- decorative wheel-arch trim can fall off the current-gen audi q5 due to assembly problems at audi's mexico plant.
- the 2018–2020 q5, including the sq5 through 2019, is affected in the u.s.
- this is the second recall this year addressing the same problem.
audi is recalling almost every q5 from the current generation to fix fender trim that can pop off, according to filings with the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa).
if you hear wind whistling around your q5 while driving, it's probably not your ears. most 2018–2020 q5 and 2018–2019 sq5 models have defective wheel-arch trim pieces that weren't properly fastened at audi's factory in puebla, mexico. as a result, the trim can loosen or come off the car. a total of 174,278 cars are affected in the united states.
audi first issued a recall for the defect in june and has since added more than 48,000 cars to the recall. however, the latest filing claims these extra cars have issues only with the two rear trim pieces instead of across all four. the 2020 q5 is just starting to trickle onto dealer lots. the 2020 sq5 is not yet on sale.
the trim is a separate, body-color exterior garnish attached to the underside of each wheel well. the previous fix involved adding an additional screw and nut to the lower portion of each wheel-arch trim, except that apparently has not worked. neither has audi's claim from june that it had corrected the problem at its factory on december 18, 2018. the company said it started a "tensile test" to identify loose wheel trim and that all the fastening hooks "will be optimized in the near future."
this time, the fix for the rear wheel arches involves replacing the four fasteners securing—or in this case, not securing—the front section of the rear wheel-arch trim. owners who already had all four wheel trim arches drilled and screwed will need to repair the rears yet again. the recall begins on november 1.