August 23, 2022 – Audi Q5 Settlement Announced, Awaits Approval
A proposed settlement involving the allegations detailed on this page aims to reimburse Audi drivers for certain repairs that were made to the gateway control module in their vehicles.
The deal looks to cover anyone who purchased or leased one of the following vehicles in the U.S. or Puerto Rico:
• 2018 to 2021 Audi Q5 or Audi SQ5; • 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback or Audi SQ5 Sportback; • Certain 2022 Audi Q5, SQ5, Q5 Sportback or SQ5 Sportback vehicles whose VINs (vehicle identification numbers) will be listed on the settlement website.
Though Volkswagen issued a recall of the vehicles covered by the lawsuit, the settlement will supplement the recall by reimbursing people who paid out of pocket for repairs to their vehicle’s gateway control module.
If you own or lease one of the vehicles listed above and, prior to March 18, 2022, had the gateway control module repaired or replaced as a result of damage caused by liquid entering the module, you’ll be able to submit a claim for reimbursement of 100 percent of your out-of-pocket expenses, including parts and labor, for the repair.
If the repair was performed on or after March 18, 2022, you’ll be able to submit a claim for reimbursement of 100 percent of your out-of-pocket expenses, but you’ll also need to submit proof that the recall was performed on your vehicle before it was repaired or a signed declaration that the recall was not performed because you were not notified of it (and the automaker’s records do not prove otherwise).
If the covered repair was performed by an entity or facility other than an authorized Audi dealer, you’ll also need to show proof or submit a declaration that you attempted to have the repair performed by an authorized dealer but the dealer declined or was unable to perform the repair free of charge. Reimbursement for repairs that were not made by an authorized Audi dealer will be limited to $1,450.
If the settlement is approved, those covered by the deal should expect to receive a mailed notice with more details about the settlement and information on how to file a claim. The VINs of covered vehicles and state DMV title and registration records will be used to look up owners’ and lessees’ contact information, and that data will then be checked against U.S. Postal Service software or the National Change of Address database for the most current addresses.
An official settlement website will also be set up to provide more information about the settlement and allow people to file claims online.
For now, it may be a good idea to start gathering the documentation you’ll need to submit along with your claim, such as repair invoices or receipts.
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June 30, 2022 – Investigation Closed, Lawsuit Filed
Thank you to everyone who reached out to us in regard to this investigation. At this point, attorneys working with ClassAction.org no longer need to hear from Audi drivers who’ve experienced problems with their gateway control modules. This is because at least one proposed class action lawsuit has been filed and continues to move forward.
To view our open list of investigations, check out this page. The information below was posted when the investigation began and remains for reference only.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
Anyone who owns or leases a 2018 – 2021 Audi Q5 and experienced electrical problems after the gateway control module got wet.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed against Audi in light of claims from drivers that even a small amount of moisture can short the gateway control module, a critical vehicle part, and cause the car to shut down unexpectedly.
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit, if filed and successful, could compensate drivers for repair and replacement costs, as well as loss of vehicle value. It could also force Audi to come up with a fix for the problem.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed in light of reports from some Audi Q5 drivers that even a small amount of water in the backseat can short the gateway control module, causing the car to unexpectedly shut down.
As part of their investigation, the attorneys need to speak with owners and lessees of 2018 – 2021 Audi Q5s who experienced electrical problems after their vehicle’s gateway module got wet. This will allow the attorneys an opportunity to learn more about the issue as they work to determine whether a class action lawsuit is a viable solution.
The information you provide could be helpful in getting a class action lawsuit started.
What’s the Problem with the Gateway Module, Exactly?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a design defect has left a critical component of the 2018 – 2021 Audi Q5s susceptible to water damage and put drivers at risk for serious and sudden malfunction of their vehicles.
It is believed that beginning with the 2018 Q5, Audi moved the gateway control module, a computer that controls and facilitates communication between different modules in the car, from behind the dashboard to under the backseat. Despite being placed in a more exposed area, the gateway module was supposedly not given any additional protection to prevent it from getting wet and is shielded only by the foam and springs of the backseat. As a result, a small spill from a drink, a leaking sunroof or an open window means water or liquid can seep into the module and cause the car to malfunction, lose power and immediately shut down.
