Audi Q5 SUVs Are Recalled Because a Liquid Spill Can Shut Down the Engine

The issue stems from a control module that can switch off

2021 Audi Q5 driving in city Photo: Audi

Audi is recalling 288,991 Q5 SUVs, including Sportback and SQ5 versions, because the engine could enter an emergency mode with reduced power if someone spills a drink or the car is caught in a rainstorm.

The automaker traced the problem to a control module inside the SUV that’s vulnerable to liquid, with the most common scenario being a spill on the rear seat. Audi also says the problem could occur in rare cases during heavy rain or when driving through deep water. 

Should water or another liquid enter the module, it can switch off as a safety precaution. That will cause the engine to enter an emergency mode. It will remain operable, but Audi notes that this could create an increased risk of a crash. The brakes and steering will remain fully operable. 

A protective cover was introduced in production on Nov. 12, 2021. Any models built after that aren’t included in the recall. 

Audi says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this problem. Owners will be notified in late February 2022.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled
• 2018-2022 Audi Q5 and SQ5
• 2021-2022 Audi Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback

The problem: A spill in the rear seat or water from an insufficient body seam underneath the vehicle may allow liquid to penetrate the gateway control module, causing it to shut down and reduce engine power.

The fix: Audi dealerships will install a protective cover for the gateway control module, which will protect the part from liquid. In addition, on vehicles produced until the end of August 2021, the dealership will seal an insufficient underbody seam. Audi will not offer a reimbursement program under this recall.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Audi customer service at 800-253-2834.

NHTSA campaign number: 21V947000. Audi’s number for this recall is 90S9.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall. NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have one. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member. 

2021 Audi SQ5 driving along the coast, shown from rear
Audi SQ5 Sportback

Photo: Audi Photo: Audi


Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).