If history has thought us anything, it’s that the premium a luxury vehicle commands over a mainstream model doesn’t necessarily make it more reliable. In some situations, it’s actually the exact opposite. Case in point, Audi is being forced to recall the Q8 – its flagship SUV – in the United States where 531 vehicles could leak oil. The culprit is an insufficient weld on a pipe that could leak transmission fluid from the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the recall this month, saying that if the oil leak actually happens, there’s a risk the road surface could become slippery. It goes without saying this would increase the risk of a crash, so the problem with those potentially affected Audi Q8s needs to be fixed soon.
How soon? The NHTSA says the recall is scheduled to start on July 10. Audi will notify owners about the problem and schedule an appointment to bring the Q8 to the dealer. Owners can contact the Volkswagen Group of America’s customer service at 1-800-253-2834. A thorough inspection of the transmission oil pipe will determine whether a replacement is needed. In this case, the dealer will install a new oil pipe, free of charge.
The potential oil leak reinforces the opinion some people have about not buying a car during its first model year, even if the said car is the company’s range-topping SUV. The Audi Q8 is certainly not cheap, starting off at $68,200 in the United States where the SQ8 costs $89,000 and the RS Q8 kicks off at $113,000.
The Audi Q8 is built in Bratislava, Slovakia at a Volkswagen Group plant where the posh SUV is assembled alongside the mechanically related Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. It’s also the place where the conventionally styled Q7 is manufactured, along with the Bentley Bentayga. All of these models ride on the MLB Evo platform.