really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,100 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.

2001 Audi S4 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Audi S4 Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 282004


  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles


My grievance relates to the relative ease that my vehicle was stolen on a Sunday from a street parking space in manhattan, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, while located on a main throughfare that is regularly traveled by both pedestrians & vehicles. That the vehicle's factory installed theft-deterrent was defeated or failed to operate, given its high visability on a moderately to heavily traveled street, should warrent, at the very least, an investigation into the effectiveness and proper functioning of alarm system operation as represented by the manufacturer. While the theft incident stats kept by Audi, and their us subsidery, Audi of America, show theft to be insignificant, the data provided by other nationwide databases is another matter altogether. In 2002, the S4 was the 25th most stolen car in NJ (all intents& purposes: The tri-state area, NY, NJ, conn). This particular submodel (S4 sedan & wagon) was manufactured B/wn 2000-2002, in fairly limited production numbers. Its status as 25th most-stolen car seem to indicate an exploitable flaw in its theft alarm/protection.

- Casselberry , FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 112003


  • miles
2001 Audi S4 has a security flaw that can render the alarm useless in seconds, therefore making it extremely easy to steal. The alarm can be easily bypassed by simply punching a hole in the driver door skin, the car has no immobilizer, the engine can be started by brute force on the ignition.

- Hackensack, NJ, USA

problem #7

Oct 302001


  • miles
My 2001 Audi S4 was stolen in springfield, NJ and recovered in newark, NJ. The total damage to the car was approximately $8000. I believe that this theft was possible largely because of a significant flaw in the security system. Specifically, the doorlock mechanism is directly tied to the alarm, including the motion sensors and the ignition kill. Thus, a tiny hole punched in the door to unlock the door simultaneously let's a thief into the car and disables the entire security system. The lack of a true immobilizer system on the car created a reputation for this high-performance vehicle that it is easily stolen and now it is a particular target for thieves, especially in the New Jersey area. There have been numerous reports of high-speed joyrides and other dangerous situations with stolen S4's. it is my understanding that most Audi's from 2000-2002 have this flaw and I belive that Audi should acknowledge the problem and retrofit these vehicles with a safer anti-theft system.

- Gillette, NJ, USA

problem #6

Feb 242004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Uneffectiveness of factory alarm. The hugh number of thefts of my vehicle is concerning. I am concerned on the security of leaving my car anywhere but my garage.

- Lindenhurst, IL, USA

problem #5

Oct 112001

S4 5-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,100 miles
I had just purchased a 2001 Audi S4 for close to $40,000. With 1100 miles on it my car was stolen in broad daylight approx 3 pm. Upon further research, I learned that the factory passive alarm can be tricked into thinking it has been disarmed. A small hole near the door lock gains access to a rod that when lifted disarms the system as if a key were used, combine this action with the with removal of the ignition, and the vehicle can be started with a screw driver and driven away. I've also learned that VW/Audi had the technology available to equip this model with an engine immobiliser as part of the oem alarm system. I'm aware of dozens of thefts of the Audi S4 in particular and am reading of more thefts occurring weekly. Just do a search on www.audiworld.com using the word "stolen" and you will see for yourself. My experience has been in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. I think Audi should be held responsible for this gross oversite on their part and offer a retrofit of some sort to protect my investment. I don't feel safe driving my vehicle freely anywhere I want without having to worry about it being stolen. This problem has reached epidemic proportions here.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #4

Mar 062004

S4 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
The security system of my 2001 Audi S4 has a major fault. The manufacturer did not include any type of immobilizer into the system making it extremely easy for it to get stolen. An immobilizer is a system built into the computer/ignition system of the vehicle that doesn't allow it to be started unless the key is used. I am uncomfortable parking it in any major city and as I live near nyc, its a real issue. I have a number of friends who have had their S4S stolen in the New Jersey area in a matter of minutes. This is a very limited production car and still makes the top 25 most stolen vehicles in its class, that says something about not only how desirable it is to thieves but how easily it is stolen. An immobilizing system would not eliminate all theft but would reduce it substantially. I feel this is something the manufacture should rectify. Other cars in the Audi line up for 2000 had immobilizers so the company had easy access to such technology but chose not to include it in their 2001 model year A4/S4. I also had a 2001 VW jetta (same parent company as Audi) and it had an immobilizer, this car cost just about half as much as the Audi S4 so its absurd. Please help me and my fellow Audi A4/S4 owners rectify this situation. Thanks in advance for your time and help.

- New Canaan, CT, USA

problem #3

Mar 062004

S4 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


I currently own a 2001 Audi S4. There has been an unusually large amount of thefts of these vehicles over the last couple of years. It is due to the poor alarm system Audi has put in these vehicles. There is no immobilzer, which was put in their other models. Audi refuses to do anything about this problem.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 032003

S4 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 19,800 miles
My car (2001 Audi S4) was stolen in livingston NJ, and recovered in irvington, NJ. The car had a stock alarm system which was easily bypassed. This car did not have an immobilizer. Other model Audi's have an immobilizer. $10,000 of damage was caused to the car. This is unacceptable. Certainly Audi can retrofit an immobilizer into this car because the same car in europe has the immobilizer.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #1

Mar 062004

S4 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Audi of America has not taken security systems on the Audi S4's seriously. They have been massive known thefts in the tri-state area and the list continues to grow. I have spent over $800 for added security and will continue to spend more if I have to. I cannot sleep peacefully at night knowing my car is prone to easy theft due to it's ineffectiveness in security protection. I feel it's a matter a time before my car will be stolen in a mall or a shopping center or on a street or even in my own home. Audi needs to address this immediately!

- Astoria, NY, USA

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