Audi is recalling some 1.16 million vehicles worldwide, 342,867 of them in the United States, to prevent the risk of fire in several 2.0-liter models.
The issue stems from a component Audi’s had trouble with before: the coolant pump. According to the automaker’s engineers, the pump can either become blocked with debris from the cooling system or short-circuit from moisture within the pump. Regardless of the cause, an increasing number of reports of overheating pumps tipped Audi off that its earlier recall wasn’t enough.
The recall covers the 2013-2016 Audi A4, 2013-2017 A5 and A5 Cabriolet, 2012-2015 A6, and 2013-2017 Q5. All of these vehicles carry a turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder.
A couple of days before Christmas 2016, Audi initiated a recall of these same models to update the vehicles’ engine control units (ECU) software. The update saw the coolant pumps shut off if the vehicle detected a blockage, notifying the driver via an indicator light. recalls started at the end of January 2017.
However, even as the recall was underway, complaints about overheating pumps kept cropping up. Audi ordered the inspection of parts gathered from owners. Complaints really ramped up after the completion of the recall, leading Audi’s product safety committee to double down on their analysis. “Testing showed that not just debris but also moisture was a factor,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote in its report.
Audi eventually decided to replace the pumps in all affected vehicles, free of charge, with one that prevents moisture accumulation. The only problem is, the automaker doesn’t have the new pumps right now.
Notices will be sent to owners starting June 11th, with a second notice arriving once the pumps become available.