Attorneys believe this to be a serious safety concern, as some consumers have reported that their vehicles lost functionality while driving – including on highway roads – after the module got wet. They are investigating whether Audi knows or should have known about the electrical problems that have developed from the automaker’s decision to place the module under the backseat, which, notably, was designed to include cupholders.
Audi Drivers Report Electrical Problems, Sudden Failure of the Q5
More than a handful of drivers have taken to the internet to voice their complaints about the Q5’s gateway control module.
Many of these complaints are similar, with drivers reporting that their displays suddenly lit up with failure alerts and warning lights, followed by complete loss of vehicle functionality. Some say electrical problems developed even after incredibly minor spills or without any noticeable leaks. A sample of these complaints can be seen below [sic throughout, emphasis added]:
[O]n August 19th, we drove our Audi through heavy rain early in the day on interstate 90 to go to mass general hospital. It was then parked in their covered parking garage. When we went to return home, we were on the entrance ramp to I 90 east and suddenly the car displayed messages of brake failure, electrical failure, steering failure, and then it died. It could not even be put in park. I was able to coast to the narrow shoulder. It was towed to brookline Audi. We are told by the service technician that the gateway module in the vehicle got wet and it is our responsibility as we drove through water. Although we certainly drove in pouring rain, we never drove through any flooded areas. The apparent fact that water somehow got into this new car and shorted out this all important device is terrifying.” — 2021 Audi Q5 driver, CarProblemZoo.com
Brand new 2021 Q5. My kids were in backseat and spilled literally half a cup of water over the cup holders. About 5 mins later the whole car lit up like a Christmas tree; every warning/error message appears. Car shut off completely, windows rolled down. Suddenly I was sitting dead on the road and car won't start, won't move. I was absolutely shocked. Thankfully we we'ren't on a busy street and so waiting for the tow truck for 2 hours wasn't an issue.” — chrbrow, 2021 Audi Q5 driver, AudiWorld.com
I was about to get on the freeway when my car's electrical system failed and I got several warning lights. The braking/stop start system, lights and a few other lit up. I pulled off the road and had it towed. The dealership said water (rain) got in through my sunroof and shorted my system (warranty won't cover)…This issue already and Audi knows about it, but there's no recall and cars have stopped suddenly on the freeway. It's very dangerous.” — 2018 Audi Q5 driver, Marietta, GA, CarComplaints.com
While driving the vehicle many warning lights suddenly turned on and the vehicle came to an abrupt stop in the middle of an intersection. Then the windows rolled down automatically. Vehicle would not start, posing a serious safety issue as it was in the middle of an intersection. Audi dealer indicated the gateway module malfunctioned. They said it had gotten wet, which I have no idea how it would’ve gotten wet. The gateway module is located under the backseat center console. The dealership indicated they had 5 cars brought in in 2 weeks with same issue. I have since read on Audi forums that this has happened to many others and left some stranded in the center-lane of highways.” — 2021 Audi Q5 driver, CarProblemZoo.com
Yesterday I was driving our Q5 2021 which was purchased last Saturday. As we were leaving lunch, our 5 year old spilled a few ounces of water on the seat. No ideal....but it was small and its water I originally thought. 30 seconds later, the entire car shut down - all the sensors were firing off until the car just died right on the right. Thank god I was on a residential road and not a high-way.” — rcragg82, 2021 Audi Q5 driver, Reddit.com
My wife was driving the vehicle with our 5-year-old daughter in the car in the middle of the rear seat. The daughter spilled part of a 500 ml water bottle onto the seat next to her. Within 20 seconds of this happening, the car began alerting about steering malfunctions, braking malfunctions, and the windows began seizing up and down repeatedly. The car was completely inoperable. We are lucky this was on a slow city street and not on the interstate or tollway!...We couldn't power it on, put it into neutral to be towed away, raise the windows, or perform any other function at all. The car was a useless brick…[Audi] refused to admit any fault in a poor design and help cover any of the costs whatsoever, and we are even still in warranty.” — 2018 Audi Q5 driver, CarProblemZoo.com
Audi has reportedly failed to warn current and prospective customers that the gateway control module in its 2018-2021 Q5s is highly susceptible to failure – and some say the company continues to deny drivers’ warranty claims to repair or replace this sensitive-yet-critical part.
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit, if filed and successful, could help drivers recover money for repair and replacement costs, as well as compensation for loss of vehicle value. A successful case could also force Audi to extend drivers’ warranties and ensure future repairs and replacements of the control module are covered.