2018 Audi Q5 Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, service brakes and forward collision avoidance issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

When a driver is looking for a luxury SUV, it’s common to look at the 2018 Audi Q5. It’s been known as a high-end vehicle that meets the needs of a picky driver. In fact, the tagline on the newer models states that this Audi helps owners “stay ahead of the curves.” What we found is that there’s no limit to the curves that come with this model. In the moments that this SUV isn’t sitting at the service center, it’s dealing with electrical problems, malfunctioning service brakes and a faulty forward collision avoidance configuration.

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Electrical

When driving a luxury SUV, it’s expected that all of the high-tech features should work as they intend. That’s not what the owners of the Q5 find.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “I blame myself for not listening to the many negative reviews of the MMI (infotainment system). I’ve had the car for a month and the MMI keeps doing a hard reset. It’s currently at the dealer, and they called to tell me that the MMI isn’t generating any errors, so they have no idea what to do, other than to drive it to try to replicate the crashing. I told them if it’s not generating codes, why on earth would it magically generate a code for them? They had no response. I mentioned all the negative reviews of the same MMI issue all over the internet. They acknowledged it and repeated the same BS. I am so mad at myself for buying such a piece of junk. UPDATE: after owning the car for 8 months, my impression of the MMI and Nav haven’t changed. The MMI is horrible and resets about once per month. The nav takes you virtually anywhere except for your desired destination.”

The company has nearly 100 service bulletins related to troubles with the electrical system. One of the many dealing with the MMI, #A9119732052896_3 talks about how the system regularly starts in the wrong menu. This is one time that the technicians need to reprogram the software to get it working correctly. Of course, it’s not the only time. In fact, customers spend plenty of time having electrical components reprogrammed to make them work correctly. Maybe the reason this SUV keeps owners ahead of the curve is by keeping them off the street entirely.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Audi Q5 Electrical Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 AUDI Q5. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE INSTRUMENT PANEL WENT BLANK WITHOUT WARNING AND THE INDICATORS AND GAUGES COULD NOT BE VIEWED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO MCKINNEY AUDI  WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE COMPUTER NEEDED PATCHING IN THE “S 5 CHIP”. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 4,392. 

VEHICLE TRAVELING STRAIGHT ON HIGHWAY AT 70MPH WITH PHONE PLUGGED IN TO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM AND CONNECTED TO CARPLAY. CENTER SCREEN SHUT OFF, AND AUDIO CONTROLS UNRESPONSIVE ON BOTH THE DASH AND STEERING WHEEL. THE INSTRUMENT PANEL, WHICH WAS DISPLAYING GOOGLE MAPS, THEN BLACKED OUT, WITH ONLY THE SPEEDOMETER AND TACH DISPLAYING. AGAIN, CONTROLS WERE UNRESPONSIVE. THE SYSTEM THEN RESTARTED, SIMILARLY TO INITIALLY TURNING ON THE VEHICLE. THE “INITIALIZING MAP” MESSAGE APPEARED IN THE INSTRUMENT PANEL, AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER BOTH THE CENTER SCREEN AND INSTRUMENT CLUSTER WERE FUNCTIONING NORMALLY, AND ALL CONTROLS WERE RESPONSIVE. THIS WAS ESPECIALLY STRESSFUL AS I WAS EXPECTING SOMETHING ELSE TO FAIL BUT COULDN’T PULL OVER.

Service Brakes

The brakes are required to stop a vehicle and prevent a collision. When anything goes wrong with this vital system, a person’s entire world can change.

One NHTSA user writes about a problem they experienced. “Squealing brakes at slow speed. Dealership able to replicate issue but unable to resolve adequately. They are asking us to replace rotors and pads with several hundred dollar cost to us. Car is only 2 years old now. We bought CPO after car was used by dealer salesman for 6 months. Brakes have been squealing soon after we got the car.”

While this person only experienced squealing, there are two major brake recalls on this vehicle. With NHTSA Campaign Number 19V277000, it’s addressed that the brakes might fail because the brake master cylinder casting may be too short. With NHTSA Campaign Number 18V369000 that talks about some that contain an insufficient coating, which reduces the brake performance. Both of these are serious concerns that put people in danger. For many people, this SUV doesn’t feel luxurious at all. It has the same problems that a cheaply-made SUV would be expected to have. Maybe that’s because this is just a cheap SUV wrapped up to look pretty.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Audi Q5 Brake Problems

I HAVE REPORTED TO  MY CLOSEST DEALER, ON SEVERAL APPOINTMENTS THAT MY BRAKES SEVERELY GRIND UPON APPLICATION. I WOULD BELIEVE THAT THE ROTORS ARE SEVERELY SCORED OR WARPED. IT HAPPENS UPON FIRST USE EVERY DAY, AS WELL AS A LOUD GRINDING UPON EVERY STOP ESPECIALLY FROM HIGHWAY SPEEDS. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY BRAKES ALTHOUGH I COMPLAINED FROM MY INITIAL VISIT , MY LAST INSPECTION AND RECENTLY BROUGHT IT IN SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT. THE NOISE/ GRINDING IS BAD, BUT THE LACK OF QUALITY BRAKING HAS ME MORE CONCERNED. I AM GOING TO TAKE IT TO “MIDAS MUFFLER” OR SOMEONE ELSE TO CHECK. I BELIEVE OTHER Q5 AND CROSS LINKED VOLKSWAGENS HAVE CALIPER PROBLEMS AND I BELIEVE MY CAR DOES AS WELL BUT THEY ARE UNWILLING TO REPAIR IT UNDER WARRANTY TO SAVE COST.

