2021 Audi Q5 Problems and Top Issues – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical & powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Introduced by German car manufacturer Audi in 2008, the Q5 is a compact, luxury crossover SUV. The second-generation Audi Q5 was released in 2018. The 2021 model features a minor facelift.

Audi reports that the Q5 is the most popular, best-selling model the company has ever produced. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has dozens of complaints from owners of the 2021 Audi Q5 on file.

Additionally, Lemberg Law has launched a class action investigation following numerous complaints about electrical failure. The major issue is that moisture gets into the gateway control module, which can result in the vehicle shutting down. If this happens, the risk of some kind of accident is high.

In this article, we will evaluate the most common complaints and problems facing vehicle owners of the 2021 Audi Q5, including the Q5 E. In all, there are 26.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

Knowing about our class action investigation, it will come as no surprise to discover that the most common problem facing Q5 owners is electrical. There are a total of 11 electrical system-related complaints, 3 of which are about the Audi Q5 E. Of these, 8 are categorized as powertrain-related complaints (4 of which are for the Q5 E), and 6 engine-related complaints.

Closer inspection shows that just about all of the complaints mentioned above incorporate electrical failure and the gateway control module. This is the big problem with the 2021 Audi Q5.

There are also complaints to the NHTSA about many other systems and components. Those that the Audi Q5 and other models have in common relate to forward collision avoidance and steering (2 complaints, 1 about the Q5 E). The Q5 E also has 1 complaint about each of these: land departure, structure, and vehicle speed control.

Additional complaints about the other models are about the fuel/propulsion system (2) and 1 each that relates to the fuel system – gasoline, service brakes, visibility, visibility/wiper, and wheels.

2021 Audi Q5 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Back Over Prevention: Warnings

Problems with the Electrical System

All 11 of the electrical system complaints were specifically categorized as being due to the gateway module problem we are currently investigating. As our class action investigation article states, Audi issued a recall in December 2021 for 288,991 cars.

Two complaints came into the NHTSA in January 2022. Even though they relate to the control module, the recall isn’t helping these two Audi Q5 E owners.

One describes a “catastrophic failure” on a freeway in Long Beach in December last year. They managed to coast across 4 lanes of traffic with hazard lights flashing and honking to warn other motorists. When they stopped the car wouldn’t restart or change gear, and none of the car’s electrical systems worked.

The driver called AAA and 911 and a tow truck took their Q5 E to an Audi Service Center. The service tech confirmed a gateway control module failure and told the car owner it is a problem Audi is aware of. But because there was no moisture inside the car, “Audi is now insisting that we continue to drive the car, without the issue being fixed.”

The second January 2022 complaint describes a complete shutdown on New Year’s Eve. Again, the dealer service department said the problem lies with the control module. It was damaged, possibly due to liquid getting into the gateway.

The owner of this vehicle was aware of the recall but the dealer claimed not to know about it. The complaint states that the “dealer cannot do any repair but (is) rather forcing me to pay for replacing (the) module part.”

Those drivers who have similar complaints or related problems linked to electrical failure in their 2021 Audi Q5 can contact Lemberg Law for a free case evaluation. This will give you the opportunity to become a class action plaintiff.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

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Powertrain Problems

All 8 of the powertrain complaints include reference to the gateway module problems. One vehicle was repaired, though the diagnosis was simply that the clutch had failed.

One complaint that is listed only in the powertrain category states that the gateway module “is like the brain of the car.” Because it isn’t working, he says, “the car is brain dead.” The incident was in June 2021 and the car was towed to and inspected at an Audi service center. The owner was told it was a gateway module issue.

“To my shock, the mechanic said that it’s a design flaw that Audi is aware of but doesn’t have a solution yet.” But, 4 cars had already been repaired at this dealership for the same problem. He describes the fix as a “hodgepodge,” because all the dealership does is wrap the gateway module in plastic.

Problems with the Engine

Unsurprisingly, all the engine problems relate to the gateway, even those categorized as engine only.

One complaint states that the car went into “panic mode,” with the windows going up and down. There was also a steering malfunction and “the whole car freezes.” This owner was also told that Audi was aware of the problem. In his complaint he says that although the dealer ordered new parts, they say the problem is not repaired permanently. “It can happen again and again.” This owner wants a refund!

Another complaint describes a similar scenario with the windows and steering. The diagnosis was a wet gateway, but because the dealer found a bottle cap in the back of the car, they refused to cover the problem under warranty. Instead, the owner was to be billed $1,200 for a new gateway that would take 2 weeks to deliver. This owner wants a trade-in!

The third engine-only category complaint involves a very small spill in the backseat of an Audi Q5. The result: a complete electrical failure impacting the engine and power steering. Once again, the gateway module was the cause.

What to do if Your 2021 Audi Q5 is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Persistent defects in any car can substantially impact its safe use and value. You may find that it is a lemon. If so, you need an experienced lemon lawyer to help you solve issues.

Lemberg Law has considerable experience helping car owners who find themselves with a lemon. If you do have a lemon, we’ll negotiate a settlement on your behalf. It might be a trade-in, a buy-back, a refund, or perhaps a replacement vehicle.

Call our Helpline so we can schedule a time to evaluate your case. The law states that Audi must cover your legal costs.

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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