2018 Audi Q5 Problems and Complaints

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2018 Audi Q5 SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 13, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2018 Audi Q5 is a mid-size SUV that rivals the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC and the BMW X3. The German SUV has been in the market for quite some time now and has decent sales figures. The Q5 ticks pretty much all the boxes for those looking for a luxury SUV. However, the Q5 has a long list of problems, and reliability hasn’t been its forte. The SUV has 59 complaints registered against it on the NHTSA website and has had 6 recalls so far. In this review, explore all the gremlins of the Q5.

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User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical Problems

  • Engine - There are about 6 complaints regarding the engine of the 2018 Audi Q5. Owners have reported abruptly losing power and acceleration in the middle of the road and a few of them were unable to restart it leading to a complete engine failure. An owner reports that the SUV shifted into reverse automatically while it was placed in park and started moving backward at a pace of 7 MPH and the owner wasn’t able to stop it even when they pressed the brakes hard and tried shifting between gears.
  • Fuel Systems - Owners of the car have complained about issues with the fuel systems where an owner states that a smell of unburnt raw fuel lingers around when it is parked in a residential indoor garage. Another owner has reported that the engine doesn’t react to throttle inputs. The owner claims that this might be due to the faulty fuel lines. The complaint filed by the owner states that while depressing the gas pedal, the vehicle fails to respond to the inputs and takes a dangerously long time to get going.
  • Steering - A few owners of the Q5 have also reported an abrupt seizure of the steering wheel. In most cases, the steering wheel just stopped reacting to inputs and it became near impossible to steer the vehicle. Audi later diagnosed an issue with the power steering rack and had it replaced.
  • Brakes - Many owners have registered complaints about the car’s brakes. The most common cases have been that of sudden, abrupt braking even when the brake pedal isn’t pressed while in other cases the brakes just stopped working. A few owners have complained about squealing brakes while there are also a few complaints about grinding, warping, and scoring of the brake rotors. Owners have also reported a few issues with the Audi Pre-Sense system which is Audi’s version of automatic emergency braking and there have been events of the system malfunctioning and braking harshly.

Safety Problems

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance - Many Audi Q5 owners have complained about the malfunctioning forward collision avoidance system. The malfunctioning system resulted in the locking up of brakes abruptly and the SUV just wouldn’t move from its place. Moreover, in some cases, the system sensed a frontal collision on an empty road and braked suddenly for no reason.
  • Airbags - An owner of the Q5 has reported that the airbags did not deploy when the car was sitting stationary. The car was rear-ended while sitting idle but the airbags failed to deploy and as a result, both the passengers were badly hurt and sustained injuries.
  • Seatbelts - The Q5 is equipped with pre-tightening seat belts. The malfunctioning of the Audi Pre-Sense system led to the pre-tightening of the seat belts abruptly for no reason. The abrupt pre-tightening of the seat belts can be hazardous and can cause serious injuries.

Exterior Problems

  • Wheels - Many Q5 owners have reported cracked wheel rims. This has been a pretty common issue and many owners have complained about cracks in the wheel rims along with sudden tire bursts.
  • Body part damage - Owners have reported instances where the tailgate of the SUV opened automatically without any command. On the other hand, there have been instances of leaking panoramic sunroofs during heavy rains.

Electrical Problems

  • Electrical systems - There are many incidents reported about failures of electrical systems. Right from auto-start/stop systems to electronics modules under the seat, there are reports of malfunctioning for all of them. There have been issues reported about malfunctioning navigation systems, Bluetooth, and driver cockpit as well.

Recalls

S. No.

Date

NHTSA ID

Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks

Remedy

1

December 29, 2016

16V955000

Airbags or seat belt pretensioners may not deploy.

In an event of a crash, if the airbags or the seat belt pretensioners do not deploy, then the vehicle occupants have an increased risk of injury.

Audi replaced the defective airbags and pretensioners, free of charge.

2

June 1, 2018

18V369000

Insufficient coating on brake caliper pistons.

A reduction in braking performance can increase the risk of a crash.

Audi dealers bled the rear brakes.

3

April 8, 2019

19V277000

Hydraulic brakes may fail.

A short casting can cause a sudden loss of brakes, increasing the risk of a crash.

Audi dealers inspected the brake master cylinder and replaced it wherever necessary.

4

June 5, 2019

19V416000

Wheel arch cover trim may detach.

The detached trim may become a road hazard increasing the risk of a crash.

Audi recalled all such Q5 models and secured the wheel arch trim with an additional screw and nut, free of charge.

5

October 16, 2019

19V737000

Wheel arch cover trim may detach.

The detached trim may become a road hazard increasing the risk of a crash.

Audi replaced the four clips of the forward part of the front wheel arch.

6

December 8, 2021

21V947000

Control module shutdown can reduce engine power.

A gateway control module shutdown will suddenly reduce engine power, increasing the risk of a crash.

Audi dealers installed a protective cover on the gateway control module and sealed an underbody seam as necessary, free of charge.

Should you buy the 2018 Audi Q5?

Well, the Audi Q5 is a pretty good luxury SUV. It offers adequate performance, a comfortable cabin, and upscale interiors. However, the Q5 isn’t the most reliable vehicle out there. There are several complaints registered against the SUV and it has had 5 recalls so far. The Q5 has had problems with almost every subsystem and that is a bit disappointing. We would not recommend you buy the 2018 Audi Q5 and we’ll suggest you look for something more reliable with lesser problems.

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