With the number of recalls issued by manufacturers these days, it's rare that something truly weird crosses our desks. Well, mark this date, because we've got a strange one. Audi is recalling more than 50,000 A6-based sedans, wagons and Sportbacks from the 2019-2022 model years because a spill in the rear seat can shut down a key control module, putting your car into limp mode until it can be serviced by a dealer.
The campaign covers 50,883 vehicles based on the A6's core architecture — the 2020-2022 Audi S7, S6 Sedan, and A6 Allroad; the 2021-2022 RS7 and RS6 Avant; and the 2019-2022 A7 and A6 Sedan. In these vehicles, the "gateway control module" sits beneath the rear seats. If enough liquid is spilled in the rear bench that it can run down beneath the seat cushions, it can potentially make its way into the control module, which will detect a fault and shut itself down to protect other electronic systems.
The good news is that your kid's fast food mishap won't leave you completely stranded. Warnings will appear in the instrument cluster and the car will still operate in limp mode, meaning the vehicle remains steerable and the brakes will still function, but power output and top speed will be reduced. The even better news is that the fix is simple: Audi only needs to install a protective cover to keep liquids out of the module. Look for notifications to be distributed to owners starting in January.