Water and Fire: Audi Recalling 1.16 Million Vehicles

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Audi is recalling some 1.16 million vehicles worldwide, 342,867 of them in the United States, to prevent the risk of fire in several 2.0-liter models.

The issue stems from a component Audi’s had trouble with before: the coolant pump. According to the automaker’s engineers, the pump can either become blocked with debris from the cooling system or short-circuit from moisture within the pump. Regardless of the cause, an increasing number of reports of overheating pumps tipped Audi off that its earlier recall wasn’t enough.

The recall covers the 2013-2016 Audi A4, 2013-2017 A5 and A5 Cabriolet, 2012-2015 A6, and 2013-2017 Q5. All of these vehicles carry a turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder.

A couple of days before Christmas 2016, Audi initiated a recall of these same models to update the vehicles’ engine control units (ECU) software. The update saw the coolant pumps shut off if the vehicle detected a blockage, notifying the driver via an indicator light. recalls started at the end of January 2017.

However, even as the recall was underway, complaints about overheating pumps kept cropping up. Audi ordered the inspection of parts gathered from owners. Complaints really ramped up after the completion of the recall, leading Audi’s product safety committee to double down on their analysis. “Testing showed that not just debris but also moisture was a factor,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote in its report.

Audi eventually decided to replace the pumps in all affected vehicles, free of charge, with one that prevents moisture accumulation. The only problem is, the automaker doesn’t have the new pumps right now.

Notices will be sent to owners starting June 11th, with a second notice arriving once the pumps become available.

[Image: Audi]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Verbal Verbal on Apr 25, 2018

    An electrically-driven water pump. I am without words.

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    • Guitar man Guitar man on Apr 26, 2018

      >>"Audi eventually decided to replace the pumps in all affected vehicles, free of charge, with one that prevents moisture accumulation.">> Now, who'd have thought "moisture accumulation" might occur on a water pump ?

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Apr 25, 2018

    My Mom's A4 was already fixed. This was in Canada, though - a relatively small market.

    • White Shadow White Shadow on Apr 26, 2018

      No, it wasn't fixed. What could have been done was the software update, but that has been proven ineffective. So now they're replacing the actual pumps instead of flashing the software. Problem is that the new pumps aren't even available yet and they're saying that it will be November before the updated pumps will be ready to go. So in the meantime, they are willing to replace the pumps with a new pump of the current version, which is just a Band-Aid for now until the newly designed pumps are available.

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars