2021 Audi Q7 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical and forward collision avoidance issues are the cause of top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2021 Audi Q7, the biggest Audi SUV, available with a diesel, gasoline, or hybrid gasoline engine, has been around since 2006. Some people love it, but others say it’s the worst car they’ve ever owned. Based on NHTSA complaints, electrical issues including electrical failure, and problems with SUVs randomly accelerating or braking, are prominent.

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

Most Common Problems

Between September 18, 2021, and December 31, 2022, 13 consumers filed complaints with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). These span more than 10 components and systems, including the electrical system and forward collision avoidance, which attracted about half of all complaints. Of the electrical system complaints, 2 also mentioned the engine.

The rest of the complaints are aimed at the fuel system (gasoline and fuel/propulsion), lane departure, steering, suspension, vehicle speed control, visibility/wiper, and the wheels of the SUV.

Overall, there are reports of 2 injuries and a crash caused by malfunctions.

Disturbingly, 7 recalls were issued by Audi between December 2, 2020, and October 5, 2022. These relate to a relatively wide range of components and systems: airbags, back-over prevention, electrical and fuel systems, seat belts, suspension, and tires.

A total of 435 manufacturer communications, including technical service bulletins, have been shared with the NHTSA up until November 18, 2022. This indicates that Audi is well aware that there are problems with this SUV.

Of course, the NHTSA isn’t the only platform that consumers use for complaints. Edmunds is another popular platform, and it highlights some very derogatory comments. Out of a total of 26 reviews, 3 have awarded this Audi only 1 out of 5 stars.

2021 Audi Q7 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Lane Departure: Assist
Lane Departure: Warning
Seat Belts

Problems with the Electrical System

Complaints filed under the electrical system include major malfunctions and one total electrical failure. There is also a complaint of an 2021 Audi Q7 randomly locking because the key fob battery is dead. In this case, nobody even touches the fob.

Also reported as an engine problem, this complaint from an owner in New Jersey described what happened after the electrical failure indicator lit up. “I was on my way to the dealership service center. Within 10 minutes of driving, the car completely shut down right at a busy intersection and before an active railroad crossing.” It goes on to say that police on the scene called a tow truck because “the car was not starting and (was) therefore undriveable.”

An owner from Washington describes how the upper dashboard display (MMI) loses power. Then, when the system reboots, the “audio volume comes on full power momentarily. This loud noise is both startling and distracting to the driver. The failure is sporadic and Audi has been unsuccessful in resolving the issue.”

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Key Fob Failure

The owner of an Audi Q7 from Hawaii states that his key fob failure issue is “very dangerous.” It started when he used his key fob to unlock and start the vehicle. Then he got a warning asking if the key was in the car, which it was. The warning disappeared. But ¼ mile down the road, “while the car was in drive and idle at a red light, the car completely shut/locked down, and (the) alarm started blaring saying there was no key.” It was still in the car. The problem persisted, and the owner eventually drove to an Audi service station with the alarm blaring. After assessing the Q7 for 7 days, they said it was because the key fob battery had died.

“This is very dangerous. I don’t know how/if they actually confirmed the battery was dead or simply changed it out. The key fob battery dying should not cause a car, while in drive, to completely shut/lock down. This is a huge safety issue. Someone could have not seen me and rear-ended me.”

Complaining that he isn’t getting a “good response or action” from Audi, he appeals to the NHTSA to help have the issue addressed. “ \ I do not feel safe driving a car that will lock down while in drive, and my concern extends to other people who may find themselves in this situation.”

Issues with Forward-Collision Avoidance

There are 3 complaints that mention forward-collision avoidance as an issue. Several injuries are reported.

An owner from New York reports 2 injuries, which appear to have been suffered by the owner on 2 separate occasions. “While traveling all alone on a 2-lane road on a rainy evening, the brakes applied themselves violently. (The) same has happened when backing (out) of my home garage when the car senses rain and brakes violently. This is very distressing and the seatbelt pulls back very hard causing fear, confusion and pain.”

