What Audi TT Years to Avoid

The Audi TT might seem like a solid sports car as it is a well-established vehicle that has been around since 1998, but owners over the years have experienced problems with various model years across its three generations. 

If you’ve been thinking about buying a used Audi TT, keep reading to find out the top five model years you should avoid in your search!

  • 2001 First Generation
  • 2008 Second Generation
  • 2016 Third Generation
  • 2002 First Generation
  • 2004 First Generation
  1. The 2001 Audi TT – First Generation

First up, we have the 2001 Audi TT, which was part of the first generation of the vehicle. Often, we see weaker model years from the first generation of a vehicle since there has not been as much user feedback or opportunities to improve as with later generations. According to car complaints, the 2001 Audi TT has had a whopping 163 complaints from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Among the 163 complaints that this model year has, the main complaints deal with interior and exterior accessories, AC and heat, and problems with the brakes, clutch, drivetrain, and engine. If that sounds like an extremely wide range of problems, that’s because it is. 

The interior problems include instrument cluster failure and the CD player failing, which is definitely annoying. Other relatively minor problems include air duct vents disintegrating as well as the power convertible top failing, which would be a shame since many people are interested in the Audi TT due to its convertible capabilities.

Other than annoying accessories and exterior issues with the 2001 TT, there were also some more severe problems which are pretty costly to fix and maintain. One common problem is the calipers wearing out, which costs on average $1,000 to fix and occurs at around 87,000 miles. 

Users also experienced clutch slippage at around 80,000 miles, which is estimated to cost $2,500 to fix. As far as drivetrain issues go, many drivers had issues with the CV boots starting to leak around 87,000 miles, which costs another $1,000 to fix. 

  1. The 2008 Audi TT – Second Generation

Next, we have the 2008 Audi TT, which is part of the second generation of the vehicle. While the second and third generations of a vehicle tend to have fewer issues and complaints, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any problems. With 21 NHTSA complaints and 2 recalls, the 2008 TT is another model year to avoid.

The main complaints associated with this model include transmission problems, exterior accessories problems, and interior accessories problems. The transmission problems tend to be pretty severe and costly to fix, including DSG Clutch failure at around 38,000 miles averaging $2,990 to repair and the gear shift being stuck in drive after 123,000 miles averaging $4,500 to repair. More minor issues with the exterior and interior include taillight assembly failure at around 39,000 miles costing $700 to fix and broken paddle shifter at 39,000 miles costing $350 to fix.

If these costly repairs weren’t enough to put you off the 2008 model of the TT, there have also been two recalls on this vehicle. While one of the recalls was extremely minor, a second recall in 2009 affected over 10,000 cars. This recall involved a faulty fuel tank ventilation valve, which is incredibly dangerous as leaking fuel increases risk of a fire. While Audi repaired the vehicles involved in this recall for free, looking at the recalls can give some insight into issues with the assembly line during the time this vehicle was being produced.

  1. The 2016 Audi TT – Third Generation

Up next is the 2016 Audi TT, which is part of the third generation of Audi TT vehicles. It’s less common, though not unheard of, for third generation vehicles to have issues that would impact whether you would want to purchase the car. While most of the Audi TT’s third generation performs well, it might be best if you steer clear of the 2016 model year.

The 2016 Audi TT has a total of 9 NHTSA complaints as well as inclusion in three recalls. The most common problem with this vehicle is an issue with the air bags. Air bags can save your life in the event of a crash, so it’s very serious when they fail to deploy as has been reported for this vehicle. 

One owner of a 2016 TT experienced a whole host of problems after getting into a minor fender bender and the airbags failing to deploy. Thankfully, no one was hurt as he was only traveling 10 mph, but even though the damage was minimal and his car only had 10,000 miles on it, the repair shop quoted $36,000 to repair this extremely severe issue. 

The owner had no choice but to consider his car totaled. While the rest of the third generation Audi TTs could be considered further, it’s a smart decision to leave the 2016 TT off your list. 

  1. The 2002 Audi TT – First Generation

Next up is the 2002 Audi TT, which was part of the first generation of the Audi TT vehicles. This model year had a total of 53 NHTSA complaints for a wide variety of issues. The most common problems associated with the 2002 TT include electrical problems and interior accessories problems. Thankfully the most common problem with interior accessories is the climate control knob breaking off, which is relatively inexpensive to fix even though it’s annoying.

Unfortunately for this model year, the electrical problems associated with this vehicle are much more damning. Many people have experienced issues with the instrument cluster, which happens at around 12,252 miles and costs at least $1,300 to fix.  

People have also reported the car’s battery draining overnight even when the vehicle is switched off, as well as general problems with the electrical system switching on and off. 

Electrical issues like these are a huge safety issue, as they can cause the battery to die or switch off while driving or cause it to be impossible to open the vehicle’s doors in case of an emergency.

  1. The 2004 Audi TT – First Generation

Finally, we have the 2004 Audi TT, which is also part of the first generation of TT vehicles. Although it does not have the greatest overall complaints of all the Audi TT model years, car complaints rates the 2004 model as the worst due to higher repair costs and lower average mileage when problems occur. Considering this might be the worst model year ever for the TT, it’s definitely one you want to avoid during your search.

In all, the 2004 TT has a total of 33 NHTSA complaints and has been included in two recalls. The most common problems for this Audi are all pretty serious, including issues with the transmission, drivetrain, and electrical system. 

The main reported transmission issue is that the vehicle gets stuck in gear, which is an awful problem usually occurring around 45,000 miles and costing a whopping $7,500 to fix. There are also issues with the power train at around 57,000 miles and electrical system problems at around 63,000 miles. 

The problems with the transmission and electrical system are particularly serious, as they cost thousands of dollars to fix and increase the chances of getting into an accident due to system malfunction. 


Overall, while the Audi TT is generally a well-established and respected car, there are certain model years that you should just skip over if you’re looking to buy one used. 

Especially in the first generation, certain model years of this vehicle have problems that are expensive to fix and greatly impact the safety and reliability of the car. 

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