Sound weird? It is, but a rear seat spill could cause the vehicles to enter limp mode.
Audi has issued a recall for 50,883 examples of A6-based models due to a gateway control module shutdown that will suddenly reduce engine power and thus increase the risk of a crash and serious injuries. The affected vehicles include the 2020-2022 S7, S6 sedan, A6 Allroad, 2021-2022 RS7, RS6 Avant, and the 2019-2022 A7 and A6 sedan.
The precise issue, we have to admit, is a bit odd. According to the official NHTSA recall document, Audi states that liquid spilled in the rear seat could penetrate and cause said gateway control module to shut off.
This module is located beneath the rear seat. In other words, a rear-seat passenger who spills their beverage could cause the engine to enter limp mode.
Audi did not say how much liquid could trigger limp mode. We're thinking a seemingly large amount of liquid would have to fall out of a beverage to cause damage, but this is clearly something that needs to be addressed. The A6s are pretty popular among families, and small kids are known for not keeping their drinks in whatever container you provide.
The included models share a common architecture despite the different body styles, consisting of a sedan, Sportback, and wagon.
Audi adds that if the liquid reaches the module, drivers will receive a warning through an instrument cluster light. The vehicle will then enter limp but will still be drivable but extremely slow.
Essential systems like the brakes and steering are not affected. And fortunately, the fix is very basic: an Audi technician will have to install a protective cover to prevent liquids from entering the module.
The recall document does not mention any significant accidents or injuries, which is obviously good, but we'd still like to know how the problem was discovered. A toddler and a can of Pepsi were likely involved. The fix will be done free of charge, and owner notification letters are due to be mailed on January 20, 2023.
This is the second Audi recall this month. Previously, the automaker recalled almost 232,000 vehicles, specifically the S3, A6 Allroad, e-tron, A3, A6, A7, and many others - along with several Volkswagen brand models, due to faulty tire pressure monitoring systems.