An owner from North Carolina states that “while driving (at) approximately 50 mph, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop.” This resulted in the driver being knocked forward. The victim “sustained a concussion, and blurred vision,” and needed medical attention. According to the complaint, the emergency brake malfunction message was displayed. But even though the vehicle was taken to the local dealer, they weren’t able to duplicate the failure. So, the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired.

The third complaint was listed as an electrical system and vehicle speed control issue. The owner, from Texas, was driving at about 30 mph when the Audi Q7 began to display malfunctions on the dashboard. These included “stabilization control malfunction, transmission malfunction, startup system malfunction, backup system malfunction, driver’s assist malfunction, tire pressure malfunction, drive system malfunction. The vehicle started to brake on its own, fishtailed, and then started to accelerate on its own.” There is no indication in the complaint of how, or even whether, this issue was resolved.


The most vehement complaints posted on Edmunds relate mainly to malfunctions, poor engineering, and a lack of reliability. These 3 examples are from owners who awarded the SUV 1 out of 3 stars.

An Audi Q7 Prestige owner wrote this comment after owning the SUV for 3 months. It started with a black screen and he said he couldn’t operate the GPS, climate-control, or simply the radio. “I took it to the dealership 6 days ago and Audi wanted to be involved (because of course it’s a new car and this problem may affect similar models. They think the screen needs to be changed. I don’t know whether this will do it, but they built the car, so they should know. It’s a NEW car! Will wait and see. I’m not impressed.”

Others cite poor engineering amongst other complaints.

The owner of a 2021 Audi Q7 premium headlines the post, Terrible, terrible vehicle from top to bottom “This is our first Audi and WOW I cannot believe how badly it is engineered. Gas mileage is awful. Reliability is awful (we’ve had to have it looked at 5 times in (the) first 30k miles). It incessantly beeps at you no matter what you are doing. Its dash and electronic display don’t work half the time and are impossible to navigate. This is the most user-unfriendly car I have ever owned and it is not even close. I will never buy an Audi again.’

The owner of a “brand new” Audi Q7 Premium Plus writes that “it’s been a nightmare.” Before the SUV reached 18,000 miles, “I’ve had the exterior sensors replaced twice, an interior light replaced, and one of their required $600 ‘drive flat’ tires replaced… And each time I’ve taken the disabled vehicle to the dealership, it’s taken at least one month to repair.” He states that he’s owned Acura, Range Rover, Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen, Subaru, Chevrolet, and Ford vehicles, and this Audi is “easily, the worst, most unreliable vehicle I’ve ever owned.” This owner’s advice is: “Don’t walk, but run from any Audi dealership trying to sell you one of their poorly engineered vehicles.”

2021 Audi Q7 Recalls

Currently, there are seven recalls on the Audi Q7 models. Additionally, the NHTSA has informed owners not to drive their vehicles until some of these recalls are resolved.

Recall DateNHTSA Campaign IDAffected ComponentsRecalled Issue
December 2, 202020V749000Electrical System, Air BagsFaulty Side Impact Crash Sensor In Front Doors
February 17, 202121V078000Air BagsIncorrect Air Bag Module Parameters/FMVSS 208
April 26, 202121V295000SuspensionRear Axle Lock Nuts May Break
August 5, 202121V606000Seat BeltsSeat Belt Locking Retractor Malfunction/FMVSS 208
January 26, 202222V034000Tires, SuspensionRear Axle May Be Misaligned
July 20, 202222V516000Fuel System, GasolineFuel Pump May Fail
October 5, 202222V742000Back Over PreventionRearview Display Inoperative/FMVSS 111

What to do if your 2021 Audi Q7 is a Lemon?

If you believe your Audi Q7 might be a lemon, you don’t have to live with it. If it malfunctions and you are affected adversely, a lemon law firm like Lemberg Law can help you. We have 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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