hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,021 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.

1997 Audi A4 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1997 Audi A4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Jan 132004


  • 67,487 miles


The contact owns a 1997 Audi A4. In January of 2004, the contact was informed of a recall on his vehicle regarding the ignition switch. The dealer performed the recall repair for free; however, the ignition switch failed in 2007. The dealer conducted a visual inspection. A technician stated that because the replacement had been done in 2004, a new ignition switch would not be necessary. On June 9, 2008, the ignition switched failed again. When the failure occurred, the contact was unable to turn off the vehicle. As a result, the battery drained. He took the vehicle to the dealer again and they stated once more that because the vehicle was previously repaired under recall, they were not responsible. The vehicle was repaired at the owner's expense. The recall number was unknown. The failure mileage was 67,487 and current mileage was 141,500.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #22

Aug 022007

A4 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 165,522 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Audi A4. The vehicle was repaired for NHTSA recall number 06V403000 (ignition switch). When the contact went to retrieve the vehicle from the dealer, it failed to start. The dealer stated that they could only release the keys and vehicle to a tow service. The invoice stated that the repairs were made. The contact stated that this is the only Audi dealer in his area. The manufacturer stated that they are unable to provide any assistance. The current and failure mileages were 165,522. The consumer stated to the Audi back to fix and the VIN should show car could drive normally to dealership. The consumer stated dealership sabotaged car and drafted false documents. Updated 08/24/07

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #21

Nov 112006

A4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Audi A4. When turning the key to the right to start the vehicle, the key remains in the start position instead of turning back. The manufacturer stated that his VIN was not included in NHTSA recall # 06V403000 (electrical system:ignition:switch). The current mileage is 111,000 and failure mileage was 100,000.

- Glencoe , IL, USA

problem #20

Mar 122007


  • 151,903 miles


Audi safety recall js - ignition switch repaired customer wants to be reimbursed for repairs made from an outside dealer** 06/06/07 add to letter send from office of att general* the consumer was denied reimbursement because the repair was not made at an authorized dealership and because the consumer waited several months to execute the repair.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #19

Dec 052006

A4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles
: the contact stated the windshield wipers intermittently failed to operate. There was a NHTSA recall, #00V317000 on the vehicle regarding the ignition switch. The contact expressed the windshield wiper failure was related to the recall. However, the dealer determined the failure of the windshield wiper motor was not included in the recall.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #18

Oct 012006

A4 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 119,000 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to turn on the ignition, the key turned forward but would not spring back into place. The ignition housing return spring anchor point fractured causing the return spring forces to be faulty for returning the ignition key to the proper position after starting the vehicle. The service dealer was notified who determined that the original parts were replaced under recall campaign id#00V317000. The contact insisted that even though the original parts were replaced, the replaced parts may have been faulty. The service dealer refused to remedy the problem under the recall. The manufacturer was notified, and determined that it was not an open campaign.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 292006

(reported on)

A4 6-cyl

  • miles


1997 Audi A4 ignition switch replaced twice. Once regarding a recall notice. Second time switch failed the same as in the recall notice.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #16

Feb 222006

A4 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 180,000 miles
: the contact stated while turning the key to the start position with the engine running, the key will not back into the on position and as a result, the starter grinded. The key must be manually moved back to the start position. There is a NHTSA recall # 00V317000, concerning the ignition switch. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer. The manufacturer has been alerted. Updated 03/20/06.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #15

Jul 152004

A4 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles
(1)I received a recall notice (le recall) from Audi of America on the ignition switch on my 1997 A4 sedan. The recall work was performed on 1/29/03. At that point in time the original ignition switch had been performing correctly for 59 months but I had it replaced because of Audi's recommendation; not because it had a malfunction. (2)in July of 2004 the replacement ignition switch failed after approximately 18 months of service. The failure occurred while I was visiting St. Augustine, Florida. I noticed that the A/C was not blowing cold air. As I was driving back in to the town of St. Augustine I heard what sounded like something dragging under the car. I pulled into a parking lot and then found the car would not re-start. I had the car towed to the nearest Audi dealer in jacksonville, Florida and then rented a car to get back home to tampa, Florida. The bill from the jacksonville dealership was $1758 to replace the ignition switch and the starter motor. I also incurred a $150 towing fee and approx $70 rental car fee. (3)after the repairs I contacted Audi of America but they said they only warranty replaced parts for 12 months. Since this switch lasted 18 months it was my responsibility to pay for the repairs. I contend that Audi of America did not correct the defect, in fact, they made it considerably worse. VIN of 1997 A4 is [xxx](4) please note: I am also the owner of a 1996 A4 sedan. I will open another incident report for that automobile. Updated 07/18/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Odessa, FL, USA

