Water and Fire: Audi Recalling 1.16 Million Vehicles

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
water and fire audi recalling 1 16 million vehicles

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]

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7 of 31 comments
  • Verbal Verbal on Apr 25, 2018

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

    • See 3 previous
    • 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.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.