStructure:body
DateNov 13, 2019
StateTN
Description
I've just completed a telephone call to schedule a recall repair, but I was told by the service center that the parts needed to repair to vehicle aren't available and they have no idea when they'll arrive. I just find this to be very unsatisfactory when audi knows their best selling vehicle is the q5. I'm trying to do my due diligence to keep myself and those on the road all safe as well.
CategorySteering
DateOct 29, 2019
StateMA
Description
Audi q5 prestige, 2019. Problem with active lane keeping assist. Keeping the car in the middle of the line works perfectly. The problem is with the driver attention detection. The system says I am not driving, even I just (15 seconds) have change the line, my self with blinkers! Alert comes up every minute on straight road, terrible! What is more the lka can disable(deactivate) itself in the middle of a turn or curve, and without any alert or notification. This lka assistant is lovely, but needs software update, or just increasing latency for not diving alerts etc. The problems appear every time you drive, everywhere, every weather conditions. Extremely annoying and in my opinion dangerous. The lka works better in kia, shame on audi!!!
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateSep 25, 2019
StateVA
Description
This vehicle has active lane assist. There is a control that sends an alarm to prevent drivers from attempting to drive without hands on the wheel. This car is generating frequent false alerts (eg driving with hands on the wheel). It is most common on straight roads, but can happen every few minutes. This is extremely annoying and results in me turning off the lane assist. What is designed as a safety mechanism is actually increasing risk as the feature is unuseable. The dealer and corporate customer support say the car is functioning to design and will not take any action. The dealer says that this happens on all prestige model q5's but not on other models, confirming to me that this is defective in either implementation and or design. I encourage you to consider starting an investigation and possible recall.
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateSep 19, 2019
StateNY
Description
Unintended deceleration. I am a canadian who was driving in new york state. I have a new 2019 audi q5 technik. While using adaptive cruise control (acc) set at 75 mph in the passing lane on saturday august 31, 2019, the audi's traffic sign recognition system responded to a 55 mph sign somewhere off to the side of the highway. It changed the acc setting from 75 to 55 mph and applied the brakes hard. I had to tap the brake pedal to regain control and accelerate to avoid a rear-end collision. The audi manual states on page 95 that "traffic sign recognition does not adapt your vehicle's speed to match the speed limit!" however, on page 101 the manual describes a predictive efficiency assist system which when switched on will behave as I have described. This setting is found within the infotainment system. It was not pointed out to me by the selling dealer and had been apparently been switched on when I took possession of the new vehicle. This feature is dangerous and should be set to off by default. I will never turn it on! There were a number of occasions on my drive that day when other vehicles were following me dangerously closely and this sudden deceleration would have caused a rear-end collision at highway speed.
CategorySteering
DateMay 23, 2019
StateNJ
Description
Driving at highway speeds on interstate 79 just outside of charlestown wv, the alarms in the car went off and a "steering malfunction", "stop the car immediately" messages were displayed. The car lost all power steering ability. It was an extremely dangerous and thankfully the road was not heavily traveled when this happened. An accident surely would have happened if the road was more crowded.

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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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