Audi, Porsche recall 32,000 vehicles for misaligned rear axles

Audi and Porsche are recalling more than 32,000 sedans, coupes and SUVs from the 2020 and 2021 model years to address a rear axle alignment issue that may have been introduced by a previous defect-related repair. 

This campaign covers at least a few of virtually every Audi vehicle manufactured in 2021, 2020 and in the case of the RS5, some 2019s, but it does not apply to every example of each model line built. Only those that were the subject of a previous rear-suspension recall (for a nut that could fail and cause the rear end to suddenly go out of alignment) an not properly aligned afterward are impacted by the new campaign. While the parts used to address the previous defect appear to be perfectly good, the recall procedure did not include instructions for dealers to re-align the rear axle after the remedy was completed. Here’s the summary from Audi’s defect report:

“As a check of the suspension alignment of the rear axle was not included originally when executing recall 42L1, this may result in displacement in the wheel alignment. The result could be premature and uneven wear of the tires leading to a decrease of traction,” it said. 

“On the affected vehicles, the suspension alignment for the rear axle will be checked and adjusted if necessary. Furthermore, the tires will be checked for premature and uneven wear due to a possible misalignment of the suspension and will be replaced if necessary. Audi will offer a reimbursement plan under this recall,” it said. 

While less severe than the issue the previous recall addressed, the misaligned rear end can still cause headaches, up to and including premature tire wear and failure. Audi says customers may notice strange steering and braking behavior along with abnormal wear patterns on the rear tire tread. And of course, since that nut was used on just about everything Audi builds, Audi’s got a lot of checking-up to do. Of the 40,000-some-odd vehicles that were recalled to address the corroded lock nut, roughly 3/4 were repaired without an alignment of the rear axle being performed. 

On the Audi side, the campaign covers the (deep breathA5 Sportback, RS5 Coupe, RS5 Sportback, S5 Sportback, A4 Allroad, A4 Sedan, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6 Allroad, A6 Sedan, A7, A8, Q5, S4 Sedan, S5 Coupe, S5 Cabriolet, S6 Sedan, S7, S8, SQ5, 2021 Q5 Sportback, Q7, Q8, RS6 Avant, RS7, RSQ8, SQ5 Sportback, SQ7, and SQ8. Congrats on your R8 purchase; you get to sit this one out. Porsche is only recalling 2020-2021 Cayennes on its end.

Owners will be notified if their cars are subject to the campaign and shouldn’t assume their vehicles aren’t covered just because they never had to take their cars in for work; if the vehicle was purchased off the lot after the recall was performed, the customer may not be aware it was ever done. Be on the lookout for a notice from Audi or Porsche. 

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