Don’t Spill Your Drink in These 2 Audi Models, or You’ll Get Stuck In ‘Limp Home Mode’

Children spilling drinks in the backseat is an annoyance for any driver. The sugary stains could take ages to come out, and they don’t do much to uphold the resale value. In the most extreme cases, they can cause issues with electronics running under the carpets. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of Audi owners are at risk of this. The bright side may be that children can be let off the hook for this one; the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) faults Audi for the trouble. Read on to find out more about the Audi recall below…

What Audi cars are being recalled?

A 2019 Audi A7 driving around a bend, the 2019 Audi A7 is included in the latest Audi recall
2019 Audi A7 | Audi

Over 50,000 cars in the U.S. are being recalled by Audi, with some models dating back three years. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reports that on Audi A6s and A7s—and their performance iterations—a Gateway Control Module (GCM) is missing a protective cover. Therefore, the module, which is under the rear seat, can be damaged by drink spillage, causing the vehicle to go into “limp home mode.”

What is “limp home mode?”

A 2020 Audi A6 allroad driving
2020 Audi A6 allroad | Audi

If your recalled Audi—or any other vehicle, for that matter—is in limp home mode, you’ll know it immediately. Typically, engine power is reduced, gear selection may be restricted, and you will likely be unable to cruise at highway speeds. Anything that isn’t directly related to getting the car home will be turned off. Therefore, air conditioning, infotainment, seat massaging, and other intricate features likely won’t work. 

The limp home mode feature allows your engine to run and limp its way home if the unit picks up a fault. Because of this, the “check engine” light will most likely be illuminated, as well as other warning lights. Nevertheless, the key is not to panic. Your car vehicle will run slower, so your engine isn’t subject to excessive damage. Luckily, Audi says braking and steering won’t be affected. 

Which Audi models are affected?

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There have been at least 46 cases of Audis going into limp home mode after liquids damaged the GCM in the rear of the cars. Audi has yet to release a statement detailing how much liquid must be spilled on and under the rear seats. Nevertheless, any liquid seems to be enough to affect A6 and A7 sedans. Reportedly, Audi says if liquid reaches the GCM, drivers will receive a warning through an instrument cluster light.

According to KBB, the recall includes the following Audi models:

  • 2019-2022 Audi A7
  • 2019-2022 Audi A6 sedan
  •  2020-2022 Audi S7
  • 2020-2022 Audi S6 sedan
  • 2020-2022 Audi A6 Allroad
  • 2021-2022 Audi RS 7
  • 2021-2022 Audi RS 6 Avant

Does Audi fix recalls for free?

If you have one of the aforementioned recalled Audi models, go to the NHTSA’s website and enter your unique, 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN should be on the lower left of your car’s windshield, registration card, or insurance card.

Top Gear reports that Audi sent a statement to the NHTSA that owners will be notified before January 20, 2023. CarBuzz explains that fixing the issue—like all recalls—will be free for customers. Audi technicians will install the protective cover on the GCM that should have been there from the factory.