2020 Audi Q3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Stop-start, electrical, steering, and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Luxury SUVs have come a long way, with many people desiring to drive the 2020 Audi Q3. The automaker boasts about the new lineup by saying, “expectations were meant to be exceeded.” However, customers tend to lower their expectations after driving this model because it features an electrical system, engine, fuel system, steering components, and stop-start issues that simply disappoint.

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Most Common Problems with the 2020 Audi Q3

More than half the complaints to the NHTSA about the 2020 Audi Q3 relate to some sort of start-stop or stalling issue. Some are listed as electrical problems, some as engine problems, some as steering, others as the powertrain, and a large percentage as fuel issues. Many complaints blame multiple components.

Typical stop-start complaints made by owners state that they are told they need new software, but it isn’t available. Several talk about cars going into so-called “limp mode” where they can’t accelerate.

For example, here is a complaint listed under steering, electrical system, and engine. It was made on November 18, 2020, for a car bought in March. All the events occurred while driving straight or turning, or with a foot on the brake.

“The start-stop feature needs to be deactivated otherwise the wheel locks up once stopped and (the) vehicle does not move forward once (my) foot releases off (the) brake. The vehicle shuttered and RPM dial lit up and engine was revving once, (the) start-stop was deactivated. Car had to be pulled over and shut off. Started again to move. Clock changed time on its own. Interior reading lights came on spontaneously numerous times. Car went to service at (the) dealer and (I) was told (about the) software update for start-stop. Going back in now for engine reaction to start-stop deactivation, clock, lights. Still no software update available.”

Others say that the car jerks as if it is losing power.

Ultimately, many, including the one quoted above, highlight safety issues.

Examples of Claims in Complaints About Safety Issues

This is a typical complaint that highlights safety issues:

“My dealership has dismissed my safety concerns and has offered no resolution to the problem other than (to) disengage the start/stop every time I get in the vehicle. There was no guarantee of when this would  be fixed and (I) was told it could be months to get the parts. There was also no guarantee that this wouldn’t happen with the start/stop already disengaged. I am driving a vehicle that could potentially shut down without warning, leaving my life and the lives of others at risk.”

Another says: “My life was almost taken away by my car’s engine failing in the middle of making a left turn on a 4-lane road where traffic (was) going 50 mph. When it stalled, the engine just quit leaving only electrical (lights and media) working. I felt I was trapped as a car was headed right for me and I could not even increase speed because the whole car just seemed to not move forward.”

And there are more that relate to the stalling and stop-start issues. This handful of comments shows how serious the situation is:

  • “The vehicle is unsafe to drive because it could completely fail at any given moment without notice. After further research, this is a known issue with 2020s. It has been going on for the past month ½.”
  • “It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed due to this problem.”
  • “This is (a) horrible function of the car which can cause a lot of accidents!”
  • “The current software fix is not a fix. People will eventually die.”
  • “This could cause a critical accident.”
  • “This is not a safe car to drive. Please help.”

Problems with the Electrical System

We all know that the electrical system of any car is vital. But it seems that even though the Q3 is considered a high-end SUV, it doesn’t come with sophisticated technology.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “Infotainment (radio, nav) system occasionally locks up and I need to turn the car off to reset, can’t lock the car without having key in hand, no dedicated radio presets (common in all cars now), need to turn on rear window defogger and heated mirrors separately.”

It seems that Audi understands that there are plenty of issues. Even Service Bulletin #A9020452059335_1 discusses how the instrument cluster area can have some strange noises that are distracting to drivers. There’s nothing like driving a haunted SUV around town to make some feel that their expectations have been exceeded.

Problems with the Engine

We also know that the engine needs to be a reliable machine. With a premium model, such as the 2020 Audi Q3, customers simply expect that this is a given.

Yet, this NHTSA review shows differently. “While sitting at a light or stopped, the engine surges/jumps the car forward. You need to leave space to not hit the car in front of you. This occurs in both cases (Emissions mode and Non Emissions mode).”

It turns out; Audi has larger engine troubles than what is initially revealed. Service Bulletin #A0120422058309_1 says that engines might misfire and leave a DTC POO1100 stored in the ECM for diagnostics. If customers wanted to drive a vehicle with a misfiring engine, they could surely save a lot of money and go with a budget-friendly option instead. At no point does this prove that Audi is “exceeding” expectations. However, the tagline doesn’t say that the automaker is. Instead, it simply says that they should be. Very interesting.

Problems with the Steering

In closing, it’s vital to take a closer look at the steering system, which seems to be causing some headaches.

Here’s what one NHTSA review states. “Have had several instances where Lane Assist has suddenly turned the car into another lane, often following a crack in the road. Have nearly had an accident related to this sudden loss of control. Dealership not helpful, declaring that everything is working fine. Purchased this car for my 16 year-old daughter…because of the extra safety features. Very worried about this malfunction.”

No one wants a teenager behind the wheel of a car that will automatically swerve into other traffic. After all, insurance prices are already sky-high for this family. Yet, Audi is doing nothing to fix the problem. Still, Audi isn’t trying to hide any problems with the steering system. Service Bulletin #A4420732056386_3 talks about how the vehicle pulls to one side or has trouble with a crooked steering wheel. Instead of grounding the teenager, it might be time to put the Audi SUV under punishment.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Audi pay legal fees. 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 ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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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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3 COMMENTS
  • Tammy c

    My daughter and grandson was in involved in an accident of April 2021 1-in a brand new Audi Q3 resulting into a lorry going into the back of them lots of issues with the car are was still trying to put it down to my daughter’s fault who is currently still fighting for her life in a coma if somebody could please help me I need a serious legal team they’re going to help me with Volkswagen as I’ve been to numerous solicitors in England and nobody wants to take them on

  • Cheyenne

    Multiple issues

    – at 5k a line appeared in my dash display in the speedometer and the dealer had my car for two weeks. Replaced the entire dash display and had to remove entire dash to replace it. Fixed.

    – Car at random has stopped (died) at while taking off from a stop light.

    – Car is sluggish/lags and doesn’t respond when giving it gas. Then may engage after an approx. 3 second delay. Occurs at random.

    – Car has gotten ‘stuck’, revved rpms high, then roughly shifted from 1st to 2nd gear. Has occurred 3x at random. Last time at 32k. Vehicle was serviced at 35k and dealer can’t reproduce issue.

    – Car has lurched forward on multiple occasions. Occurs at random.

    – Car is leaking at windshield into cabin at housing/dome. Water runs down into housing and shorts/turns on dome lights. Cannot turn off lights and has fog inside. Water drips directly down to middle console where drive buttons/charging pad/charging ports are located. Also leaking at passenger side door/windshield and will trickle behind dash plastic then run down to the floor.

  • Jamal I

    I’m going through this now I hade to post on social media and use hashtags talking on the phone they said that’s all we can do for you but now that I’m active on social media posting and leaving comments they are trying to get me to calm them back again I’m tired of it I already filed a report with the NHTSA , BBB , and BBB auto line next after that it goes hopefully to the attorney general

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