— An Audi turbo recall may not have been good enough for federal regulators as a turbocharger investigation opened in 2021 has now been upgraded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In March 2021, NHTSA opened the Audi turbo investigation following dozens of reports of stalled engines in these models.
- 2013-2016 Audi A8
- 2013-2016 Audi S6
- 2013-2016 Audi S7
- 2013-2016 Audi S8
- 2013-2016 Audi RS7
About 60 complaints were filed alleging the 4-liter twin-turbocharged engines stalled without warning while driving at various speeds, with several owners claiming the Audi vehicles could not be restarted.
Audi owners also reported the turbo engines stalled because the turbochargers failed from being starved of oil due to clogged oil strainers which are used to remove dirty particles and carbon deposits from the oil which lubricates the turbochargers.
That is bad enough for Audi owners, but the location of the oil strainer is an added headache. Customers say the oil strainer is located in the turbocharger oil supply line which is deep inside the engine. According to NHTSA, the oil strainer "is not easily accessible, making regular service difficult."
The debris can clog the oil strainer and prevent the flow of oil to the turbocharger, making the turbine bushings run dry and overheat. This breaks the turbine shaft from the overheating.
Audi responded to the federal investigation by providing NHTSA with more than 600 turbocharger failure warranty claims and 45 customer complaints.
According to NHTSA, about 825 reports have been filed about Audi turbocharger problems, leading the automaker to recall about 26,000 vehicles in March. The turbo recall followed a February 10-year/120,000-mile turbocharger warranty extension announced by Audi.
Apparently the warranty extension and turbocharger recall may not be enough because NHTSA upgraded the investigation instead of closing it.
CarComplaints.com will update our website with results of the upgraded Audi turbocharger investigation.