UPDATE:

I took the car to a more professional service garage, they inspected the car and pointed out that the main control unit is intact and did not ingress any water or whatsoever like AUDI is claiming, the water got into the right steering rack component due to a crack in the rubber boot which caused the problem, this should have been pointed out by Audi Bahrain but instead they blamed us for driving into 12 – 18 inches of deep water – read the story below

Audi claims it’s on the cutting edge of new driving technology, with its new models like the Audi A5, and others. But I happen to own an A5, and I can tell you that Audis are not anywhere near as cutting edge and innovative as they claim.

The Audi A5 I own was previously being driven to and from work by my wife when one-day last week, warning sign popped up on the dash that said “Steering system fault. You can continue driving”. Obviously, my wife was a bit freaked out by this so I called up Audi Bahrain and had the car towed to a service center. When i received a call the next day I was shocked to learn what the culprit for this error message was. The service rep informed me that it was due to water damage and asked me if I had driven through any excessively deep water lately. I replied no, it was raining when my wife was driving that day, and she drove through a puddle but that was it. It wasn’t a super deep puddle by any means and wasn’t even close to 12 inches in depth.  He asked me how long the car was in the puddle and I replied that it couldn’t have been longer than a few seconds. I have owned many cars, and not a single one of them ever malfunctioned due to a rainy day.

According to Audi, water had seeped into the power steering control unit and had short circuited something inside, and this was the reason for the error message regarding steering. They said they had attempted to dry the water but it was too late and the short-circuiting had already happened. To top it all off, they claimed that there was no warranty available in this situation, because it was a malfunction caused by an outside element. They claimed that excessive water was the cause of the shortage and that the water level of the puddle my wife drove through would have had to have been 12 to 18 inches deep in order to cause this. While neither me or my wife has measured the puddle, we are reasonably sure it was not a foot deep.

They next got back to me with the bill and claimed it was it going to cost me $3,500 to get this issue resolved. 3 and a half grand all because my wife drove through a puddle with my brand new Audi, isn’t that just great? These supposedly stellar new models by Audi were supposed to be some of the best in the industry, yet they short out after driving through a small puddle? They are getting a Laugh.

It appears I wasn’t alone in my Audi steering system problems, and not only have they been shorting out after limited water exposure, but there has been jerkiness and vagueness in speed reported at all speeds in the new Audis. Not only have these issues been reported widespread among new Audi owners, but there is no real consistency among the symptoms, which means that rather than one specific problem that could be recalled and fixed, there are a multitude of different issues with Audi’s electronic steering systems. Other owners have reported that that their steering wheel light will randomly turn on and the steering will become heavy while driving. Audi claims that the reason for these steering issues has to do with the electric motor for the power steering rack, which cannot be replaced by itself. They claim that the entire steering wheel rack needs to replaced in these cases which usually costs the owners of the car around three thousand dollars, give or take a few hundred.

For Audi S3/A3 owners, you can also expect a variety of different problems with your electronic steering like heavy steering, loss of power, loss of oil, and whining. And that’s just from the steering, from the steering rack you can also expect to see a steering warning on your dash, knocking from the steering, loss of power, heavy steering, and excessive play in the track-rod arms as well as the steering wheel.

Some owners have tried replacing their steering racks, only to find limited success. While wheel balancing, and alignments have yielded almost no results.  Some people have claimed to solve the steering issue by turning their car off, then on again, or by turning the steering wheel lock to lock and then back to center. All of these methods have yielded only temporary relief from the steering wheel issues, and this is an ongoing problem that has been plaguing Audi owners for years.

For those aware of the “steering system fault” Audi who call the shots at the company, this problem is becoming too large to ignore. Eventually, these widespread electronic steering issues are going to start causing crashes and claiming lives, then they will really have some problems on their hands. While the fix could be a simple software update or a much more costly hardware update, whatever they decide to do needs to happen fast because as it stands, Audi is selling dangerously malfunctional cars and they should be crossed off the list of any potential buyer looking for a new car that will not fail them in terms of safety.

Some of the things that I have learned during this whole inspection into my steering wheel problems and the widespread number of complaints with Audi steering will stick with me forever. Due to this issue I have realized that Audi does not believe that these steering wheel issues are caused by the manufacturers, but rather the owners of the vehicle exposing them to too much deep water. So, if you own an Audi, you may want to drive around with a measuring stick, so you can measure the depth of every puddle before you drive through, remember, over a foot deep will ruin your electronic steering.

If you own an Audi and you think it’s going to rain, stay home. You cannot take the chance of driving during a rainstorm and potentially flooding your power steering rack, even though it’s supposed to be sealed and waterproof. While Audi claims their new electronic steering systems are an upgrade over the old ones, they will totally fry if you get them wet. Even if the components that are supposed to be sealed, they will still not keep out water and it will leak in regardless.

When it comes to buying a new car, forget about buying an Audi. Their widespread electronic steering wheel problems are becoming far too prevalent to ignore anymore, and they are on the verge of either a major recall or massive lawsuits. As their malfunctioning steering systems will start to take lives, Audi will finally be forced to stop blaming its customers for the electronic steering wheel malfunctions, and take responsibility for the cars they build. Perhaps they are in a hurry to stay up to date with the newest systems out there, or they just don’t care to address their problems until they reach critical mass. Whatever the reason may be, Audi cars are coming fresh off the assembly line rife with dangerous and potentially life-threatening malfunctions. Until these issues are resolved, you would be a fool to buy a new model Audi for you or your family.