Modern cars are packed with microprocessors and various computer units, making it difficult to determine their place in the construction of the four-wheeler. Engineers have to consider numerous aspects when making decisions about their placement. Here is a bizarre example from Audi.
The four-ring professionals, probably in search of optimal use of space and achieving ideal, or evenly distributed, load on both vehicle axles, placed the central computer unit exactly under the central part of the rear seat section. It turned out that this was not an ideal location, not even for any car, including Audi A6 and A7 models.
As we know, electronic components, including the central computer module responsible for exchanging information and data flow between various chips that a modern car possesses, are sensitive to the penetration of moisture inside the housing. Unfortunately, the area where this module is attached is exposed to moisture, making the chosen location unsuitable in this specific case.
It is unclear how the responsible individuals at the Bavarian brand failed to realize that spilled liquid on the rear seat could reach such an important piece of electronics, although we can guess. If this happens, it is very likely that the vehicle's computer sequences will activate the so-called "safe driving mode," which is known for limiting the car's characteristics and engine power development to prevent damage.
However, Audi officials claim that even in any unlikely and crazy circumstances, such limitations would not affect the driver's ability to control the car. The braking system, as well as the steering, would not be affected in any way if there was a misfortunate event due to moisture exposure.
As expected, Audi has launched an action where owners of affected vehicles will be called to visit service centers. There, on models produced between 2020 and 2022, bearing the A6, S6, RS 6 Avant, A6 Allroad, A7 Sportback, S7 Sportback, and RS 7 Sportback labels, a housing plate will be installed to protect the computer unit from moisture.
According to Audi, the affected models were manufactured between 2020 and 2022, and include the A6, S6, RS 6 Avant, A6 Allroad, A7 Sportback, S7 Sportback, and RS 7 Sportback. The company has launched a campaign to invite owners of affected vehicles to visit service centers, where an additional protective case will be installed to shield the central computer unit from moisture.
It's unclear why Audi engineers chose to place the central computer unit in such a vulnerable location, where it is exposed to moisture that can damage sensitive electronic components. If liquid is spilled on the rear seat, there is a risk that it could seep into the compartment where the computer module is located, triggering the car's safe driving mode, which limits the engine's power and other functions.
Despite this potential risk, Audi claims that the safe driving mode would not interfere with the driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely. The brake and steering systems would remain unaffected in the event of any such incident.
In total, over 50,000 Audi vehicles are affected by this issue in the United States alone. The installation of the protective case should help mitigate the risk of damage to the central computer unit and prevent the safe driving mode from being activated unnecessarily.