2021 Audi Q3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine and lane departure issues are the cause of top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Launched on the market about a decade ago, the Audi Q3 is a subcompact, luxury crossover SUV. In its second generation since 2019, it is now one of the brand’s best sellers. But even best-selling SUVs have problems. Owners are reporting starting errors, and engine cooling problems, as well as defects that can lead to crashes.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022

Most Common Problems

The problems customers are complaining about are varied. For instance, the 4 complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) span 4 components and systems: the engine, lane departure, structure, and the fuel/propulsion system. A complaint filed under Unknown or Other also relates to error codes.

The complaint listed under Structure is described as a rare problem. An owner from New Jersey states, “While merging onto the highway, there was a loud bang, and the overhead lights as well as driver door alert on the dashboard came on. Upon checking, the front driver door had popped open on its own.” The dealer inspected the SUV but didn’t find any “issues.” However, he told the owner that “there is a two-step locking process which, in rare circumstances, may not fully engage.”

According to the results of a subscriber survey of 2021 Audi Q3 owners, Consumer Reports says that the 3 main complaint areas are:

  1. Engine cooling, with problems relating to the radiator, overheating, thermostat, the water pump, cooling fan, and antifreeze leaks.
  2. Electrical system, with a wide range of problems relating to the alternator, starter, the engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, and spark plugs and wires failing. The hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, and battery cables are also what they term “trouble spots.”
  3. The paint fading, cracking, peeling, or chalking, as well as loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, and rust, are also problem areas.

There are also some very negative comments on Edmunds.

2021 Audi Q3 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Seat Belts
Electrical System
Lane Departure: Assist
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control

Defects Causing Lane Departure Problems

A complaint from an owner in New Jersey describes how his 2021 Audi Q3 crashed after veering out of the traffic lane and over an embankment, when it was less than a month old. The complaint states that the “car was completely out of my control” and that there was clearly “a mechanical or electrical defect.”

While driving down a one-lane road, “all of a sudden my car aggressively veered to the right over the shoulder line. Then it veered to the left over the yellow line, and then (to) the right again. It kept going over the line down a slight embankment into the woods about 30 feet. All the while the steering and brakes completely failed and would not work and the car was beeping. The only thing that stopped me was hitting a boulder.

“I kept trying to brake. My foot was pressed all the way down to the floor and it would not stop. It was terrifying. There was a witness who told me I must have had angels watching over me as I was not injured, nor was anyone else. If anyone was driving in the opposite direction I could have hit them head on. If I was on a two-lane-or-more road, or on a bridge or a highway, it could have been tragic.”

Although Audi of America obtained the data recorder and investigated they didn’t find any defects and they “deny responsibility. This is impossible. The brakes and steering did not work and the car was swerving for no reason. Even the witness attested to this.”

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Problems with the Engine

An owner from Pennsylvania states that the SUV has “a starting error.” When the car tries to start, the vehicle auto stop-start error code pops up on the dashboard saying “please contact service.” It also happens “when the car is shifted in neutral.” If the driver presses the start button after this, the error message is “Vehicle starting malfunction.”

A couple of months later, the dealer fixed the park neutral module, but the problem recurs, a second complaint states. “At a stop light, (the) vehicle shut down and when (the) brake was released there was an error starting it back up again.” The driver “had to put (the) vehicle in park and start it again.”

A comment from an owner on Edmunds who awarded the SUV 1 out of 5 stars says the 2021 Audi Q3 is “Nice but.” He finds the engine “super loud, (and the) transmission shifts rough.” Later, he bought a 2021 X3 which he finds “is way nicer, smoother, (and) quieter than the Q3. I regret buying the Q3. looks are 10/10 but engine and transmission are 1/10.”

What to do if your 2021 Audi Q3 is a Lemon?

Generally, if a vehicle has recurring problems that affect its use and value, there is a chance it is a lemon. If you believe your Audi Q3 might be a lemon, why not get a lemon lawyer to assess your problems?

Lemberg Law has many years of experience handling lemon law cases, and will assess your case free of charge. If we believe your claim has merit, we can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. The law says that Audi must pay your legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you a cent. Call our Helpline now or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.


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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