2019 Porsche Cayenne Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, head and tail lights, and brakes issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne is a luxury SUV that’s supposed to offer sports car-like performance. The automaker claims it provides “everyday comfort,” but owners with problems aren’t so sure. Looking at complaints received by the NHTSA, this Cayenne model seems to suffer from a faulty electrical system, defective exterior lighting, and troublesome brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020    2021    2022

Most Common Problems with the 2019 Porsche Cayenne

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) were slow in starting, with only 2 submitted in 2019. But they have been increasing ever since, and by July 2022, this number had increased to 14. They affect 9 components and systems: the electrical system, exterior lighting, forward collision avoidance, the brakes, vehicle speed control, land departure, the powertrain, back-over prevention, and steering. There is also a random issue filed by an owner in California as an “unknown or other” issue. The complaint states that there is a strong smell of gas while driving.

Electrical problems, including issues with exterior lighting, top the list of complaints. There are also several complaints that relate to the brakes, 2 that report the SUV lunges forward at times.

Some of the comments on Edmunds are even more derogatory. One, that gives the Cayenne just 1 out of 5 stars states, “I’ve been back for multiple problems at least 12 times… 4 times in service… They said there aren’t (any) problems. Took (it) to a Porsche specialist (who) hooked it up to (the) computer system, and most things failed. Now (the) dealer handed it over to “Porsche”. They had it for 2 weeks… no phone calls or communication. It’s a lemon. For $104,000 I deserve a replacement.” Climate (AC/heat) doesn’t work, seat memory doesn’t work, engine timing off, etc.”

Problems Resulting in Recalls

There are also 6 recalls that affect the 2019 Cayenne. Five of these relate to brake pads, the rearview camera display, shock absorbers, and seat belts that may not restrain occupants in a crash. While faulty seat belts increase the risk of injury, all 4 recalls warn that the underlying problem causing the recalls all increase the risk of a crash.

While the sixth most recent recall only affects Cayenne Turbo vehicles, it is more alarming than the rest. It warns that a fuel line quick connector located in the engine compartment may leak. Up to 2,253 vehicles are potentially affected. If the leak is “in the presence of an ignition source,” this can increase the risk of a fire. As we all know, vehicle fires can be deadly.

2019 Porsche Cayenne Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Power Train
Back Over Prevention: Camera System
Electrical System:adas:parking Assist:software
Lane Departure: Assist
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection

Electrical System Problems

Whether we are talking about a luxury or budget-friendly car, the electrical system should operate flawlessly.

One of the electrical system issues that recurs shows up in the form of error messages that literally run in a loop. They include aircon not available, high beam assist not available, driving light control errors, power-assisted steering restricted, and camera system restricted.

A 2019 Cayenne owner states in a 2019 complaint that local dealers haven’t been able to fix the issue, which had been ongoing since the car was delivered 16 months before. “Porsche has made little effort in fixing the issue.” This, the owner says, is “very concerning” because the error messages that continue to roll through affect several safety vehicles on the Cayenne.

A Washington owner has the same problem, reported in April 2022. “The local dealer has not yet been able to fix the issue. The car is under warranty and has been in the shop for a month. We were called two times to pick up a ‘fixed vehicle,’ and each time we had to return the car almost immediately upon leaving the dealership since the problem was not fixed.” This complaint also expresses concern that “some of these error messages do affect vehicle safety.”

Another quite scary electrical system complaint states that the adaptive cruise control stopped working after the dealer had fixed it. This nearly caused a collision. Then, shortly after the incident, the park assist stopped working. The complaint states that there is no 360-degree view available and no sound of proximity obstacles.

There are 2 recalls that relate to electrical system problems. These both warn that there is no “visual warning” when brake pads wear out. If you don’t know this has happened, your Cayenne may not brake as you expect it to.

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Issues that Affect Exterior Lighting

Seeing clearly is a main concern for people that drive at night. But defective headlights and tail lights can be downright dangerous.

A complaint to the NHTSA from an owner in Arizona states that the matrix headlights don’t work. “Night time driving is dangerous without these headlights.”

An owner, commenting on Edmunds, gives the SUV just 1 out of 5 stars. There are lots of complaints, but one is that they had to replace all the taillights because of issues with the edges of the lights and various software problems.

Another  Edmunds contributor states,. “Auto Headlights do not work. I know at some point the Auto Headlight should work because I always drive the same road every morning and evening.”

It turns out that Porsche is very familiar with lighting issues. Even the NHTSA Service Bulletin #122-J5Q5U-01 talks about production errors that caused the tail lights to have visual defects. These defects include slight cracks at the edges and “significant cracks” as well.

Problems with the Brakes

Brakes are an essential component of any vehicle. Nobody would imagine that they wouldn’t work 100% on any SUV that costs this much.

There are several comments on Edmunds that state the Cayenne has squeaky brakes. One states that this is “totally unacceptable in an 80-90k car. Worse, the dealers will tell you that it’s acceptable because it’s a race car and (the) solution is to brake hard.” Another contributor states: “Love driving this car. Only problem is the squeaking when braking at low speeds. I’ve owned RR sport and q7 and after driving this there really is no comparison.”

But who cares about squeaks when the brakes malfunction or the SUV lurches when you brake? There’s not a lot of detail, but this is what 2019 Porsche Cayenne owners say.

An owner from Texas states that the “vehicle lurches forward dangerously when coming to a complete stop. The brakes seem to release as the vehicle lurches forward.”

An owner from California says, “When braking to a stop, the car lunges forward even when (my) foot is on the brake. This occurs at slower speeds around 5 mph right before a dead stop.”

Then there’s the North Carolina owner whose car stops when the brakes malfunction several times a month. “The brake pedal goes to the floor and the power steering stops working. It takes up to another car length to fully stop when this happens.” He has damaged the front end of the SUV driving into a bush, but “the dealer refuses to do anything because they can’t replicate the brake problem and they state the steering problem is normal.

There are even more braking concerns as the recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V735000 states. As many as that 44,000 vehicles have a defective instrument cluster that doesn’t alert drivers as to when the brake pads are worn. Because of this defect, the vehicle might not respond as the driver expects, which increases the chance of an accident and injury.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Lemons may not be as rare as you think. If you think you’ve got one, Lemberg Law will assess your problems and see if your issues qualify. It’s not going to cost you anything, because the law makes Porsche pay the legal fees for lemon law cases. Just imagine, you may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of vehicle owners.. Call our Helpline or fill out a contact form if you think you are a lemon owner.


Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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