2021 Porsche Cayenne Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine & Brake issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The Porsche Cayenne, the company’s first SUV, made its appearance in 2002. It was only the third Porsche product line following the 911 and the Boxster.

By 2020, production had reached the one million mark. It hasn’t had many complaints over the years, but there have been problems. For instance, only 4 consumers have complained to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2003 model. These complaints are dated 2004, 2009, 2017, and 2018. But there have been 8 recalls and 2 NHTSA investigations.

There have been 6 complaints so far about the 2021 model and 5 recalls. You may imagine that the complaints and recalls cover common ground, but they don’t. In this instance, only two categories, Engine and Steering appear in complaints and recalls, but the issues are different.

There are no NHTSA safety ratings, which means the tests to assess vehicle safety have not been done. It doesn’t provide an automatic 5-star safety rating.

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

Most Common Problems

The 6 complaints about the 2021 Cayenne are varied and mention a total of 8 problems. Some complaints are listed in more than 1 category.

For instance, while there are 2 powertrain problems, these are also listed as an engine or a “service brakes” issue. There are 2 supposedly “unknown or other” issues, but both relate to the check engine light (CEL). The powertrain/engine complaint should probably be listed as a brake problem as well.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control

Engine Problems

One complaint is categorized as a powertrain and engine problem. It also appears to be a brake problem and is described in the complaint as a safety risk.

“While coming to a stop, the vehicle lurches around 1200 RPMs as the RPMs are falling. The vehicle appears to already be in 1st gear when this happens. This can be replicated in all driving modes.

“Observation: When braking or even when coasting to a stop the vehicle will slow down rapidly, as if the brakes are being tapped hard (the brake pressure is constant and occurs even when not braking) for a brief second and then release causing a lurching motion.”

The Cayenne has been to the dealer twice, “the second time for a substantial amount of time.” While they can recreate the fault, the complaint states that they can’t fix it. All they have done is reset the software and that doesn’t work.

The 2 check engine complaints are the same and also state that the dealers can’t fix the problem. One quotes a forum where there are multiple complaints by other Cayenne owners. It reports that the pattern is the same. Purchasers take delivery of the car and get a CEL notification before it has reached 1,000 miles. The car goes to the dealer and the “dealer is unable to permanently fix or reproduce” the problem.

The second complaint says: “I’ve heard them claim that it’s a software problem that has to do with how the car communicates with the charging system. Based on my research, there have been many other owners of the same vehicle with this problem. My vehicle has been in the shop for well over 30 days and Porsche still doesn’t know what to do.”

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Problems with the Brakes

The two brake complaints are in keeping with the first complaint mentioned above. When the SUV is decelerating and is in second gear, it lurches forward fighting the driver’s attempt to brake and slow down.

One complaint says it is “a safety issue because the operator then needs to compensate by pressing down on the brake pedal harder to stop the car. This has happened inconsistently when driving, but occurs more frequently than not.”

The other says, “This consistently happens when braking to a stop. The vehicle has 260 miles and I have driven it perhaps 4-5 times for a total of 30 miles. This is a demo vehicle bought from a Porsche dealership and under full warranty.”

There is no feedback from either Cayenne owner about dealer input.

Steering Problems

The steering complaint describes how driving from a stop the steering wheel feels loose. There were no warning lights. “The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the tie rod bolt, track bolt, and hexagon head bolt needed to be replaced.”

When the failure persisted, and the steering wheel made abnormal noises, the owner took it to a second Porsche dealer. The dealer “test drove the vehicle but could not determine the cause of the abnormal sounds. An unknown part was replaced.”

But the fault recurred and the driver was unable to control the SUV.

“The vehicle was taken back to the second dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but did not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 750.”

What to do if your 2021 Porsche Cayenne is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

The complaints made about the 2021 Porsche Cayenne all appear to be about recurrent problems and faults. This may indicate that they are lemons.

If you have a 2021 Cayenne that you believe may be a lemon, contact Lemberg Law so that we can evaluate your case. We have helped many SUV owners get buy-back agreements, cash settlements, trade-ins, or replacement vehicles from manufacturers. It won’t cost you anything because the law makes Porsche cover the legal bill.


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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