SQUEALING BRAKES AT SLOW SPEEDS. DEALERSHIP ABLE TO REPLICATE ISSUE BUT UNABLE TO RESOLVE ADEQUATELY. THEY ASKING US TO REPLACE ROTORS AND PADS WITH SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLAR COST TO US. CAR IS ONLY 2 YRS OLD NOW. WE BOUGHT CPO AFTER CAR WAS USED BY DEALER SALESMAN FOR 6MO. BRAKES HAVE BEEN SQUEALING SOON AFTER WE GOT THE CAR.

Forward Collision-Avoidance

As part of the modern safety suite that vehicles come with, a popular addition is Forward Collision Avoidance. This is supposed to prevent people from running into something on the road. What’s happening with the Q5 though, is something entirely different.

Just look at this review from the Edmunds website. “Driving down the New Jersey Turnpike I proceed to pass another car. Turn signal on, drift in the left, start to accelerate and BAM! ABS is activated intent on stopping this car. Well. needless to say I get the sign a peace from the gentleman behind and really Obnoxious horn beeping. Rightfully so. I look like an idiot that pulled out and tried to stop. That happened twice. The dealer tells me they’re aware their pre sense is very sensitive and it’s for my protection.”

It seems the automaker has a lot of trouble with various assistive technologies. Even Service Bulletin #A911736 2024323 discusses how parking sensors might be misaligned causing trouble parking. Maybe in the company’s attempt to prepare for the curves ahead, they have ensured that the vehicle doesn’t miss any object anywhere in the vicinity of it. In the meantime, it is causing Audi drivers to have a panic attack behind the wheel.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Audi Q5 Forward Collision-Avoidance Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 AUDI Q5. THE CONTACT STATE THAT THE VEHICLE INDEPENTLY ENGAGED THE COLLISION BRAKE SYSTEM ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS THE FIRST WAS THE EVENING OF FEBRUARY 12TH AT APPROXIMATELY 19:00 EST. WHILE TRAVELING SOUTH ON LAHSER ROAD AT APPROXIMATELY 45 MPH WITH NO OTHER VEHICLES IN THE AREA THE VEHICLE SENSED A POTENTIAL FRONT END COLLISION AND APPLIED FULL BRAKES. THIS CAUSED LOSS OF CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE THE SECOND EVENT WAS MARCH 4 AT APPROXIMATELY 16:00 EST. WHILST DRIVING HOME I CAME TO A STOP AT THE LIGHT WITH A TRUCK IN FRONT OF MY VEHICLE. NO WARNING WAS DETECTED. AS THE VEHICLE IN FRONT OF ME DEPARTED THE VEHICLE WARNING SYSTEM CAME ON. IT DID NOT APPLY BREAKS AT THIS TIME JUST A FALSE POSITIVE SENSOR WARNING. THE FIRST INCIDENT WAS PASSED OFF AS THE RESULT OF ICE, WHILE NOTICE SENSOR WARNING WAS EVIDENT THE SECOND INCIDENT WAS REPORTED TO THE DEALER ON MARCH 4 AND NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN RECEIVED. I FEEL THIS VEHICLE HAS TWICE PROVIDED UNSAFE ACTIONS AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE I HAVE A CHILD IN THE VEHICLE AND HAVE AN INCIDENT THAT HARMS AN INDIVIDUAL. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO AUDI OF ROCHESTER TO HAVE A DIAGNOSTIC PERFORMED THE DEALER ADVISED THAT THE VEHICLE COLLISION SYSTEM MALFUNCTION DUE TO ICE ON THE SENSOR. THE VIN INFORMATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 600.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 AUDI Q5. WHILE DRIVING 65 MPH, THE COLLISION ALERT SYSTEM INDEPENDENTLY ENGAGED THE BRAKE SYSTEM, CAUSING THE VEHICLE TO SLOW DOWN. THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO KEEP THE VEHICLE UNDER CONTROL AND REGAIN HIGHWAY SPEED. THE CONTACT BELIEVED THAT THE COLLISION SYSTEM MAY HAVE SENSED AN OBJECT IN THE ROAD AND CAUSED THE COLLISION SYSTEM TO ENGAGE. THE CONTACT ALSO STATED THAT THE COLLISION ALERT SYSTEM ENGAGED WHEN THE CONTACT ATTEMPTED TO PARALLEL PARK. THE CONTACT SPOKE WITH AUDI BIRMINGHAM TO INQUIRE IF THE COLLISION ALERT SYSTEM COULD BE DISABLED. THE DEALER STATED THAT NOTHING COULD BE DONE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 12,000.

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