hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,195 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.

2003 Audi A4 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Audi A4 Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 042015


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Audi A4. While driving at 40 mph, the accelerator pedal became stuck to the floorboard of the vehicle. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal had to be lifted with her foot for it to go back to normal position. The failure recurred on three occasions. While at a complete stop and attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would jerk. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Bay Point, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 032015


  • 140,000 miles
2003 Audi A4 with 6 speed cvt transmission. There is a known issue with the transmission in this vehicle. While driving the car it shifts from first to second very fast even if you ease down on the accelerator, the car lunges forward and jerks. I have came close on several occasions to hitting the car in front of me. I have read several sites including the Audi and volks wagon forums and there are also many complaints with exact same issue. This is a safety issue Audi should correct.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jun 102014


  • 73,000 miles
Stopped at stop light in rush hour traffic. Light turned green. Attempted to accelerate- but car just jerked and rocked back and forth and then rolled backward- almost rolling into car behind me. Had to call 911 to redirect traffic and get a tow truck. 2nd incident occurred on 7/12/14: Picked car up from service shop. Driving home in rush hour traffic. Stalled at traffic light. Restarted car and it was able to move, but wouldn't shift. Had to make an illegal U-turn to get out of traffic and was able to pull off the side of the road. 3rd incident occurred on 8/12/14: Pulling out of driveway and car stopped shifting. Stalled in driveway. Had to get towed and was found to have "no problem" as car was operating when arrived at the service shop. 9/9/14- driving to work in rush hour traffic. Going 35mph up a hill and car stopped shifting. Car was still moving (slowly) and I was able to pull into a residential driveway to get out of traffic. Car would not move after restarting. Tow truck came and towed to service center. All issues related to faulty cvt transmission that Audi is aware of, but will not take responsibility for due to the car being over 10 years old (it was 10 years 6 months at the first incident). I have contacted Audi usa to discuss these safety concerns with the car stalling in traffic and possible recalls that should be issued, but they have offered no assistance.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #8

May 052014

A4 6-cyl

  • miles


I had a new transmission put in the Audi and after a year the transmission reverse mode failed. I took it to the shop which repaired the car and found that there had been a recall on the part which was needed for the car. When I took it to the Audi dealership they refused to honor the recall and I had to pay for the new part an additional $2700. I was told that I was not the owner of the car and they had no information on file about me however I had repeatedly been in personally to ask about the car and any recalls after replacing the transmission. Also they had my email address. I was then told I was six months too late and I had to pay for the repair. I tried to call Audi customer service and the headquarters and only got the run around. If there was a recall for this part the Audi dealership and Audi headquarters should have honored this and replaced the part.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 022014

A4 4-cyl

  • 159,000 miles
Was driving on the highway and my car stalled. Had to get it towed home and it will no longer start but it revs.

- Lyndhurst, NJ, USA

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problem #6

Sep 082012


  • 111,140 miles
The car had started to have the prnd flash, but it kept running good. On Saturday I drove around 20 miles and parked on a small angled road I turned the car off. When I turned it on again I put it on reverse which didn't engage and started to go down almost crashing into a wall. I had to get out and push the car.

- Opa Locka, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 012005

A4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Audi introduced the continuously variable transmission (cvt) to new automobiles about 2003. The cvt was touted as a highly reliable transmission in Audi sales brochures with less moving parts. The transmission contains a transmission control module (tcm) which fails early. I took my car in while under warranty with claims of the transmission "hopping" and Audi took no action to correct. My car now has 150,000 miles on it and the tcm has failed completely. Upon reviewing several Audi forums, I have learned that this problem is extremely common and Audi has not acknowledged the problem. Many people with similar Audi's in year and with the same transmission have experience the failure. The fix is to have new tcm's installed at a cost of approximately $2,500, which requires the removal of the transmission to replace the tcm. While I have read many narratives of Audi owners experiencing this problem, I do not know if anyone has filed a complaint regarding this issue. It would appear that appropriate testing of the module was not conducted to a satisfactory level and components were installed with flaws. My understanding from research on this topic is that the same cvt was licensed to Nissan for installation within their vehicles and the same problems are occurring. I believe this to be a condition of manufacturer recall and correction at no cost to the owner. I have also heard of the problem from local mechanics.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #4

Jan 172012


  • 97,000 miles
Suddenly, while driving on freeway, went to low gear speed and not able to move car. I already change the transmission @ 42,000 miles at Audi dealership. This is Audi cvt transmission. It has very bad reliability records. You can see a lot of complaints, a especially about tcm module. Transmission repair shops just refuse to repair this type of transmission. The only choice is Audi dealership. The dealership price is about $8,500 for manufacturing rebuild transmission. However, the most important is the safety. I would not like that anyone was injured on the road because of malfunction of this transmission. It just matter of time and transmission will be broken and somebody got hurt.

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 062011


  • 90,000 miles
The car probably has faulty tcu, because transmission would sometimes jerk if going from complete stop and pressing gas pedal (even lightly). The car at first wouldn't go, then all of the sudden and unexpectedly would accelerate. I believe this is common in Audi, and they should fix that.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #2

Mar 182007

A4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
In February 2007, my 2003 A4's multitronic cvt (transmission) started to fail. It was slow to engage to reverse and to first gear from a complete stop, and the prnd indicator on the dashboard began to blink continuously. Although these were obvious problems, the mechanic at our Audi dealership informed me the car was ┐operating according to manufacturer's specifications.┐ the car only had 61,000 miles. Soon thereafter, the transmission got worse. On one occasion, my infant daughter and I were put in danger when the transmission didn't engage as I attempted a left turn. We were stuck in oncoming traffic in a car that would not move. It was only after I pressed the gas pedal multiple times, revving the engine significantly, that the car bucked into first gear and lurched forward. On another occasion, the car would not go into reverse when I tried to back out of a space in a busy parking lot. This space was on a slight incline, causing the car to roll forward when I stepped on the gas in the attempt to engage the reverse. Instead of reversing, again the engine revved significantly and rolled forward, nearly missing the parked car in front of me. After several attempts the reverse suddenly engaged and lurched backwards. Thank goodness nobody was injured in either situation. At 64,000 miles the transmission failed completely. I had to replace it at a cost of $6,500. Audi even required that my broken transmission be sent back to them so they could study the failure. The technical staff at my Audi dealership, as well as the owner of the repair shop where I eventually had the transmission replaced, remarked that the multitronic cvt's design is problematic, and that they┐re seeing major issues with them.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 012005

A4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The vehicle is an Audi A4 3.0 (non-quattro). I have experienced on multiple occassions the following...... when the car is started and the car is placed in reverse, the vehicle begins to buck violently. If I was parallel parked, I would have hit the car in front of me and in back of me or possibly a person. I know for sure there are other people that have experienced this same dangerous problem as I have seen it on Audi message boards. This problem has been happening for quite some time now. No one seems to know what to do since the situation is hard to repeat at will.

- Washington, NJ, USA

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