One of Germany's best-known lines of luxury automobiles, Audi has been manufacturing vehicles continuously since 1910. Originally founded a merger of four smaller German auto manufacturers, Audi has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1969.
Originally founded by August Horch, the auto manufacturer had a tumultuous start when Horch's former business associates successfully sued to prevent him from marketing automobiles under his own name. Scrambling for a new name for his fledgling company, Horch took the suggestion of his business partner's son and named the company Audi, which is Latin for “to hear.”
In modern times, Audi is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany and has 11 different production facilities in 9 countries.
When it comes to Audi, the name of the game is luxury. While the German automaker does dabble in crossover SUVs, the primary focus of the brand is on high-end luxury cars. That doesn't mean there isn't variety, though.
Arguably the most popular current model of Audi is the Audi A6. Known as their “executive car,” the A6 is a full-size luxury sedan that is known for its incredible handling despite its larger size. Other sedans include the A3 and A4, both popular for great ergonomics and exceptional handling.
When it comes to sports utility vehicles, the Audi Q5 is the most popular crossover SUV manufactured by Audi. The design of the Q5 is popular given its relatively small frame, smooth handling, and surprisingly powerful engine. Like with all Audi vehicles, it also comes with a high-tech interior and tons of features. The Q5 comes in different variants, including the powerful SQ5 and Luxurious Prestige versions.
Audi is also known for crafting powerful sports cars like the Audi R8. Sleek and often brightly colored, the R8 is a two-seat sports car that relies on Audi's signature all-wheel drive system. Its state of the art design was created with the goal of competing with the Lamborghini Gallardo and similar luxury sports cars.
Audi Safety Ratings
As a premier luxury brand, it is probably no surprise that Audi has a lengthy history of excellent safety ratings. Most of Audi's vehicles receive top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with many of them receiving the distinction as a Top Safety Pick for multiple years in a row.
The excellent safety ratings are best exemplified by the 2019 Audi A6. The A6 is one of only a handful of models to have a perfect score across the board; no part of the vehicle is rated below "Good." Outside of a "Marginal" rating for headlights from 2016 through 2018, the A6 has received "Good" ratings on every aspect of crashworthiness according to the IIHS.
The Audi Q8 crossover SUV has a similar track record. The 2019 model scored a "Good" rating across the board, except for its "Acceptable" rating for headlights. The Q8 is one of many Audi vehicles to score favorably in IIHS safety tests.
Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues
While Audi maintains a reputation as a luxury brand with excellent safety ratings, the truth is that there are still a number of serious safety issues and defects that arise each year in Audi vehicles. While some of those defects have led to recalls, others have not yet been acknowledged by the manufacturer. You can search the Audi website using your VIN number to determine if there are any active recalls that pertain to your vehicle. Below, we discuss a number of the safety issues that have been raised by Audi drivers in recent years.
After hundreds of reports of fuel leaks, Audi acknowledged in March of 2019 that nearly 75,000 Audi vehicles were at risk for fuel leaks and even fire due to welding mistakes. These welding variations are believed to have occurred by a part supplier, but the end result is a leaky fuel delivery system that is at risk for catching fire. While there are no reports of crashes or injuries due to this issue, there have been multiple reports of noticeable fuel leaks in the Audi Q7, A6, and A7 models for model years 2016 through 2018.
For more than six years, a variety of Audi vehicles experienced passenger airbag failures during collisions. Due to a faulty sensor, some Audi models failed to detect a passenger in the front passenger seat at the time of a collision. This failure led to passenger injuries when airbags failed to deploy during accidents. These airbag issues were prevalent in the Audi A6, A7, S6, S7, and RS7 from model years 2012 through 2018.
A major safety issue in 2018 led to Audi recalling more than 1 million automobiles due to the risk of overheating and fire. The issue stemmed from a faulty electric coolant pump which in some cases would overheat. According to Audi, these electric coolant pumps were vulnerable to moisture. The moisture was dangerous in two ways: it could lead to electrical shorts that can cause a fire, and it can also cause debris to block the cooling system which leads to overheating. While Audi refuses to give a full account of the safety complaints, it acknowledges multiple reports of vehicle fires caused by these faulty electric coolant pumps.
One of the reasons the fire risk persisted was Audi's initial hesitation to initiate a recall. Audi attempted first to resolve the issue through a software update in 2017, but that effort was ultimately unsuccessful. The reports of fires were serious enough that Audi issued the recall in 2018. The recall affected multiple models across many model years, including the Audi A4, A5, A6, and Q5.
Audi Problems? Discuss Your Options With an Attorney and Get the Help You Need.
If your Audi has endured safety failures or mandatory recalls, contact The Lemon Lawyer right away. California residents have certain rights under the California Lemon Law, and the experienced professionals at The Lemon Lawyer can help protect those rights. Contact The Lemon Lawyer today for a free consultation.