1984 Audi 5000 S 2.1 5 cyl petrol from North America
A practical, stylish station wagon
Installed rebuilt lifetime warranty steering rack when we bought the car - the original was leaking slightly. This has been fine since.
Fuel pump relay switch failed. So far the only time the car has 'broken down'. As this was at the end of our driveway, it wasn't a big problem. Preventive maintenance has included replacing the alternator (rebuilt), radiator, water pump, power steering/brakes hydraulic pump, rear brake cylinders, brake master cylinder, and front strut inserts. Bearing in mind the mileage we cover, this seems reasonable.
The car really needs more power, although I should add that our other cars include two Jaguars and a Lotus. Other than that, it has provided comfortable, safe motoring with great load carrying capability. Incidentally, not once have we experienced the dreaded 'unintended acceleration' attributed to this generation of Audi. What a load of rubbish those reports turned out to be!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st July, 2000
In my write-up I said nothing about the impossibility of a throttle jamming open - that can happen with any vehicle. What has been shown to be untrue is the claim that these vehicles take off from a standstill with the driver's foot hard on the brake pedal. That is what 60 minutes claimed, and faked by artificially introducing high pressure into the automatic transmission. They never showed or mentioned that the car was anything, but standard. Another interesting point: no-one reported a malfunction in the manual transmission cars...
Eventually, the NHTSA found that the Audi 5000 had the lowest fatality rate of any car in the United States during its production run. Many Audi owners, who traded in their cars in the wake of the 60 Minutes fiasco, were stung twice: they lost money on trade-ins as the brand plummeted to an all-time low, and bought a less safe car.
Follow up from the writer of the original review:
We still have the same 1984 Audi, now with well over 250,000 miles on the clock. Still no unintended acceleration!
Still an incredibly comfortable load carrier with huge capacity.
Replaced one more radiator, but the addition of a transmission oil filter in the return line from the power steering rack would appear to have solved the hydraulics problems.
GM-sourced (actually Cadillac, I understand) climate control still a bit unreliable, and interestingly, as we live in the USA, is the only area where parts are getting hard to obtain.
Just had an aftermarket (i.e. non-Bosch) ignition rotor arm failure, which caused intermittent misfiring. Replaced with OEM cap and rotor - all now fine again.
Engine, transmission, axles all original and untouched except for maintenance.