The Worst 2003-2012 A3 Problems

Busted Timing Chains

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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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Takata Recalls

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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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Cheating Diesel Emissions

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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 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.

Worst Topics

Worst Years

Timeline of 2nd Generation A3 News

By the Numbers

  1. 10 model years

    Grouping all models by their year can reveal some baddies.

  2. 20 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  3. 21st in reliability

    Overall reliability rank out of 39 eligible generations.