problem #14

Sep 082005

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,922 miles
I have a 1997 Audi A4 Q that has a common defect with the ignition switch. This is a very well known problem with these cars and because of the defect there has been a recall already done for this car (NHTSA campaign id number 00V317000) as of Oct 06,2000. I called the a local dealer and the manufacturer and gave them my VIN # and they claim my car was not part of the recall. However, I went to the NHTSA website and looked at the make, model and year of my car and it does show that the year of my car was included. In fact, I was even able to print off several documents referring to the recall and it does show that my VIN is actually included (VIN ranges wau---8D-VA000181 to wau---8D-VA294397). Quoting the recall letter; "the plastic ignition switch housing can fracture at the return spring anchor point. Fracture of the housing could cause the return spring force to be insufficient for returning the ignition key to the running position after starting the engine. " this is exactly what has happened to my car () making it unsafe to operate.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #13

Aug 132005

A4 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 165,000 miles


The failure I am having is with my ignition switch. When turning on the car, the ignition key does not return to the proper position after the engine has been started. This causes electrical accessories, such as windshield wipers, headlights, power windows, and heating/air conditioning to be inoperative after starting the car. Also, when turning off the car the key does not turn all the way to the off position. This results in difficulty in removing and reinserting the key, and it also does not cut off all power resulting in a dead battery on several occasions when I returned to the car, and it also does not activate the anti theft alarm system. This vehicle had a recall for this exact same problem in 2001, and the dealer claims to have changed the defective part however the problem has resurfaced. Paul miller Audi was not willing to correct the problem at their cost.

- Ballston Lake, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 162005

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 176,000 miles
The key wouldn't go into the ignition, and then the radio wouldn't go off. Then, the signal lights and the air conditioner wouldn't work. After researching about the recall for the ignition switch contacted the dealer and Audi, and they both said the ignition switch defect, recall 00V317000, had already been fixed, but there was no documentation. Was concerned that if it was already replaced then it should not malfunction within a short period of time.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #11

Oct 272004

(reported on)


  • miles
Re: 1997 Audi A4; recall campaign le, electrical ignition switch. The vehicle's ignition switch was replaced in 2001 prior to any failure. A few years later the switch failed in the same manner that prompted the initial recall. The ignition switch blew up the starter causing $1100 in damage. The consumer contacted the manufacturer and was told that since it was already replaced once that there was nothing they could do.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #10

Sep 152004


  • Manual transmission
  • 165,166 miles
Ignition switch had to be replaced twice in the last 18 months. Manufacturer refused to cooperate.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #9

Sep 012004


  • Manual transmission
  • 187,000 miles
Consumer stated a spring broke inside the ignition switch. As a result, starter stayed on while driving and currently failed.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #8

Jul 092004

A4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,800 miles
Recall 00V317000: Ignition switch defect.I have a 1997 Audi A4 VIN [xxx] that was repaired under the recall in Jan 2004. The symptoms prompting the recall have reoccurred (wipers and light not working due to switch defect). Took car to the dealer who status recall work was warranted for 1 year or 12000 miles so they will not fix at their expense. The vechile is 8 years old this year. Is there any requirement the the recall remendy work? it appears they put in a part that has the same defect that lead to the recall. Updated 07/25/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 032003

(reported on)


  • 92,000 miles
After the dealership performed the ignition switch recall the defect reoccurred. Dealership was refusing the fix the problem, indicating that the ignition switch component that failed was not the recalled component.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 012003


  • 102,692 miles
Failure in ignition switch. The ignition switch failed which caused the starter to remain partly engaged damaging it beyond repair. A technician at the dealer notified the consumer that the problem was the subject of a recall which the consumer responded to on September 2001. At that time the dealer replaced it with a redesigned one. The manufacturer considered the failure normal wear. The original switch was replace at 63136 miles the second was replaced at 102692.

- Edgewood, NM, USA

problem #5

Jan 012002


  • miles
Consumer not able to return key to running position after starting vehicle. Current recall 00V317000. Consumer contacted dealer, who advised consumer that this vehicle was not covered under current recall due to VIN.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #4

Dec 062001


  • miles
Recall 00 V 317 000/ignition switch: Dealer capistrano Volkswagen; capistrano, ca; phone# 949/493-4843 refused to honor recall notice. Asking NHTSA to assist in this matter. Feel free to provide any further information concerning this problem.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

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