The 5 Most Common A3 Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems A3 owners.

  1. Sunroof Leaks

    Multiple defects with the sunroof drainage system are causing massive amounts of leak problems for Audi owners. The water is soaking headliners, creating unsafe amounts of condensation, and short circuiting sensitive electronic components. …

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  2. Busted Timing Chains

    Audi's EA888 2.0-liter engine has a history of tensioner problems in its timing chain. The loose chain is to blame for multiple occurances of catastrophic engine failure. Audi was forced to offer settlement offers, including an extended war…

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  3. Start-Stop Defects

    There are multiple problems with Audi's start-stop technology that outweigh the modest fuel efficiency gains. Owners complain that the system will shut off the power steering and brake systems at dangerous times and cause the accelerat The …

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  4. Takata Recalls

    A large number of Audi vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

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  5. Cheating Diesel Emissions

    Audi was caught cheating on its diesel emissions with defeat devices. Twice. It started with the widespread dieselgate story for 2.0L 4-cylinder engines and was followed with a lesser known cheat for vehicles with the ZF 8-speed transmiss…

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What A3 Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

A3 Generations

The A3 has 2 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 3rd generation (2013–2020).

  1. 3rd Generation A3

    Years
    2013–2020
    Reliability
    35th of 39
    PainRank
    2.96
    Complaints
    33
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a A3
  2. 2nd Generation A3

    Years
    2003–2012
    Reliability
    21st of 39
    PainRank
    1.13
    Complaints
    20
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a A3

A3 Key Numbers

  1. 47 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 1,250 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 19 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Recent Relevant Lawsuits

The A3 has been named as a class vehicle in the following lawsuits.

  • Dusanjh v. Audi AG, et al.

    The Audi Start-Stop system allegedly requires expensive repairs, car rentals, towing charges, time off work and other costs, while customers allegedly lose money as the vehicles lose their values.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 A8
    • 2017-2020 S3
    • 2017-2020 S4
    • 2017-2020 S6
    • 2017-2020 S8
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    • 2017-2020 SQ5
    • 2017-2020 TT
    • 2017-2020 TTS
    Location
    British Columbia
  • Swinburne, et al., v. Audi of America, Inc., et al.

    Class action lawsuit alleges the systems cause the engines to hesitate, lag and fail to immediately activate when drivers try to accelerate from full or rolling stops.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2019-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 Q3
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    Location
    Virginia
  • Dismissed

    Pitts, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al.

    The lawsuit wanted refunds for the purchase price of the vehicles for class members, plus compensation for overpaying and for loss of values. It was dismissed when a judge ruled Audi's owner's manuals clearly say the Start-Stop system "may turn off the engine before the car comes to a complete stop."

    Status
    dismissed read original case
    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2020 A3
    • 2017-2020 A4
    • 2017-2020 A5
    • 2017-2020 A6
    • 2017-2020 A7
    • 2017-2020 A8
    • 2017-2020 S3
    • 2017-2020 S4
    • 2017-2020 S6
    • 2017-2020 S8
    • 2017-2020 TT
    • 2017-2020 TTS
    • 2017-2020 Q5
    • 2017-2020 Q7
    • 2017-2020 Q8
    • 2017-2020 SQ5
    Location
    Virginia
  • Cole, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, et al.

    A VW sunroof class action lawsuit alleges California customers must cope with leaking sunroofs that cause water damage to carpets, audio systems, electronics and multiple parts of the interiors.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Sunroof Leaks
    Class Vehicles
    • 2016-present A1
    • 2016-present A3
    • 2016-present TT
    • 2016-present Q2
    • 2016-present Q3
    Location
    California
  • Gjonbalaj, et al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, et al.

    The sunroof leak lawsuit alleges the sunroofs were defectively designed and manufactured due to their drainage systems and seals. In addition, the automaker allegedly doesn't honor warranties when water leaks occur on these vehicles.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Sunroof Leaks
    Class Vehicles
    • 2015-present A1
    • 2015-present A3
    • 2015-present TT
    • 2015-present Q2
    • 2015-present Q3
    Location
    New York
  • Dismissed

    Anzhelya Makaryan, et. al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc

    The lawsuit alleged the start-stop feature causes vehicles to unintentionally roll away because of a defect in the Start-Stop systems. The case was voluntarily dismissed in November 2017 after a motion to dismiss by Audi was fiked earlier that same month.

    Status
    dismissed read original case
    Problem
    Start-Stop Defects
    Class Vehicles
    • 2013-2017 A3
    • 2013-2017 A4
    • 2013-2017 A5
    • 2013-2017 A6
    • 2013-2017 A7
    • 2013-2017 A8
    • 2013-2017 S3
    • 2013-2017 S4
    • 2013-2017 S5
    • 2013-2017 S6
    • 2013-2017 S7
    • 2013-2017 S8
    • 2013-2017 RS 5
    • 2013-2017 RS 7
    • 2013-2017 allroad
    • 2013-2017 Q3
    • 2013-2017 Q5
    • 2013-2017 Q7
    • 2013-2017 SQ5
    • 2013-2017 TT
    • 2013-2017 TTS
    • 2013-2017 TT RS
    • 2013-2017 R8
    Location
    California

Recent A3 News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Another Audi start-stop lawsuit has been dismissed

    after the judge ruled that the owner's manual clearly states the Start-Stop system may turn off the engine before the car comes to a complete stop. Is that all it takes to win in court? Be prepared for your next owner's manual to say "cars might catch on fire due to thermodynamics" just to cover all the bases.…

    keep reading
  2. A Virginia based lawsuit says Audi's start-stop system suffers from defects that cause delayed acceleration or lurching that can put occupants in danger.

    The plaintiffs say that Audi HQ and dealerships will just tell owners to deactivate the start-stop system if they don't like it, but the system starts up automatically each time the ignition is pressed and must be manually deactivated by pressing a separate burden. Something the case refers to as a inconvenience and mandatory burden that is not disclosed to the Class Members ar the time of the sale.

    keep reading

See All A3 News

What Owners Say About Their A3

Excessive Oil Consumption

The dealer told me that everything is fine on my car and just topped off the oil. After 3 weeks I checked the oil level with the dipstick, the car has already used 1/3 of the oil. I drove the car back to the dealer again (it has already been 4 times!). They told me that the low oil light was not on, the car is fine.