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I received a surprise today when my 2012 Audi Q5 failed its smog emission test in Nevada. I've never had a car fail and is surprising for a 3 year-old Audi. I was told that it was part of the oxygen sensor and that my mixture was running too rich with higher RPMs than allowed.

The smog place also told me that if its an issue related to passing smog, there is a federal law that states that a dealership must fix the issue under warranty under 80K miles or 5 years of the car being new. Is that true? I've never heard of that and I want to be armed with information when I go into the dealership.

Is a dealer required to fix a car for free when it fails smog like this?

  • How many miles on your car and when exactly was it purchased? The 2012 Audi Q5 (and most other Audi's for that matter) have a 4yr/50,000 mile warranty associated with them. Depending on whether Audi considers the O2 sensors a "wear item" or not, they may be covered. I'm voting for not covered, but there is always a chance. If the vehicle was bought early in the Model Year (MY), it has probably pushed through its 48 month warranty already, so may have busted out of its coverage there as well. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 30 '15 at 12:39
  • @Paulster2 Thank you. I am under 4 years but over 50,000 miles. However, I did purchase the extended warranty which covers me to 100K miles. In addition, I am under 80K miles, so if what the smog shop told me is correct, I would still be under that warranty. – Unknown Coder Nov 30 '15 at 13:52
  • You need to look at the exact verbiage which is used in your Extended Warranty. Most only cover powertrain related parts (tranny, engine, differential) and nothing more. It may be a complete bumper-to-bumper, but usually it's not. Also, the O2 sensors could be considered wear items (like brake pads and wiper blades). If so, it's not going to be covered under any warranty, even emissions. I'm not saying don't try, I'm saying don't be surprised if they won't cover it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 30 '15 at 15:40
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The US federal warranty is years or 24 months on most emission parts and 5 years or 50k miles on the computer and catalyst.

A link here: http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/regs/im/obd/pubs/420f15035.pdf

So it is likely not covered under the federally mandated warranty.

That is not to say it could not be covered under a manufacturer warranty. Check the warranty documents that came with car.

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