Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,418 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 Audi A3 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Audi A3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 162011


  • 47,000 miles


Dsg transmission harsh engagement and banging bucking when starting from stop or in reverse also when engaging form park. Will go into neutral and bang/lurch forward or back when it engages making it very difficult to park and pull out into traffic. Dealership could not repair until tsb for mechatronic released. New unit cured problem for aprox 15K miles now back and getting progressively worse. Dealership advised to "wait until it got bad" to bring it in sine they did not know what fix was. Brought back in at 47K miles and they re-adapted transmission and it got worse. Technical support told them to order another mechatronics (2nd replacement) as they did not know what else to do. Waiting on part now.

- Ma, MA, USA

problem #9

Jan 182011

A3 4-cyl

  • 22,200 miles
When in traffic the car lurches forward without any input from driver. The car bucks back and forth, almost like the car is stalling. On a hill, if you take your foot of the brake, the car begins to roll backward - flooring the gas pedal causes the car to stop rolling backwards.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jul 012010


  • 30,000 miles
Since purchase as a cpo in early 2009, my 2008 Audi A3 and its dsg transmission have exhibited irregular and dangerous shifting behavior. The transmission surges unpredictably at low speeds, particularly in 1st or reverse with brakes off and little/no gas. This low speed surging behavior is dangerous in stop-and-go traffic as the car often unpredictably jumps towards other vehicles. Also on several occasions the transmission has completely dropped out of gear and failed to re-engage for approximately 1-2 seconds. On one occasion, this pause occurred during a left hand turn across opposing traffic and nearly caused a collision. In summer 2010 Audi replaced the mechatronic unit under warranty and reflashed the dsg. This fixed the issues for 1-2 months, however the problems have since reappeared. It's seems clear that this line of transmissions have persistent and possibly dangerous problems.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 152010

A3 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


My 2008 Audi A3 2.0T dsg (direct shift gearbox) has been having abrupt shifting and hesitation. The three main times issues occur are: 1.) moving from a stop, either in forward or reverse. With light throttle input, similar to in parking situations or slow moving stop/go traffic, the car/transmission feels like it's not engaged and then suddenly engages and lurches forward/backwards. This is when I feel the car is most likely to cause an accident. 2.) when slowing down to a stop (such as at a stop light/sign or for traffic), there is an abrupt thud which appears to be when the car is downshifting automatically into 2nd gear. This feels like it's doing damage to the car. 3.) when slowing down, followed by mild acceleration (such as when turning right/left onto a perpendicular street without requiring a stop), the car hesitates, then revs very high (appears to choose too low of a gear), immediately followed by going into the "right" gear. This is alarming to driver/passenger and is annoying and distracting. I brought it in to the local dealership and they said it is the mechatronics unit, however there's no recall for my car so they just gave me the car back and said "call back in a month, maybe then there will be a recall".

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #6

Jul 202009


  • 25,000 miles
2008 Audi A3 with 2.0 engine and 6-spd auto dsg gearbox. During summer of 2009 started having problem in which from a stop (red light, etc.), when letting off the brake and giving it gas it would hesitate for 1-2 seconds before finally jerking or lurching (somewhat violently) into gear. Sometimes it would jerk twice. Also the downshift from 2nd to 1st is somewhat rough. The problem is still present but not as bad, however it seemed there was a strong correlation between how hot it was outside and the symptoms being worse. Took it to cutrubus Audi in layton, ut at end of summer, they said there was no problem, that how it was shifting was normal for the dsg. Just got a letter from Audi of America that they are developing a way to diagnose faulty mechatronic units (which causes jerking) in late spring of 2010, but I don't want to wait that long to have this problem rectified. Will be trying a different dealer soon.

- Morgan, UT, USA

problem #5

Feb 102009


  • 5,600 miles
2008 Audi A3 3.2 dsg: Transmission would drop violently forcing a reduction in speed. Pressing the accelerator sometimes would not let the car accelerate...engine revolutions would not rise. Difficult to maintain a safe speed consistently. Taking two both dealerships in miami-dade county (the collection and prestige). The service eventually did nothing to the car. Audi would not honor any service without ECM logged errors. I saw a recall investigation on later model cars, but a continuing investigation on cars including my model year for the exact symptoms I have experienced. This has happened several times and without notice or the ability to recreate at will.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 152009


  • 7,000 miles


From a stop, or slow speeds, transmission was lurching w/out an apparent pattern.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #3

Aug 042008


  • 21,000 miles
I have a 2008 Audi A3 2.0T dsg. My problem is with the dsg. While sitting at a stoplight I will lift off the brake to go, the car will lurch forward and the transmission will disengage. I then must wait a few seconds for the transmission to re-engage. This can be a problem if there are people behind me. I have been nearly hit on a few occasions. This problem is random and the dealer service tech's have not been able to replicate it to their satisfaction. The car did not do this when I bought it brand new.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 272009


  • 14,875 miles
When feathering the gas pedal through traffic, the car surges/lurches trying to find gear. Also, there are times when pulling out of a side street or taking off from a red light, when pushing on the gas pedal, all of a sudden it seems like there is no power. We bought the car in early '08 and the problem randomly started towards the end of '08. At that time we thought it may have been just bad gas. It seems the problem is getting worse and more frequent as of late. Reading forums and articles online, it seems to be the symptoms of the transmission which is a dsg/S-tronic transmission. At this time, the dealer is stating nothing is wrong with the transmission. I own another car with the same transmission, and that seems to have none of the above problems.

- Saugerties, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 012008


  • 16,500 miles
Direct shift gearbox (dsg) transmission started jerking when starting from a stop. Second to first downshift would be severe with a loud "clunk" from the dsg. Went to dealer and vehicle was diagnosed with a faulty tcu(mechatronics module). Part is on backorder and will take over 1 month to get in. Was told that vehicle is okay to drive but with the uncertainty of reliable performance and potential damage to other transmission components I don't agree. Have researched and found many other Audi and VW owners with this same problem and similar experience with significant delays in getting the replacement part. Apparently vag is focused more on producing new vehicles than making sure the vehicles already on the road are operating properly. This company has no concern for customer service once they have your money.

- Naperville, IL, USA

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