Audi, and parent company Volkswagen, have never been the last words in reliability. Even mention that you are buy an Audi to a friend that knows cars and they will immediately laugh at your Check Engine Light-filled future. As Audi fans, we must all admit that this is likely true. It’s especially true for older cars, such as the B6 A4. But with Volkswagen’s newer platforms and updated manufacturing techniques, will this stigma ever fade?
It’s no secret that newer Volkswagens and Audis have greatly improved their reliability. A modern Audi is far more reliable than one built in the ’90s. However, it isn’t all peaches and cream for new Audi owners either. Motor Trend just recently reported that their long-term Audi A3 has been suffering from quite a bit of issues all before its 15,000 mile service. That’s appalling that a brand new car can malfunction so poorly before its first scheduled warrantied service. Yet here we are talking about it.
Granted, this could just be a lemon. It happens, where one car leaves the factory just a bit less perfect than the others and everything starts to go wrong. Maybe that car was the last built on a Friday. But this kind of thing shouldn’t happen anymore. I can understand back in the ’80s and ’90s, when much of the car’s manufacturing process still involved people. But now, so much of the process is automated and Volkswagen is claiming that it’s using state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, there’s no excuse.
Audi is trying to become the number one luxury car company in the world. But it will never claim that title with the sort of reliability issues it’s known for and the stigma that surrounds it. You’d never see a new BMW or Mercedes suffer that level of unreliability so early into its life. Audi has been making some excellent cars lately, extremely desirable cars, but they won’t be selling many of them if they don’t last. Admittedly, Audi has gotten better over the past decade or so, but the stigma will never fade if silly electronic gremlins still appear frequently. The only way the stigma fades, and Audi can take a shot at the top of the luxury car segment, is if Audi can start making cars that last longer than their first scheduled oil change.